United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an employment discrimination action. The case is before the
court on defendant Security Engineers, Inc.'s motion to
dismiss pro se plaintiff Pamela
Blackmore-Jenkins's amended complaint and motion for a
more definite statement. (Doc. 12). Security Engineers asks
the court to dismiss Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins's OSHA
retaliation claim. Security Engineers asks the court to
require Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins to re-plead her remaining
Blackmore-Jenkins responded to the motion. (Doc. 14). She
contends that pursuant to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, her amended complaint provides a short and
plain statement that puts Security Engineers on notice of the
claims that she asserts her former employer.
reasons explained below, the Court finds that Security
Engineers's motion is due to be granted in part and
denied in part.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule
12(b)(6) enables a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint
for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
survive a motion to dismiss, 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). 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. A
complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, but
a complaint must contain “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555.
resolving a motion to dismiss, the court must “accept
the allegations in the complaint as true and constru[e] them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Miljkovic v. Shafritz & Dinkin, P.A., 791 F.3d
1291, 1297 (11th Cir. 2015) (quoting Hill v. White,
321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003) (per curiam)). Although
the court must accept well-pleaded facts as true, the court
is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion
couched as a factual allegation.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555.
as here, a plaintiff proceeds pro se, the court must
liberally construe the complaint. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). “‘[A]
pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must
be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.'” Id. (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
Cf. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(e) (“Pleadings must be
construed so as to do justice.”). Still, the court may
not “serve as de facto counsel for a party, or
. . . rewrite an otherwise deficient pleading” to
“sustain an action.” Campbell v. Air Jamaica
Ltd., 760 F.3d 1165, 1168-69 (11th Cir. 2014) (internal
quotations and citations omitted). In other words,
“[o]nce a pro se litigant is in court, [s]he
is subject to the relevant laws and rules of court, including
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” Smith v.
Fla. Dept. of Corr., 369 F.App'x. 36, 38 (11th Cir.
2010) (citing Moon v. Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837
(11th Cir. 1989)).
Blackmore-Jenkins is over 40-years old. (Doc. 11, p. 3). She
started working for Security Engineers in July 2015, and at
an unspecified time, Security Engineers terminated her
employment. (Doc. 11, p. 1, ¶ 3; Doc. 11, p. 9).
she was employed, Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins filed a complaint
with Security Engineers in which she stated that other
employees sexually harassed her. Specifically, Ms.
Blackmore-Jenkins “made complaints of sexual comments,
visual displays, actions of sexual intimidation and physical
touching in a secluded room.” (Doc. 11, p. 2, ¶
4). According to Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins, one month after she
filed her complaint, a co-worker pushed Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins
“against the ladies bathroom door, pressing her body
and breast firmly against” Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins. (Doc.
11, p. 2, ¶ 5). Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins “immediately
wrote a letter to Human Resources.” (Doc. 11, p. 2,
amended complaint, Ms. Blackmore-Jenkins alleges that one
month after she wrote the letter to human resources:
Captain Adams Jenkins was working Patrol. Captain Jenkins was
lingering in the dispatch office more than usual. I was
sitting with my back facing the copier, the phone was to my
left. Captain Jenkins stood behind my office chair. Moving
and pressing against the chair, caused the chair to swivel to
the left. I slid the chair forward to give him some room and
get him off of the chair. With my glasses on, I dropped my
head forward, to pretend I was reading. He used the dispatch
phone to make a call. He continued to stand behind the chair
while talking and consistently rotating and moving the chair.
He rotated the chair to rub his pelvic area with an erected
penis against my arm. I forcefully slid my chair forward. He
slid the chair back toward his and he said, “You
Alright.” As if there was enough space between the ...