United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
L. MAZE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendant Northport Health
Services, Inc.'s (“Northport”) Motion to
Dismiss. Doc. 7. On August 28, 2019, Plaintiff Kathy McKleroy
(“McKleroy”) filed a Complaint (doc. 1) against
Northport and Jacksonville Health and Rehabilitation, LLC
(“JHR”) requesting relief pursuant to the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
Northport argues that it should be dismissed from this case
because McKleroy did not exhaust her administrative remedies
against Northport by bringing an Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) Charge of Discrimination
against Northport. The Court agrees; thus, Northport's
Motion to Dismiss is due to be granted.
states in her Complaint that she is bringing an action for
unlawful employment practices and intentional discrimination
against her employer, JHR and Northport. Doc. 1, ¶ 6.
McKleroy also states that she filed an EEOC Charge of
Discrimination, but she does not include information about
which Defendant received the discrimination charge in her
Complaint. Id. at ¶ 8. The Charge of
Discrimination attached to McKleroy's Complaint named
only Jacksonville Health and Rehabilitation, LLC as
McKleroy's employer. See Doc. 1-1. In her
Complaint, McKleroy also states that she “began working
for the Defendant in or around 1985” and that her age
“motivated Defendant's decision to deny Plaintiff a
position.” Doc. 1, ¶ 28, 36. However, McKleroy
does not make clear in her Complaint which Defendant or
alleged employer she is referring to.
September 26, 2019, Northport Health Services, Inc. filed a
Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim.
Doc. 7. Northport notes that the Charge of Discrimination
“does not identify, name, or refer to Northport in any
manner.” Id. at ¶ 3. Northport argues
that because McKleroy has not met the administrative
prerequisite of filing a Charge of Discrimination against
Northport, that all claims against Northport Health Services,
Inc. are due to be dismissed.
plaintiff must exhaust her administrative remedies before
filing a civil complaint for discrimination. 29 U.S.C. §
626(d)(1). Dismissal for failure to exhaust administrative
remedies should be raised in a motion to dismiss. Basel
v. Sec'y of Defense, 507 F. App'x. 873, 874
(11th Cir. 2013) (per curiam). To survive a motion to dismiss
for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the Court
must find that the Plaintiff made a good-faith effort to
comply with the EEOC procedural requirements and allowed the
EEOC an opportunity to investigate the merits of the
discrimination claim. Id.
general, a pleading must include “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However, to withstand
a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a
complaint “must plead enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Ray v.
Spirit Airlines, Inc., 836 F.3d 1340, 1347-48 (11th Cir.
2016) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)) (internal quotation marks omitted). “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 complaint that “succeeds in identifying facts
that are suggestive enough to render [the necessary elements
of a claim] plausible” will survive a motion to
dismiss. Watts v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d
1289, 1296 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The Court limits its review of Northport's Rule
12 motion to McKleroy's complaint and EEOC
addition to McKleroy's complaint (doc. 1), the parties
point to three documents to support their arguments: (a)
McKleroy's EEOC charge (doc. 1-1), (b) the deposition of
Derek Patterson (doc. 13-1), and (c) the declaration of
Phillip Cody Long (doc. 16-1). Before the Court can rule on
Northport's Rule 12(b) motion, it must decide which of
these documents (if any) it may consider in making its
a court looks only to the face of the complaint when deciding
Rule 12 motions; it may not consider matters outside the
pleadings. If it does, Rule 12(d) requires the Court to
convert the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary
judgment under Rule 56. See Trustmark Ins. Co. v. ESLU,
Inc., 299 F.3d 1265, 1267 (11th Cir. 2002)
(“Whenever a judge considers matters outside the
pleadings in a 12(b)(6) motion, that motion is thereby
converted into a Rule 56 Summary Judgment motion.”).
that's not always the case. The court may
consider an extraneous document without converting a Rule
12(b) motion into a Rule 56 motion if (1) the document is
central to the plaintiff's claim, and (2) its
authenticity is not challenged. See Speaker v. U.S.
Dep't of Health & Human Servs. Ctrs. for Disease
Control & Prevention, 623 F.3d 1371, 1379 (11th Cir.
2010); see also Harris v. Ivax Corp., 182 F.3d 799,
802 n.2 (11th Cir. 1999) (“a document central to the
complaint that the defense appends to its motion to dismiss
is also properly considered, provided that its contents are
not in dispute”).
one of the three documents mentioned above-McKleroy's
EEOC charge (doc. 1-1)-fits this description. First,
McKleroy's EEOC charge is central to her claim, as
McKleroy admits in her complaint that the EEOC charge was a
“prerequisite” for filing this lawsuit and she
attached it to her complaint. Doc. 1 at ¶ 9. Second,
neither party disputes the authenticity of the EEOC charge.
Accordingly, the Court may consider McKleroy's EEOC
charge without converting Northport's motion to dismiss
into a motion for summary judgment. See Hicks v. City of
Alabaster, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33681, 2013 WL 988874,
at *7 n.5 (N.D. Ala. Mar. 12, 2013) (“when considering
a motion to dismiss, the court may take judicial notice of
the contents of relevant public records, which include EEOC
Charges and Right to Sue Letters.”) (citations
omitted); Sessom v. Wellstar Hosp.,