United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion to Strike And/ Or Dismiss (R.
Doc. 33) filed by the Defendant, David Bernhardt,
Acting Secretary of the Department of the Interior
(“Secretary”, “Defendant”, or
“DOI”) seeking an order, pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a), 12(b)(1), 12(f), and 41(b),
dismissing Plaintiff Suleiman Ibrahim
(“Ibrahim”)'s Amended Complaint (R. Doc. 32).
In the alternative, Defendant seeks an order form this Court
striking portions of that pleading which do not comply with
the above-referenced rules as well as the Court's
previous orders entered on June 25, 2019 and July 10, 2019,
respectively. See R. Docs. 30 & 32. Plaintiff
Ibrahim opposes this motion. R. Doc. 38. This motion was
heard on the briefs on August 28, 2019. On November 1, 2019,
following the consent of the parties, this matter was
referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge in
accordance with Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). R. Doc. 45.
January 7, 2019, Plaintiff Ibrahim filed a complaint in
District Court alleging various claims of discriminatory
conduct by the Defendant David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary of
the Department of the Interior stemming from his employment
with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
(“BSEE”). R. Doc. 1.
Ibrahim complains that BSEE treated him with unequal terms
and conditions of employment, failed to promote him,
terminated his employment, and retaliated against him for
engaging in the protected activity of making an EEOC charge.
R. Doc. 1, p. 4. Plaintiff Ibrahim is a black male, who
practices Islam, and is from Sudan. Id. Ibrahim
indicated on a checkbox form that BSEE discriminated against
him on the basis of his race, color, gender/sex, religion,
national origin, and age. Id. This action was
brought pursuant to both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as codified 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et
seq. (“Title VII”), as well as the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as codified 29
U.S.C. §§ 621 to 634 (“ADEA”). R. Doc.
1, p. 3.
action appeals a final decision with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) as to
Plaintiff's July 21, 2016 complaint of employment
discrimination. R. Doc. 1-2; Ibrahim v. Bernhardt,
EEOC Appeal No. 0120172370 (July 3, 2017). In that decision,
the EEOC found that Ibrahim worked as a Petroleum Engineer at
the Agency's BSEE in the Gulf of Mexico region in New
Orleans, Louisiana. R. Doc. 1-2, p. 1. The EEOC also found
Ibrahim filed his charge of employment discrimination against
the DOI because he claimed he was subjected to hostile work
environment and was discriminated against on the basis of his
race (African-American), national origin (Sudanese), sex
(male), religion (Muslim), color (black), and age (55), and
in reprisal for his protected EEO activity. Id.
the EEOC considered these charges in purview of Ibrahim's
claims that he was denied training, suspended for fourteen
(14) days, belittled, and excluded from meetings.
Id. In issuing its decision, the EEOC focused on
four main incidents brought to its attention in Ibrahim's
formal complaint: (1) Ibrahim's performance expectations
were changed causing him to underperform and be denied a
within grade increase in September 2016; (2) on April 22,
2016, Ibrahim was issued a proposed fourteen-day suspension
without pay; (3) Ibrahim was denied religious reasonable
accommodation during Ramadan; and (4) between June 11, 2016
and June 27, 2016, Ibrahim was suspended without pay for
fourteen days. R. Doc. 1-2, p. 2.
moved to add initial claims and consolidate this action with
another action he instituted against David Bernhardt, Acting
Secretary, Department of the Interior. R. Docs. 12 & 28;
see Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, No. 19-cv-09316 (E.D. La.
filed April 12, 2019). The Court denied his motion to amend
finding the amendment futile where the Court does not possess
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the delinquently
exhausted claims. See R. Doc. 30. As such, the Court
did not permit Plaintiff to add the claims that Ibrahim was
discriminated against on the basis of his sex (male), age,
race (African-American), color (black), religion (Muslim),
national origin (Sudanese), and in reprisal for prior
protected EEO activity when he was subjected to a hostile
work environment concerning promotional opportunities,
training, religious accommodation, his work performance and
appraisals, and student loan repayment program participation
as discussed in Ibrahim's October 8, 2015 EEOC Complaint
and against BSEE. Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, EEOC Appeal
No. 0120180689 (July 3, 2017). See R. Doc. 12-1. The
Court did, however, permit Plaintiff to consolidate with this
claim with two additional actions he had pending against BSEE
stemming from separate events and EEOC complaints. R. Doc. 19
(Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, 2:19-cv-09316-KWR) & R.
Doc. 21 (Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, 2:19-cv-02201-KWR).
30, 2019, the Secretary moved for a more definite statement
as the complaints filed by Plaintiff were completed checkbox
forms coupled with copies of administrative records extracts,
none of which contained direct allegations and ultimately
hindered the DOI from framing a responsive answer. R. Docs.
26 & 33-1, p. 2. The Court subsequently granted the
DOI's motion and ordered that Plaintiff Suleiman Ibrahim
file an amended complaint and required the Plaintiff to
specifically identify and detail the following:
1. facts of his Title VII claim and whether they were
submitted to the EEOC or handled at the administrative phase;
2. responsible management officials and what they did that he
believes constitutes discrimination;
3. the actions which he contends were
discriminatory/retaliatory, or even on what basis the
officials/actions treated him disparately; and
4. whether he complained about the alleged discriminatory
acts and the results of the complaints made, to whom they
were made and when they were made.
R. Doc. 31, p. 4.
this instant motion, the Secretary claims that Plaintiff has
disregarded both the Court's orders and has asserted
claims and theories inapt to federal sector employment
discrimination claims in filing a restated fifty-three (53)
page complaint; that asserts twelve separate claims for
relief under both federal and state anti-discrimination law,
that seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as
compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages that includes
pre- and post- judgement interest; and necessarily
incorporates the claims the Court has already disallowed
Plaintiff from including. R. Doc. 33-1, p. 3. The Secretary
also claims that Plaintiff's lengthy narratives, as
opposed to plain factual averments, appear to be facially
irrelevant to any of the claims that Ibrahim timely
exhausted. Id. As such, the Secretary contends that
Plaintiff's complaint is subject to dismissal pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and for failure to
comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Id.
Ibrahim opposes the motion contending that he has fully
cooperated with the Court's instructions by editing and
reforming his pleading in such a manner as to address
Defendant's concerns. R. Doc. 38, p. 1. Specifically,
Ibrahim contends that he responded to the Court's four
directives. R. Doc. 38, p. 2-3. Ibrahim also states he
included in the proposed pleading facts related to numerous
other charges he made with the EEOC and against the Secretary
to Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, EEOC Appeal No. 0120181334
and Ibrahim v. Bernhardt, EEOC Appeal No.
0120182239, as well as three other EEOC decisions.
See R. Doc. 38, in passim.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 8(a) provides
“[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must
(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has
jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief
in the alternative or ...