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Bailey v. Office of Unemployment Insurance Administration

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

May 3, 2018

ALICIA B. BAILEY
v.
OFFICE OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION, ET AL.

          RULING AND ORDER I. PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS AND THE MOTION TO DISMISS

          JUDGE JOHN W. deGRAVELLES JUDGE

         In this case, Plaintiff Alicia B. Bailey, proceeding pro se, alleges age discrimination, disability discrimination and retaliation by the Office of Unemployment Insurance Administration of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (the “Office”) and its former director, Dayne Freeman, in her official and individual capacities (collectively, “Defendants”). (Doc. 1 at 1). Plaintiff expressly states that her “federal claim[s]” are brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1983, and 1988, [1] (Doc. 1 at 3), although the Complaint also appears to state that Plaintiff was protected under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”). (Id. at 1-3, 7-8). The August 16, 2017 Complaint states that Plaintiff was constructively discharged on August 1, 2014, and she received an EEOC “right-to-sue” letter on or about May 16, 2017. (Id. at 3, 7).

         Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”) 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (“Motion, ” Doc. 9). Defendants characterize the Complaint as alleging violations of Sections 1981, 1983, and 1988, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Doc. 9-1 at 1). Defendants argue that: (1) the Office and Freeman in her official capacity are immune from suits from money damages “as to claims for the deprivation of civil rights under color of state law”; (2) Plaintiff did not file the Complaint within 90 days of receiving the right-to-sue letter as is required to properly exhaust her remedies under Title VII; and (3) Plaintiff failed to assert her claims under Sections 1981, 1983, and 1988 within the one-year prescriptive period provided by Louisiana Civil Code article 3492. (Id. at 4, 8-10).

         Plaintiff has filed a two-page Opposition addressing the merits of her Complaint and alleging that Louisiana law also forbids employment discrimination. (Doc. 25 at 1-2). Defendants have filed a Reply reiterating the arguments in their Motion and stating that Plaintiff's Opposition fails to address the issues raised in the Motion. (Doc. 30 at 1-3).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         a. Rule 12(b)(1) Standard

         Concerning the standard for Rule 12(b)(1) motions, the Fifth Circuit has explained:

Motions filed under Rule 12(b)(1) . . . allow a party to challenge the subject matter jurisdiction of the district court to hear a case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be found in any one of three instances: (1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or (3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts. Barrera-Montenegro v. United States, 74 F.3d 657, 659 (5th Cir. 1996).
The burden of proof for a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss is on the party asserting jurisdiction. McDaniel v. United States, 899 F.Supp. 305, 307 (E.D. Tex. 1995). Accordingly, the plaintiff constantly bears the burden of proof that jurisdiction does in fact exist. Menchaca v. Chrysler Credit Corp., 613 F.2d 507, 511 (5th Cir. 1980).
When a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is filed in conjunction with other Rule 12 motions, the court should consider the Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack before addressing any attack on the merits. Hitt v. City of Pasadena, 561 F.2d 606, 608 (5th Cir. 1977) (per curiam). . . .
In examining a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, the district court is empowered to consider matters of fact which may be in dispute. Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 413 (5th Cir. 1981). Ultimately, a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction should be granted only if it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle plaintiff to relief. Home Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, Miss., 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir.1998).

Ramming v. United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001).

         b. Rule 12(b)(6) Standard

         In Johnson v. City of Shelby, Miss., __U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 346, 190 L.Ed.2d 309 (2014), the Supreme Court explained that “[f]ederal pleading rules call for a ‘short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); they do not countenance dismissal of a complaint for imperfect statement of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.” 135 S.Ct. at 346-47 (citation omitted).

         Interpreting Rule 8(a), the Fifth Circuit has explained:

The complaint (1) on its face (2) must contain enough factual matter (taken as true) (3) to raise a reasonable hope or expectation (4) that discovery will reveal relevant evidence of each element of a claim. “Asking for [such] plausible grounds to infer [the element of a claim] does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough facts to raise a ...

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