University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Contreras v. Ridge EE-DC-0044
Docket / Court 1:02-cv-00923-JR ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On May 10, 2002, eight Hispanic Special Agents filed a class action complaint against the United States Customs Service ("Customs Service"), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § ... read more >
On May 10, 2002, eight Hispanic Special Agents filed a class action complaint against the United States Customs Service ("Customs Service"), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel asked the court for equitable relief, compensatory damages, a declaratory judgment, and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs contended that there was a pattern and practice of discrimination on the basis of national origin by the Department of Treasury's United States Customs Service. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the Customs Service's personnel policies, practices, and procedures discriminated against Hispanic Special Agents regarding selections for competitive positions and promotions, assignment to undercover work, discipline, awards and bonuses, foreign language proficiency awards, training, harassment and hostile work environment, systemic retaliation, and other terms and conditions of employment. The plaintiffs requested to act on behalf of a class consisting of all current or former Hispanic Special Agents (Criminal Investigators GS-1811) who had served with the Customs Service from January 1, 1974 or January 1, 1977 to the present.

On March 20, 2003, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The defendant argued that the court should dismiss class claims due to failures by the plaintiffs to timely exhaust administrative class remedies, to assert adverse employment actions, and/or to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. The defendant also argued that the individual claims should be dismissed as well because the plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies and/or to allege actionable adverse employment actions. Subsequently, on February 26, 2004, the court (Judge James Robertson) granted in part and denied in part the motion for summary judgment. In this judgment, the court (Judge Robertson) held that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust claims of hostile work environment and foreign language proficiency awards. Contreras v. Ridge, 305 F. Supp. 2d 126 (D.D.C. 2004).

On May 5, 2006, following a denial of the defendant's motion to dismiss the pattern or practice claims, the defendant renewed its motion. On March 20, 2007 the court (Judge Robertson) granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding the plaintiffs' evidence insufficient, and thus terminating the case.

Emily Kuznick - 04/14/2008


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Training
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Retaliation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Treasury's United States Customs Service
Plaintiff Description Putative class of Hispanic Special Agents of the U.S. Customs Service in the GS-1811 series who have been employed as GS-1811’s at any time from either January 1, 1974 to the present or from January 1, 1977 to the present.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-DC-0036 : Stewart v. Rubin (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0070 : Moore v. Summers (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0043 : Moore v. Chertoff (D.D.C.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
1:02-cv-00923-JR (D.D.C.) 09/07/2007
EE-DC-0044-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/10/2002
EE-DC-0044-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Denying Plaintiffs' Joint Motions To Consolidate) 09/03/2002 (225 F.Supp.2d 16) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 03/20/2003
EE-DC-0044-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 06/26/2003
EE-DC-0044-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order (Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment) 02/26/2004 (305 F.Supp.2d 126) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment On Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims 08/30/2004
EE-DC-0044-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims 04/05/2005
EE-DC-0044-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order (Denying Without Prejudice Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment On Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims) 09/21/2005 (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Pattern or Practice Claims 05/05/2006 (2006 WL 1780818)
EE-DC-0044-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Pattern and Practice Claims 06/16/2006 (2006 WL 6508441)
EE-DC-0044-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum (Granting Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment) 03/20/2007 (2007 WL 861123) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Lamberth, Royce C. (FISC, D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0010
Robertson, James (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0044-0007 | EE-DC-0044-0009 | EE-DC-0044-0011 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barer, Garvey Schubert (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0004 | EE-DC-0044-0006 | EE-DC-0044-0008
Hillman, Roger L. (Washington)
EE-DC-0044-0008 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Lambiotte, Benjamin J. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0008 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Schmidt, Ronald A. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0001 | EE-DC-0044-0004 | EE-DC-0044-0006 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Shaffer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0001 | EE-DC-0044-0004 | EE-DC-0044-0006 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Tonkin, Ronald H. (Texas)
EE-DC-0044-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chambers, Felicia L. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-9000
Clark, Kaija (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0003 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Cook, Shayna Susanne (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Courey, M. Bennett (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0003
Howard, Roscoe (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0003
Keisler, Peter D. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0005
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0005 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Kraus, William R. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0005
Lepley, Richard G (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-9000
Licht, Stuart A. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0003 | EE-DC-0044-0005 | EE-DC-0044-9000
McCallum, Robert D. Jr. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0003
Richardson, Karen Kathleen (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0005 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Riley, Matthew B. (Texas)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0003
Schwartz, James J. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0005 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Tannenbaum, Andrew H. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0003 | EE-DC-0044-9000
Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0005
Weinberger, Marc (Maryland)
EE-DC-0044-0002 | EE-DC-0044-0003 | EE-DC-0044-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -