Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Christopher v. Hill

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

December 27, 2017

C.S. CHRISTOPHER, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
RICHARD HILL, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This employment discrimination action is before the Court on the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Doc. #48.

         I

         Standard of Review

         Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[s]ummary judgment is proper only when the record demonstrates that no genuine issue of material fact exists and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Luv N' Care Ltd. v. Groupo Rimar, 844 F.3d 442, 447 (5th Cir. 2016). “A factual issue is genuine if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party, and material if its resolution could affect the outcome of the action.” Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., 798 F.3d 222, 226 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). On a motion for summary judgment, a court must “consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.” Edwards v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 841 F.3d 360, 363 (5th Cir. 2016).

         In seeking summary judgment, “[t]he moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Nola Spice Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enters., Inc., 783 F.3d 527, 536 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). If the moving party satisfies this burden, “the non-moving party must go beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). “Where the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the moving party satisfies this initial burden by demonstrating an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Celtic Marine Corp. v. James C. Justice Cos., Inc., 760 F.3d 477, 481 (5th Cir. 2014).

         II

         Factual Background and Procedural History

         A. The Civil War Battles of Tupelo and Brice's Crossroads

         On June 10, 1864, during the height of the American Civil War, Confederate and Union forces met in a battle at Brice's Crossroads, a site located roughly twenty miles north of the City of Tupelo, Mississippi.[1] The battle, which involved approximately 12, 000 troops, resulted in a victory for the Confederate forces. Over time, the battle would become known as the Battle of Brice's Crossroads.

         About a month later, on July 5, 1864, Confederate and Union forces met again around Tupelo. This battle, which involved approximately 22, 000 troops, resulted in a victory for the Union forces. Over time, this battle has been referred to as the Battle of Tupelo and the Battle of Harrisburg.

         B. C.S. Christopher Jr.

         C.S. “Pete” Christopher Jr., [2] is an approximately sixty-seven-year-old resident of Guntown, Mississippi. Doc. #48-3 at 5; Doc. #55-1 at ¶ 1. He has worked as a salesman “for most” of his working career and, over the last three decades, has “developed a deep appreciation” for soldiers of the Civil War. Doc. #55-1 at ¶ 1. In this regard, Christopher has “attended countless Civil War Re-enactments and [has] studied the Civil War battle through research, reading and seminars, especially the Brice's Crossroads Campaign.” Id.

         C. 2009 Interlocal Cooperation Agreement

         In February of 2009, the Mississippi cities of Baldwyn and Tupelo entered into an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement (“Agreement”) with Lee County; Brice's Crossroads National Battlefield Commission, Inc. (“BCNBC”); and The Convention and Visitors Bureau of the City of Tupelo, Mississippi (“Bureau”). Doc. #48-1. The stated purpose of the Agreement was “to facilitate the development and interpretation of the Civil War Battles of Tupelo (‘Harrisburg') and Brice's Crossroads (‘Brice's') to be known as the Civil War Center.” Id.

         Section 6 of the Agreement provided for the creation of a Civil War Center Board (“CWCB” or “Board”). Id. at 2. Under the terms of the Agreement, the Board operates under the BCNBC and consists of seven members. Id. Lee County, Tupelo, and Baldwyn each appoint two members, while the Bureau appoints one. Id. The Agreement also authorized the Board to adopt regulations and policies to govern its operations. Id.

         D. The Board's Formation and Initial Meetings

         Sometime after the execution of the Agreement: (1) Tupelo appointed Dick Hill and Ed Neelly to the Board; (2) Lee County appointed C.S. “Pete” Christopher and Rhett Russell; (3) Baldwyn appointed Jim Bishop and Jim Grisham; and (4) the Bureau appointed Neal McCoy. Doc. #55-4. The newly created Board held its initial meeting on March 3, 2010. Id. At this meeting, the Board approved a set of by-laws, approved Russell to serve as secretary, approved Grisham to serve as Chairman, approved Edwina Carpenter to serve as Russell's “assistant, ” and approved Neelly to serve as treasurer. Id.

         Under the by-laws, decisions of the Board, including removal of a Board member, require an eighty-percent majority vote of the members present. Doc. #55-3 at 2-3. Additionally, of relevance here, Article XII of the by-laws provided:

Section 1. CONTRACTS. The Board may authorize an officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver an instrument in the name of the Board and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Any such contracts or instruments shall require the signature of the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer upon the authorization of the Board. No contract shall be entered into for and on behalf of CWCB without prior approval of BCNBC.
Section 2. LOANS. No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the Board and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by a resolution of the Board. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances; however, any such contracts or instruments shall require the signature of the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer upon the authorization of CWCB. No such loan shall be transacted for or on behalf of CWCB without prior approval of BCNBC.
Section 3. CHECKS AND DRAFTS, ETC. All checks, drafts or other order for the payment of money, notes or evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the CWCB shall be signed by such officer or officers or agent of the Board and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of CWCB.
Section 4. DEPOSITS. All funds of CWCB not otherwise employed shall be deposited from time to time in the credit of CWCB in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as CWCB may select.

Id. at 4-5.

         At the March 3 meeting, the Board also voted that Christopher, Hill, Grisham, and McCoy would serve initial terms of five years, while the remaining Board members would serve initial four-year terms. Doc. #55-4 at 1. At the expiration of these initial terms, the Board mandated two-year terms. Id. at 2. Although it is not apparent from the record, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.