University moves forward with court case

Both the plaintiff and defendant in Audrey Mitchell v. the University of North Alabama have decided to continue with the case.

Mitchell, director of Environmental Services and Housing Facilities Management, along with the university’s representation, submitted consent to turn the case over to a U.S. magistrate judge. In doing so, the judge will conduct all further proceedings in the case, including trial and entry of final judgment.

Mitchell’s claims in the case include race-based employment discrimination and harassment from fellow university employees. Mitchell began reporting claims of harassment and discrimination in 2010, according to the lawsuit.

In an Oct. 11 response, UNA “denies it discriminated against, retaliated against or harassed (Mitchell).”

Mitchell submitted her paperwork of consent Oct. 18, and the university did so Nov. 16. Both parties had until Nov. 21.

Both parties received an order Nov. 17 outlining next steps. If they have not already, the plaintiff and defendant must have a Rule 26(f) conference within 21 days of the order to discuss case topics such as the nature and basis of the claims and the possibility of a settlement.

Within 14 days, both parties must file a report of the conference.

Editor’s Note: Stick with The Flor-Ala for updates on the case.