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Boyd v. Wal-Mart

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

March 27, 2018

ALTHIE J. BOYD, Plaintiff
v.
WAL-MART, ET AL., Defendants

          DRELL, JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes, United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court are Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss, filed by Defendant Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC (“Wal-Mart”). (Doc. 30). Pro se Plaintiff Althie J. Boyd (“Boyd”) filed an untimely response. (Doc. 39). Wal-Mart's 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 30) should be denied because the limitations period for Boyd's claims is not a jurisdictional requirement, but rather a statutory precondition to filing suit. Because Boyd's claims are time-barred, however, Wal-Mart's 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 30) should be granted.

         I. Background

         On February 24, 2017, Boyd, proceeding in forma pauperis, filed employment discrimination and retaliation claims against Wal-Mart and “Aziz, ” an unknown manager, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] (Doc. 1). Boyd voluntarily dismissed her claim on April 18, 2017 (Doc. 10), but reopened her case on May 25, 2017 (Doc. 13).

         Boyd asserts claims for “wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, civil rights - harassment, stalking, taunting, and provoking.” (Doc. 1). Boyd claims she was wrongfully terminated on October 29, 2015. (Doc. 1).

         Boyd claims she switched departments from an overnight stocker to daytime stocker. (Doc. 1). Boyd alleges she reported a previous work related injury to the store manager, Bradley Ratcliff, and was assured she would not have to unload trucks. (Doc. 1). Boyd claims that when she reported to the position, she was told by co-manager Mike Thompson and assistant manager Latonya Armstrong that she had to unload trucks. (Doc. 1). Boyd alleges she found that difficult, and had a brief meeting with district manager “Aziz” and human resource manager “Zoerene.” (Doc. 1).

         Boyd alleges she was sent to her physician, who imposed a 15-pound lifting restriction. (Doc. 1). She claims she returned to work on October 29, 2015, and was told her request for accommodation had been denied. (Doc. 1). Boyd further claims she was “banned from the time clock” and was required to leave the building. (Doc. 1).

         Boyd states that on October 30, 2015, she was told by personnel manager Pat Stroud that there was nothing available at the Pineville store and to check other regions. (Doc. 1). Boyd claims she was also told she was not needed because she was “too much of a problem.” (Doc. 1). Boyd avers she did not hear anything further from the store manager, and subsequently she resigned. (Doc. 1).

         Boyd also claims “Aziz” attempted to punch her during their group meeting. Boyd further claims she has been stalked and harassed by someone “setting up a time for Wal-Mart truck drivers to meet” her at Rapides Station. (Doc. 1).

         Boyd seeks punitive damages for a lapsed life insurance policy, for fraud for use of her payroll issued debit card, and for child support arrears. Boyd also alleges lower back injury. (Doc. 1). She seeks monetary damages for embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, mental anguish, and pain and suffering from 2010 to present. (Doc. 1).

         Wal-Mart responded with Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss Complaint (Doc. 30), seeking dismissal of Boyd's Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, untimeliness, and for failure to state a claim. In support, Wal-Mart attached Boyd's charge of discrimination and right to sue letter. (Doc. 38). Boyd did not timely oppose, instead filing a late response arguing that it would be unfair to dismiss her case without her having legal representation. (Doc. 39).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Standards governing the 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss

         Motions filed under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow a party to challenge the subject matter jurisdiction of the district court to hear a case. Ramming v. United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). “A motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction should only be granted if it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claims entitling him to relief.” In re FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liab. Litig. (Mississippi Plaintiffs), 668 F.3d 281, 287 (5th Cir. 2012). “Plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing subject-matter jurisdiction.” Id.

         The standard for review of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is the same as that for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Harrison v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America, 2007 WL 1244268, at *3 (E.D. La. 2007).[2]

         B. Standards governing the 12(b)(6) ...


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