United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the court on Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
(Doc. # 5) and the Reassignment Order transferring this case
to the undersigned (Doc. # 6). In the reassignment order, the
Magistrate Judge explained that he would not be able to
obtain consent from all parties in this action before
conducting the preliminary screening of Plaintiff's
amended complaint mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The
court has reviewed Plaintiff's amended complaint pursuant
to § 1915. After careful review, the court concludes
that Plaintiff's claims against all but one Defendant are
due to be dismissed without prejudice. Moreover, the court
concludes that Plaintiff's claims against the remaining
Defendant must be repled in a Second Amended Complaint.
The Amended Complaint's Allegations
amended complaint presents claims against (1) unidentified
office staff for Swift Lumber, (2) Mike Jaye, (3) Don Gordon,
(4) Steve Reynolds, (5) Peacock Pavers, and (6) Swift Lumber.
(Doc. # 5 at 1, 5-6). Plaintiff claims that Defendants
discriminated against him by failing to hire him, subjecting
him to unequal terms and conditions of employment,
retaliating against him, and terminating his employment.
(Id. at 3). He alleges that Defendants discriminated
against him because of his race, color, and gender.
(Id. at 7). He further asserts that the court has
jurisdiction over his claims under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. (Id. at 5).
to the amended complaint, Defendant Swift Lumber hired
Plaintiff to work for one week. (Id. at 12). Then,
Defendant Mike Jaye fired Plaintiff and explained that he had
the right to fire Plaintiff without cause because Plaintiff
had worked for Swift Lumber for less than ninety days.
(Id.). Swift Lumber's plant manager informed
Plaintiff that he could do nothing to remedy the situation.
(Id. at 13). Plaintiff applied for other positions
at Swift Lumber for the next four years but received no
response. (Id.). A Swift Lumber employee then told
him that the company does not re-hire employees.
(Id. at 14). Plaintiff complains that Swift Lumber
fired him for no reason. (Id.).
allegedly worked for Defendant Peacock Pavers from June 2016
to March 16, 2017. (Id. at 7). Plaintiff filed a
charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) on March 3, 2017. (Id. at 4).
Peacock Pavers allegedly fired Plaintiff in March 2017 for
failing to produce “perfect pavers.”
(Id. at 10). According to Plaintiff, Peacock
Pavers's staff conducted no investigation before firing
him. (Id.). Moreover, he claims Defendant Steve
Reynolds told an unemployment board that the company had
fired Plaintiff for presenting false allegations to the EEOC.
(Id. at 10).
has attached an offense report from the Escambia County
Sheriff's Office to his amended complaint. (Id.
at 9). The offense report states that Defendant Reynolds
“had been aggressive and threatening” towards
Plaintiff while Plaintiff worked at Peacock Pavers.
(Id.). Plaintiff reported to an officer that
Reynolds had threatened to “do everything he could to
get [Plaintiff] out of this workplace.” (Id.).
In March 2017, Reynolds learned of Plaintiff's EEOC
complaint. (Id.). On March 13, 2017, Plaintiff came
to his worksite and presented an excuse for missing work.
(Id.). He contends Reynolds aggressively approached
him and yelled at him. (Id.). Reynolds left the
conversation and returned with a hammer, which he held in his
pocket. (Id.). According to Plaintiff, Reynolds
threatened to “blow his brains out” if the EEOC
complaint caused Reynolds to lose his job. (Id.).
Plaintiff reported the incident to the sheriff's office
on March 17, 2017. (Id.).
Standard of Review
actions where a plaintiff has been granted in forma
pauperis status, the court is obligated to dismiss the
action if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a
claim for relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) &
(ii). The court conducts the review required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) using the standards applied to
motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Alba v. Montford, 517 F.3d 1249, 1252 (11th Cir.
2008). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint must
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although “[t]he
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, '” the complaint must demonstrate
“more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Id. A plausible claim for
relief requires “enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence” to
support the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. In
considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1)
eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely
legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield,
Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 F. App'x 136, 138
(11th Cir. 2011) (unpublished) (quoting Am. Dental Assn.
v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)).
careful review, the court concludes that all claims against
Defendants Jaye, Reynolds, Gordon, office staff of Swift
Lumber, and Swift Lumber are due to be dismissed without
prejudice. Additionally, the court concludes that Plaintiff
should be required to re-plead his claims against Defendant
Peacock Pavers before the Clerk of Court effectuates service
on that Defendant.
All Title VII Claims Against Individual Defendants are Due to
has included (or sought to include) several individuals --
Jaye, Reynolds, Gordon, and unidentified office staff -- as
Defendants in this action. However, the only law cited by
Plaintiff in support of his claims is Title VII.
(See Doc. # 5 at 5). It is well settled that a
plaintiff cannot sue an individual employee under Title VII.
E.g., Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826,
832 (11th Cir. 2007). Thus, Plaintiff cannot bring a Title
VII claim against Jaye, Reynolds, Gordon, or any individual
employee in Swift Lumber's office staff. Therefore, these
Defendants are due to be dismissed without prejudice from
Plaintiff's Title VII Claims Against Defendant Swift
Lumber are Due to be Dismissed for Failure to Plead