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Lee v. Advance Auto Parts

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

September 5, 2019




          DEE D. DRELL JUDGE.

         Before the court are Defendant Advance Auto Parts' motions to dismiss or, alternatively, motions for summary judgment. (Doc. 9 and 45). Defendant seeks dismissal of pro se Plaintiff Charles Lee's ("Lee") complaint for failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and failure to file a timely charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). For the reasons expressed herein, the Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 11, 2018, Lee filed a complaint on a court generated form entitled "Complaint Under Section 706(f) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." (Doc. 1). Therein, Lee indicated he filed a charge with the EEOC; received a right to sue notice; and received a copy of the EEOC's determination. Thereafter, he attached nearly 90 pages of documents which appear to comprise the EEOC file regarding his charge. No formal statement regarding his claims nor any demand for relief accompanied his filing.

         According to the attached EEOC file, Lee filed a formal Charge of Discrimination ("Charge") with the EEOC on July 21, 2016, in which he claimed he was subjected to religious discrimination. Lee asserted he began working at Advance Auto Parts on February 6, 2015 and applied for a Parts Pro position at that time. However, he withdrew his application when he determined the position required "more work" than the position for which he was hired, and the pay was commensurate. Later, Lee asked his manager, Danny Smith, to reconsider him for the Parts Pro position. Smith told Lee he would not be offered the position because he refused to work on Sundays, an arrangement Lee had with a prior manager that Smith refused to honor. When Lee complained about Smith to the District Manager, Smith retaliated by cutting Lee's hours. Finally, Lee alleged in his Charge that he applied for and was denied the Commercial Parts position; however, Lee fails to assert a reason for the denial.

         Advance Auto Parts filed its first motion to dismiss or in the alternative motion for summary judgment (Doc. 9) asserting Lee's complaint should be dismissed because he failed to comply with Rule 8 and failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Advance also posits that his claims are time barred.

         Lee responded by seeking leave to amend his complaint on two occasions. (Doc. 13 and 29). The court allowed Lee to file both amended complaints. In his first amended complaint, Lee amended "by asking for a monetary maximum amount allowed for violating our agreement for me being able to have Sundays off and being retaliated against after filing charge though the EEOC." (Doc. 13). In his second amended complaint, Lee amended "by adding a dollar amount to my law suit in the amount of 80 million dollars.... for discrimination of my religious beliefs, violating agreement that was agreed upon my employment, retaliation upon me after I file charges with the EEOC." (Doc. 19). No other statements, allegations or claims were asserted in either of the amendments.


         A. Motion to Dismiss

         A court may grant a motion to dismiss for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted" under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A pleading states a claim for relief when, inter alia, it contains a "short and plain statement.. .showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).

         To withstand a motion to dismiss, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true," to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its fact. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 664 (2009) (citation omitted). A claim is facially plausible when it contains sufficient factual contend for the court "to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Plausibility does not equate to possibility or probability; it lies somewhere in between. Id. Plausibility simply calls for enough factual allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence to support the elements of the claim. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). The court must view all well pleaded facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Unmaliciously Francise, LLC. v. Barrie, 819 F.3d 170 174(5thCir.2016).

         B. Federal Rule 8

         Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) governs the requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief. Specifically, the rule requires the pleading contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Id. As stated supra, Lee does not provide any statement regarding his claim. Instead he attached his EEOC file. Though this format is clearly not in compliance with Rule 8(a)(2), Rule 8(e) provides "[p]leadings must ...

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