Docket Number: 
Case No 14-1073
Court: 
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Attorney: 
MWELA Amicus by Richard Renner, Denise Clark, and Ellen Renaud
Filing Date: 
May 16, 2014

This Court reviews the district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo, viewing the facts and the reasonable inferences there from in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See EEOC v. Navy Fed. Credit Union, 424 F.3d 397, 405 (4th Cir. 2005); Bonds v. Leavitt, 629 F.3d 369, 380 (4th Cir. 2011). Summary judgment is appropriate only when “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

On May 5, 2014, the Supreme Court explained this standard in holding that it was improper to grant summary judgment by resolving disputed issues of fact in the movant’s favor:

courts may not resolve genuine disputes of fact in favor of the party seeking summary judgment. See Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U. S. 194, 195, n. 2 (2004) (per curiam); Saucier, supra, at 201 [Saucier v. Katz, 533 U. S. 194, 201 (2001)]; Hope, supra, at 733, n. 1 [Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U. S. 730, 733 (2002)]. This is not a rule specific to qualified immunity; it is simply an application of the more general rule that a “judge’s function” at summary judgment is not “to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U. S., at 249. Summary judgment is appropriate only if “the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 56(a). In making that determination, a court must view the evidence “in the light most favorable to the opposing party.” Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U. S. 144, 157 (1970); see also Anderson, supra, at 255. 

Tolan v. Cotton, 572 U.S. ___ (May 5, 2014), p. 7 of the slip opinion.

The movant is not entitled to a credibility finding at the summary judgment level. Foster, as the non-moving party, is entitled to all inferences on credibility. Stalter v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 195 F.3d 285 (7th Cir. 1999); Lust v. Sealy, Inc., 383 F.3d 580, 582-83 (7th Cir. 2004) (“There is no presumption that witnesses are truthful.”). See also, Poller v. Columbia Broad. Sys., Inc., 368 U.S. 464, 473 (1962) (“It is only when the witnesses are present and subject to cross-examination that their credibility and the weight to be given their testimony can be appraised. Trial by affidavit is no substitute for trial by jury which so long has been the hallmark of ‘even handed justice.’”); Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., 466 U.S. 485, 512 (1984) (“When the testimony of a witness is not believed, the trier of fact may simply disregard it.”).

Amicus: 
Is amicus brief

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