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Jackson v. Walker

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

June 11, 2015

BARBARA JACKSON
v.
PITTRE WALKER, ET AL

MEMORANDUM RULING

S. MAURICE HICKS, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 52) filed by Defendants Pittre Walker, Dennis Everett, Sr., Herman Washington, Derrick Thomas, and Lake Community Development Corporation. Defendants argue that Plaintiff Barbara Jackson ("Jackson") has not provided sufficient facts to state a plausible claim that Defendants violated any provision of the Fair Housing Act or discriminated against her in any way because of her religion. See id. Thus, Defendants seek dismissal of all claims against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See id. Jackson has not opposed the instant motion. For the reasons which follow, Defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motion is GRANTED, and all of Jackson's claims against the remaining Defendants are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Jackson is a Hurricane Katrina evacuee. See Record Document 6 (Amended Complaint) at ¶ 1. No later than September 2008, Jackson was living in Shreveport, Louisiana. See id. at ¶ 4. Jackson alleges that she was employed, or "led... to believe she was employed, " with Lake Bethlehem Baptist Church ("LBBC"). Id. at ¶4. Reverend Dennis Everett, Sr. ("Rev. Everett") is the pastor of LBBC.

Jackson alleged she was "induced" by Rev. Everett to move into a house on Mattie Street in Shreveport, Louisiana. Id. at ¶ 23. She believed this house was for evacuees. Jackson was told she would begin paying $600 monthly rent after six months, with the first six months being rent free. See id. Jackson alleges that though her employment with the LBBC went well for a short time, her relationship with the church, the pastor, and its members soon soured, despite her hard work in the course of her employment. See id. at ¶¶ 23-25. Jackson continues to live in the house on Mattie Street.

Jackson filed the instant suit on July 8, 2013. See Record Document 1. She then amended her complaint on October 4, 2013. See Record Document 6. Jackson brought her action "pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3617, et seq. " Id. at ¶ 14. She seeks money damages, arguing that Defendants discriminated against her based on her religion in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, Jackson's claims against the remaining Defendants can be summarized as follows:

• Defendants failed to advise her of certain federal programs;
• Defendants operated their non-profit entities in a fraudulent manner;
• Defendants violated the specific provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 3604 and/or 42 U.S.C. § 3617 by discriminating against Jackson because of her religion or failing to protect her from harassment by church members; and
• Defendants failed to satisfactorily meet Jackson's demands resulting in an alleged prolonged quarrel or difference of opinion between Jackson, Defendants, and members of LBBC.

See generally Record Document 6.

On October 22, 2014, Defendants filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, arguing Jackson's unfounded allegations and legal conclusions masquerading as facts are not sufficient to support a cause of action under the Fair Housing Act. Defendants contend:

• Jackson has failed to identify any affirmative legal duty Defendants owed under the Fair Housing Act in which they failed to perform; and
• Irrespective of any disagreements between Jackson, Defendants and LBBC members, Jackson has failed to allege sufficient facts demonstrating beyond a speculative level a plausible claim that she was discriminated against in the rental of the ...

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