University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Martinez v. City of St. Louis EE-MO-0104
Docket / Court 4:01-cv-00580 ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On April 18, 2001, a white applicant to the St. Louis Fire Department filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging that the St. Louis Fire Department engaged in reverse discrimination against white applicants. He claimed he ... read more >
On April 18, 2001, a white applicant to the St. Louis Fire Department filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging that the St. Louis Fire Department engaged in reverse discrimination against white applicants. He claimed he was qualified for appointment as probationary fire private but was not hired due to the Department's remedial hiring practices that were established in a consent decree resolving a case of race-based employment discrimination in 1976. After the 1976 case the Fire Department implemented remedial affirmative action hiring policies to remedy the under-representation of African Americans. On November 8, 2001, another white applicant challenged the 1976 consent decree and the suits were consolidated. The plaintiffs argued that racial parity had been achieved and thus the consent decree should be dissolved and they should be hired and awarded damages.

On November 5, 2003, the district court (Judge John F. Nangle) dissolved the partial consent decree but refused to retroactively dissolve it and declare it unconstitutional. The court also refused to grant one of the white applicant's motions for summary judgment as to the substantive liability of the City. The applicants then amended their complaint to add the Department of Justice and Firefighters Institute for Racial Equality ("FIRE") as a defendants and other applicants as plaintiffs. On January 30, 2004 the district court granted FIRE's motion for summary judgment as to its liability to plaintiffs.

On February 24, 2005 the district court denied the City's motion for summary judgment as to its substantive liability in part, holding that as a public employer, the City had an obligation to ensure that a consent decree aimed at racial parity did the least harm possible to others competing for employment. The court also granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in part, finding that the two applicants should have been granted employment.

A two-day jury trial took place from March 15-16, 2006 on the issue of the substantive liability of the City and the plaintiffs were awarded $162,875 in damages. After further pleadings, on September 5, 2007 the district court granted retroactive seniority to the claimants.

The parties filed cross appeals on October 5, 2007.

On August 26, 2008 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Loken, Judge Gibson and Judge Melloy) affirmed the dissolution of the consent decree but reversed the award of equitable relief and damages based on the district court's ruling that the consent decree was not unconstitutional and was not to be retroactively dissolved. The case was closed on January 30, 2009 when the parties stipulated to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Michael Perry - 07/15/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) City of St. Louis
Plaintiff Description White applicants to fire department.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:01-CV-1770 (E.D. Mo.) 02/13/2007
EE-MO-0104-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
06-3554 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 05/28/2008
EE-MO-0104-9002 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
01-580 (E.D. Mo.) 02/03/2009
EE-MO-0104-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order (Granting plaintiffs' motion to dissolve the consent decree but denying plainitiffs' motions to retroactively do so and to grant summary judgment on substantive liability). 11/05/2003 (327 F.Supp.2d 1002) (E.D. Mo.)
EE-MO-0104-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order(Granting defendant F.I.R.E.'s motion for summary judgment) 01/30/2004 (327 F.Supp.2d 1013) (E.D. Mo.)
EE-MO-0104-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order (Denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment and granting in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to liability) 02/24/2005 (470 F.Supp.2d 1013) (E.D. Mo.)
EE-MO-0104-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Transcript 04/18/2005
EE-MO-0104-0001 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Regarding Equitable Relief 02/07/2007
EE-MO-0104-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Appellant 11/28/2007
EE-MO-0104-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
BRIEF OF APPELLEE MICHAEL MARTINEZ 12/28/2007
EE-MO-0104-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
BRIEF OF APPELLEE ERIC DEEKEN 01/15/2008
EE-MO-0104-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
REPLY BRIEF OF APPELLANT 02/12/2008
EE-MO-0104-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Affirming the dissolution of the consent decree but reversing the award of monetary damages) 08/26/2008 (539 F.3d 857)
EE-MO-0104-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Judges Gibson, John R. (W.D. Mo., Eighth Circuit)
EE-MO-0104-0006
Loken, James B. (Eighth Circuit)
EE-MO-0104-0006
Melloy, Michael Joseph (N.D. Iowa, Eighth Circuit)
EE-MO-0104-0006
Nangle, John Francis (E.D. Mo.)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001
Bobinette, Charles W (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0003 | EE-MO-0104-0007 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001 | EE-MO-0104-9002
Craig, Clyde E (Florida)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0004 | EE-MO-0104-0007 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9002
Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0010
Geller, Clare F (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0104-9000
Niles, Sara Lewenberg (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0104-9000
Rocque, Amanda (District of Columbia)
EE-MO-0104-9000
Wedemeyer, Wesley D (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Hageman, Patricia A. (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0002 | EE-MO-0104-0005
Johns, Althea P (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-9000
Kistler, Nancy R (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0002 | EE-MO-0104-0005 | EE-MO-0104-0007 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001 | EE-MO-0104-9002
Lawson, Mark Edward (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-9002
Ronzio, Judith Anne (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0002 | EE-MO-0104-0005 | EE-MO-0104-9002
Stone, Sharon (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0002
Tanner, Kathleen G (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0007 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001
Other Lawyers Diekemper, Jerome A (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000
Nangle, John Francis (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0001 | EE-MO-0104-0008 | EE-MO-0104-0009 | EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000 | EE-MO-0104-9001
Perkins, Richard P (Missouri)
EE-MO-0104-0010 | EE-MO-0104-9000

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