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Lovell v. Office of Financial Institutions

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

June 12, 2018

DAMON LOVELL
v.
OFFICE OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, ET AL.

          TRIMBLE, JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 1] by pro se plaintiff Damon Lovell, alleging employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Lovell has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter.

         I.

         Background

         Lovell brings this complaint against Office of Financial Institutions (“OFI”), a state agency where he formerly worked, and several individual employees/officers of that agency. Doc. 1. He alleges that the defendants violated Title VII by discriminating against African-American men in their hiring practices and by intentionally failing to retain certain hiring and employment records that would show the extent of their discriminatory practices. Id. at 1-6. He seeks injunctive relief to end discriminatory hiring practices as well as compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of African-American applicants who were not hired by the agency. Id. at 6-7.

         II.

         Law & Analysis A. Frivolity Review

         Lovell has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). This statute provides for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of her claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. Application

         Lovell alleges violations of Title VII, which generally prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Under Title VII, employers who are subject to investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are obligated to make and keep records “relevant to the determinations of whether unlawful employment practices have been or are being committed.” Id. at § 2000e-8(c).

         1. Standing

         “In order to have standing, a plaintiff must show: (1) it has suffered, or imminently will suffer, a concrete and particularized injury-in-fact; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the defendant's conduct; and (3) a favorable judgment is likely to redress the injury.”[1]Manley v. Invesco, 555 Fed. App'x 344, 348 (5th Cir. 2014) (quoting Miss. State Democratic Party v. Barbour, 529 F.3d 538, 544 (5th Cir. 2008)). Under Title VII, the discrimination need not be economic or tangible as long as the complainant alleges that the workplace was so “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult” as “to alter the ...


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