United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Mahmoud Yousefzadeh, 9652 Clark Circle, Eden Prairie, MN
55347 (pro se Plaintiff);
Brandon Haugrud and Kerry L. Middleton, Littler Mendelson,
PC, 80 South Eighth Street, Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55402
N. LEUNG, JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff Mahmoud
Yousefzadeh's Motion to Withdraw Jury Trial Demand and
Memorandum of Law in Support (Mot. & Mem., ECF No.
A hearing was held on February 5, 2019. Plaintiff appeared
pro se. Brandon Haugrud appeared on behalf of Defendant
Hill-Rom Company, Inc.
2018, the parties filed, and the Court granted, a stipulation
allowing Plaintiff to file a Second Amended Complaint.
(See ECF Nos. 31, 33.) In the Second Amended
Complaint, Plaintiff demanded a jury trial. (See
generally Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 34.) Plaintiff now
moves to withdraw his jury trial demand. Defendant opposes
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
“[t]he right of trial by jury as declared by the
Seventh Amendment to the Constitution-or as provided by a
federal statute-is preserved to the parties inviolate.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 38(a); see U.S. Const. amend. VII
(“In Suits at common law, where the value in
controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial
by jury shall be preserved . . . .”).
employment dispute, Plaintiff brings claims for
discrimination and retaliation/reprisal under Title VII the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Minnesota Human Rights Act
(“MHRA”), seeking compensatory damages among
other things. “The Civil Rights Act of 1991 amended
Title VII, in relevant part, by creating a right to trial by
jury.” Anderson v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.,
248 Fed.Appx. 97, 101 (11th Cir. 2007); see 42
U.S.C. § 1981a(c) (“If a complaining party seeks
compensatory or punitive damages under this section . . . any
party may demand a trial by jury . . . .”); see
also, e.g., Casteel v. City of Crete, No.
4:16CV3166, 2017 WL 3635184, at *3 (D. Neb. Aug. 23, 2017)
(stating “§ 1981a expressly and unambiguously
provides for a right to a jury trial for certain claims under
the ADA and Title VII”). In 2014, the MHRA was amended
to provide that “[a] person bringing a civil action
seeking redress for an unfair discriminatory practice or a
respondent is entitled to a jury trial.” Minn. Stat.
§ 363A.33, subd. 6; see 2014 Minn. Laws ch.
233, § 1; see also Pearson v. Rohn Indus.,
Inc., No. A15-0477, 2015 WL 9264051, at *3 n.1
(Minn.Ct.App. Dec. 21, 2015) (noting amendment). Even prior
to this change, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals had
already “held that the Seventh Amendment provides a
right to a jury trial in federal court for an action brought
under the MHRA in which the Plaintiff seeks compensatory
damages.” Eldredge v. City of St. Paul, No.
09-cv-2018 (SRN/JSM), 2011 WL 4347940, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept.
16, 2011) (citing Kampa v. White Consolidated
Indus., Inc., 115 F.3d 585, 586-87 (8th Cir. 1997));
see also Eichten v. Kmart Corp., No.
07-cv-3006 (RHK/RLE), 2007 WL 2084142, at *2 n.3 (D. Minn.
July 17, 2007). Thus, Plaintiff's jury demand was proper.
plaintiff is entitled to and demands a jury trial, that
demand cannot be unilaterally withdrawn over the
defendant's objection. See, e.g., Manrique
v. Fagan, No.08-60501-CIV, 2009 WL 700999, at *8 (S.D.
Fla. Mar. 16, 2009); Alexander v. Chattahoochee Valley
Cmty. Coll., 303 F.Supp.2d 1289, 1291 (M.D. Ala. 2004).
“A proper demand may be withdrawn only if the parties
consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 38(d).
It would be unfair to permit unilateral withdrawal of a
proper jury demand if one side did not bother to make a
demand because an opposing party had already done so. Thus, a
party may rely on the fact that an opposing party made a jury
demand in those situations where a second demand would, in
fact, be superfluous.
Westminster Sec. Corp. v. Uranium Energy Corp., 255
F.Supp.3d 490, 496 (S.D.N.Y. 2017) (quotation omitted).
Plaintiff has provided no authority for his argument that
Rule 38(d)'s consent requirement does not apply in this
case or that any purported disagreement with his
former attorney allows him to unilaterally
withdraw the jury demand. Because Rule 38(d) requires the
consent of the parties before a proper jury demand may be
withdrawn and Defendant has not consented, Plaintiff's
motion to withdraw his jury demand is denied. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(d).
DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR FEES UNDER 28 U.S.C. §
Defendant requests that it “be reimbursed for its
reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in opposing
Plaintiff's Motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1927.” (Def.'s Opp'n at 2, ECF No. 66.)
Defendant asserts that “[t]he Motion is groundless and
needlessly increased ...