The defendant-store’s staff suspected plaintiff, a pregnant African-American woman, of shoplifting, and the staff asked an off-duty police officer, who was also shopping in the store, to speak with plaintiff. Plaintiff voluntarily showed her stomach to the officer, demonstrating that she was not shoplifting; after their three-minute conversation, plaintiff made her purchases and left the store. Since the officer was neither contracted by the store nor on duty, the store was not acting under color of law when it asked the officer to speak with plaintiff. Therefore, plaintiff has not made out a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Since plaintiff was able to complete her purchase after a brief interruption, she has not shown that she was denied the right to contract for goods that were otherwise afforded to white customers. Consequently, plaintiff has not made out a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981.
We affirm summary judgment for defendant.
Even if defendant did not timely serve plaintiff with its answer, since plaintiff did not move for default, she did not preserve for appellate review the issue of service of the answer.
Bates v. Staples, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-593-22, 9 pp.) (Jeffery Carpenter, J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (Eric Levinson, J.) Shirell Bates, pro se; Kevin Cleys for defendant. 2022-NCCOA-915