United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RANDY M. MARTINEZ, Plaintiff,
CITY OF BIRMINGHAM, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
E. OTT CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff Randy M. Martinez brings claims against his
employer, the City of Birmingham, under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
et seq. (“Title VII”), and 42 U.S.C. §§
1981 (“Section 1981”). (Doc. 1). Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges he was discriminated and retaliated against
because of his race and national origin. (Id.). The
complaint contains 11 separate counts,  with 552 numbered
paragraphs, over 85 pages. (Id.). Each count
incorporates by reference the first 37 paragraphs of the
complaint and then identically repeats dozens of the same
paragraphs containing factual assertions and legal
conclusions. (Id.). Defendant moves to dismiss the
complaint as time-barred and for failure to state a claim.
(Doc. 6). For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss
is due to be granted, but Plaintiff will be given the
opportunity to amend his complaint to adequately state a
claim or claims.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes a motion to
dismiss all or some of the claims in a complaint on the
ground that its allegations fail to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. That provision is read in light of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8(a)(2), which requires
only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” in order to
“give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests, ” Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). The court is required to
accept the well-pled factual allegations of the complaint as
true and give the plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable
factual inferences. See Hazewood v. Foundation Financial
Group, LLC, 551 F.3d 1223, 1224 (11th Cir. 2008).
However, “courts ‘are not bound to accept as true
a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Papasan
v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)); see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009)
(“Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from
the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but
it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff
armed with nothing more than conclusions.”). Nor is it
proper to assume that the plaintiff can prove facts it has
not alleged or that the defendants have violated the law in
ways that have not been alleged. Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 563 n.8 (citing Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal.,
Inc. v. Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983)).
a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's
obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to
relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id., 550 U.S. at 555 (citations,
brackets, and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level . . . .”
Id. Thus, “a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face, '”
i.e., its “factual content . . . allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (citations omitted). “[I]n practice, a
complaint . . . must contain either direct or inferential
allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to
sustain recovery under some viable legal
theory.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 562 (quoting
Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101,
1106 (7th Cir. 1984) (internal quotation marks omitted;
emphasis and omission in original)).
moves to dismiss the complaint in its entirety for two
alternative reasons. Defendant first challenges the
timeliness of the complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(1). (Doc. 6 at 3). Even if Plaintiff's
complaint is timely, Defendant asserts it fails to state a
cognizable discrimination and/or retaliation claim.
(Id. at 3-8). Defendant concludes that the complaint
“contradicts any good faith effort to maintain
efficiency in the judicial system, and instead uses the
process as a means to harass, cause unnecessary delay and
needlessly increase the cost of litigation . . . .”
(Id. at 8).
Timeliness of Complaint
civil action under Title VII must be filed in the district
court within 90 days of the claimant's receipt of a right
to sue letter from the EEOC. See 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(1). The limitations period commences upon the
claimant's receipt of the right to sue letter, and not on
the issuance of the letter. Zillyette v. Capital One Fin.
Corp., 179 F.3d 1337, 1339 (11th Cir. 1999)
(“[S]tatutory notification is complete only upon actual
receipt of the suit letter”); see also Stallworth
v. Wells Fargo Armored Servs. Corp., 936 F.2d 522, 524
(11th Cir. 1991); Norris v. Florida Dept. of Health &
Rehab. Servs., 730 F.2d 682 (11th Cir. 1984). The
Eleventh Circuit, however, has not delineated “a rule
determining when a complainant has received notice of the
right to sue.” Kerr v. McDonald's
Corp., 427 F.3d 947, 952 (11th Cir. 2005). Rather,
the 90 day period is analyzed “on a case-by-case basis
to fashion a fair and reasonable rule for the circumstances
of each case . . . .” Zillyette, 179 F.3d at
1340 (citations omitted). Once the defendant contests the
timeliness issue, the plaintiff has the burden of
establishing he met the 90 day filing requirement. Green
v. Union Foundry Co., 281 F.3d 1229, 1234 (11th Cir.
2002); Jackson v. Seaboard Coast Line R.R. Co., 678
F.2d 992, 1010 (11th Cir. 1982).
satisfied his burden. The EEOC issued Plaintiff two right to
sue letters, both dated December 19, 2017. (Doc. 1-1 at
4-7). Generally, the court presumes three days for the
delivery of mail and, therefore, the court would assume
Plaintiff received his right to sue letters by December 22,
2017. That delivery date would make his complaint, filed on
March 23, 2018, one day past the 90 day deadline.
complaint, however, states he received the right to sue
letters on December 24, 2017. (Doc. 1 ¶ 10).
Additionally, in response to the motion to dismiss, Plaintiff
attached two envelopes, with the return address of the EEOC,
showing post office processing dates of December 21,
2017. (Doc. 10 at 12). Although the envelopes do
not indicate to whom the enclosed letters were addressed and
there is not any sworn testimony from Plaintiff regarding the
envelopes or his receipt of the letters from the EEOC, the
court assumes the evidence establishes the EEOC mailed the
letters on or about December 21, 2017, and, therefore, under
the three day delivery presumption, Plaintiff received them
on December 24, 2018. As such, for purposes of this motion, the
court concludes Plaintiff's complaint was filed 89 days
after receipt of his right to sue letters. The complaint is,
Failure to State a Claim
the court addresses the specific claims alleged by Plaintiff,
the court first addresses an overarching problem with the
complaint. The complaint is 85 pages long (not counting
exhibits) and contains 552 paragraphs. Each of the 11 counts
contains approximately 45 paragraphs with the vast majority
of those paragraphs repeating identical allegations, albeit
changing a word here or there. Each count repeats
approximately 20 paragraphs of factual allegations asserted
in the statement of facts, as well as over 20 paragraphs of
conclusory legal assumptions contained in the first count of
the complaint. Additionally, counts four through eight, as
well as eleven, appear to be identical, save one paragraph,
purporting to state the alleged adverse employment action.
(See Doc. 1 ¶¶ 205, 251, 297, 343, 389,
531). Counts nine and ten appear to be identical to count
eight. (Id. ¶¶ 360-450).
currently pled, the complaint is unduly repetitive to the
point of unfairly burdening Defendant and offending
fundamental principles of due process. See Anderson v.
District Board of Trustees of Central Florida Community
College, 77 F.3d 364, 366-67 (11th Cir. 1996). It
certainly runs afoul of Rule 8's requirement that
plaintiff provide “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
See Vibe Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d
1291, 1295 (11th Cir. 2018). Additionally, “each count
is replete with factual allegations that could not possibly
be material to that specific count, and . . . any allegations
that are material are buried beneath innumerable pages of
rambling irrelevancies.” Magluta v. Samples,
256 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2001). Such redundant and
long-winded complaints “impede the due administration
of justice and, in a very real sense, amount to the
obstruction of justice.” Strategic Income Fund,
L.L.C. v. Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Corp., 305 F.3d 1293,
1295 (11th Cir. 2002); see also Vibe Micro, 878 F.3d
at 1295 (noting that “[c]ourts in the Eleventh Circuit
have little tolerance for shotgun pleadings”).
Pleadings such as the one here also impose ...