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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
February 27, 2017, Submitted; March 16, 2017, Decided
[*244] PER CURIAM:
Brenda Toomer-Frazier appeals from the district court's order adopting the report and recommendation of the magistrate judge and granting summary judgment to Defendant City of Columbia (the "City") in her 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (2012) suit alleging racial discrimination and retaliation in relation to her employment. We have reviewed the record and the briefs on appeal, and we find no reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm substantially for [*245] the reasons stated by the district court. Toomer-Frazier v. City of Columbia, No. 3:14-cv-04360-MBS, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117037 (D.S.C. Aug. 31, 2016).
On appeal, Toomer-Frazier asserts that City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 109 S. Ct. 1197, 103 L. Ed. 2d 412 (1989), permits her to hold the City liable under § 1981 for deliberate indifference or knowledge and acquiescence, even in the absence of an official municipal policy or custom of discrimination or retaliation. However, Canton does not reach [**2] so far. Canton holds that, if a municipal employee has not been properly trained, the municipality's failure to train evidences deliberate indifference to the rights of its inhabitants, and this lack of training causes the employee to unconstitutionally apply a facially valid policy, the city can be held liable under § 1983.1 489 U.S. at 388-89. Importantly, the city's failure to train must reflect deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of its inhabitants and be "closely related" to the plaintiff's ultimate injury. Id. at 391-92. Moreover, the Court made clear that the rule would only apply in "limited circumstances." Id. at 387.
Toomer-Frazier's allegations fall far short of stating a claim under Canton. Toomer-Frazier has not offered any evidence (and does not even seem to allege) that City officials were inadequately trained about an official policy, or that any failure to train amounted to deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of the City's inhabitants. And she does not submit any evidence showing that any alleged deficiency in training caused the officials to treat her differently than white employees or was otherwise related to her discrimination or retaliation claims. Absent these allegations, [**3] Canton is inapplicable. See id. at 391. Because Toomer-Frazier has shown no official policy or custom of discrimination or retaliation by the City, the district court correctly found that § 1981 relief was not available.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
680 Fed. Appx. 244 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4631 **; 2017 WL 1032090
BRENDA TOOMER-FRAZIER, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. COLUMBIA, City of, an incorporated municipality, Defendant - Appellee.
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Columbia. (3:14-cv-04360-MBS). Margaret B. Seymour, Senior District Judge. .
Toomer-Frazier v. City of Columbia, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117037 (D.S.C., Aug. 31, 2016)
deliberate indifference, retaliation, trained, failure to train, inhabitants, municipal, constitutional right, official policy, district court, allegations, custom