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Tompkins-Wells v. Shelby County Head Start

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

September 29, 2014

LINDA TOMPKINS-WELLS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHELBY COUNTY HEAD START, AFSCME LOCAL 1733, HAVIER SMITH, CHAD JOHNSON, and NETRA WEATHERSBY, Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION GRANTING DEFENDANT AFSCME'S MOTION TO DISMISS

JOHN T. FOWLKES, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation filed on August 11, 2014, ECF No. 46, that recommends granting the Defendant American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union's ("AFSCME") Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 37, and dismissal of Plaintiff's action. On August 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed Objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation.[1] (ECF No. 48). On August 26, 2014, Defendant AFSCME filed its Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's objections to the report and recommendation. (ECF No. 49).

The Court has reviewed de novo the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, the legal analysis, Plaintiff's objections, Defendant's response to Plaintiff's objections, and the entire record. The Court finds that the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, ECF No. 46, should be adopted and grants the Defendant AFSME's Motion to Dismiss for the reasons provided below.

II. FINDINGS OF FACT

The Court adopts the Magistrate's proposed findings of fact as set out in her report and recommendation to which there were no objections. (ECF No. 46).

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A district judge has the discretion to refer dispositive matters to a magistrate judge to conduct a hearing and propose findings of fact and recommendations. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The rules provide that:

Within fourteen days after being served with a copy, any party may serve and file written objections to such proposed findings and recommendations as provided by the rules of court. A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.

See 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B) and (C); Fed. Rule Civ. P. 72(b); Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.App'x. 308, 311 (6th Cir. 2003).

The district court judge must review the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings of fact and recommendations under a de novo determination. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); See e.g. Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.App'x. 308, 311, 2003 WL 21321184 (6th Cir. 2003). Furthermore, the district court must review dispositive motions under the de novo standard. Matthews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 275 (1976).

When evaluating a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. 12(b)(6), the Court must determine whether the complaint alleges "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 668 (2009)(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is plausible if the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw reasonable inferences that the defendant may be liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. citing, Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. A claim is plausible on its face if "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Although the complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff should provide grounds of his entitlement to relief that require more than mere labels and conclusions. A formalistic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

On June 6, 2014, Defendant AFSCME Local 1733 filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 37). AFSCME claims that: 1) plaintiff has failed to exhaust her remedies against AFSCME, since it was not a party to Plaintiff's EEOC charge and the claims are now barred by the statute of limitations; 2) Plaintiff's employment was terminated by SCHS and not by AFSMCE; and 3) under the LMRA, Plaintiff as a public employee cannot sue her employer or its union. On August 8, 2014, Plaintiff filed her response in opposition to AFSCME's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 44).

The Magistrate Judge issued her Report and Recommendation on August 11, 2014, that the Court grant AFSME's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 46). On August 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed her written objections. (ECF No. 48). The Magistrate Judge recommended dismissal of the complaint in full against AFSCME because: 1) Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies against AFSCME within the 300-day statutory period; 2) Plaintiff was not employed by AFSCME; and 3) the six-month statute of limitation period for breach of duty and fair representation claims against a union has expired. (ECF No. 46). Agreeing with the Magistrate ...


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