United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RITA D. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
STEVEN T. MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
H. ENGLAND, III, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Rita D. Taylor (“Taylor”) brings this action
against Defendant Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the United
States Department of Treasury alleging various claims of
employment discrimination and retaliation. (Doc. 5).
Defendant has moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, for
summary judgment. (Doc. 12). Defendant makes several
arguments in its motion, notably that the action should be
dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction and pursuant to 12(b)(6)
for failure to state a claim. (see doc. 13). The
motion is fully briefed and ripe for review. For the reasons
below, Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of
jurisdiction is due to be GRANTED.
Standard of Review
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, with the power to
hear only cases authorized by the Constitution or by statute.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1), a party may move the court to dismiss a case if the
court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case.
Even when a party does not assert a jurisdictional challenge,
“a federal court is obligated to inquire into subject
matter jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it may be
lacking.” Bochese v. Town of Ponce Inlet, 405
F.3d 964, 975 (11th Cir. 2005). Simply put, a federal court
is powerless to act beyond its constitutional or statutory
grant of subject-matter jurisdiction. Smith v. GTE
Corp., 236 F.3d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 2001). Regardless
of how the issue came before the court, a plaintiff, as the
party invoking jurisdiction, bears the burden of establishing
the court's subject-matter jurisdiction. Taylor v.
Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994).
challenge to a court's subject matter jurisdiction may
come by way of a facial attack or a factual attack:
Facial attacks on the complaint require the court merely to
look and see if the plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a
basis of subject matter jurisdiction, and the allegations in
his complaint are taken as true for the purposes of the
motion. Factual attacks, on the other hand, challenge the
existence of subject matter jurisdiction in fact,
irrespective of the pleadings, and matters outside the
pleadings, such as testimony and affidavits, are considered.
Garcia v. Copenhaver, Bell & Assocs., MDs, 104
F.3d 1256, 1261 (11th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing the pleader is entitled to relief.”
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Mere “labels and conclusions” or
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” are insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678. (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Rule 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P., permits dismissal when a
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. “To survive 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 face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted). A complaint states a facially
plausible claim for relief “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citation omitted). The
complaint must establish “more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. See
also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (“Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.”). Ultimately, this inquiry is a
“context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
contends that many of Taylor's claims are barred by
sovereign immunity and the remaining claims are untimely and
must be dismissed. (Doc. 13 at 11-12).
speaking, the United States,  as a sovereign, is immune from
suit unless it has consented to be sued. United States v.
Sherwood, 312 U.S. 584, 586 (1941). “Sovereign
immunity is jurisdictional in nature, and the terms of the
United States' consent to be sued in any court define
that court's jurisdiction to entertain the suit.”
F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994). Waivers
of sovereign immunity are to be strictly construed with no
exceptions implied. United States v. Nordic Vill.,
Inc., 503 U.S. 30, 34 (1992). Therefore, in the absence
of clear congressional intent, the courts routinely find no
jurisdiction to entertain suits against the United States and
dismiss any such actions. United States v. Mitchell,
445 U.S. 535, 538 (1980).
case, the United States has not waived its sovereign
immunity. Therefore, this Court lacks jurisdiction over many
of Taylor's claims, including those asserting violations
of the Constitution or any IRS Code Manuals or any other
claims outside of Title VII or the Age Discrimination
Employment Act (“ADEA”). (Doc. 5 at 3-4). See
Brown v. Gen. Servs. Admin., 425 U.S. 820 (1976);
Leonard v. Rumsfeld, 146 F.Supp.2d 1227 (M.D. Ala.