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Oden v. Mid South Health Rehab

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

May 1, 2015

SHERRY ODEN, Plaintiff,
v.
MID SOUTH HEALTH REHAB, Defendant.

ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL

JOHN T. FOWLKES, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court comes Plaintiff Sherry Oden's pro se Complaint alleging race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. (ECF No. 1). This case was referred to the United States Magistrate Judge for management and for all pretrial matters for determination and/or report and recommendation as appropriate. (Admin. Order 2013-05, April 29, 2013). Pursuant to such Order, on March 26, 2015, the Magistrate Judge issued her Report and Recommendation that Plaintiff's Complaint be dismissed via 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) review. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff did not file objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. However, Plaintiff did file an Amended Complaint on April 6, 2015, containing additional factual allegations. (ECF No. 7).

For the following reasons, the Court finds the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation should be ADOPTED even with the additional facts laid out in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.5>

I. FACTUAL HISTORY

The Plaintiff has filed no objections to the Magistrate Judge's proposed facts. Therefore, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings of fact as the factual history. (ECF No. 6 at 2-3). Further, the Court accepts as true the following additional factual allegations taken from Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 7); see generally (ECF No. 7-4) (describing the January 17, 2013, incident in more detail). Plaintiff alleges that Abby Lipford discriminated against Plaintiff when "words of HIPPA violation came out of [Plaintiff's] mouth." (ECF No. 7 at 2). Additionally, Plaintiff alleges many other workplace complaints. (ECF No. 7-1) (stating that food from the kitchen was "scorching hot"); see also (ECF No. 7-5) (stating that "[b]ecause of those many [HIPPA] complaints [Plaintiff's] work hours started to be less than other black female CNA's that w[ere] also on the same work shift as [Plaintiff]."). Plaintiff also felt discriminated when the cafeteria staff would provide free meals to friends, but not to her. (ECF No. 7-6).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Review of a Magistrate Judge's Determination

The district court has the authority to "designate a magistrate judge to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the court, of any motion." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). "The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

The district court has appellate jurisdiction over any decisions the magistrate judge issues pursuant to such a referral. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. The standard of review that5> is applied by the district court depends on the nature of the matter considered by the magistrate judge. See Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3) ("The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to."); Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003) ("A district court normally applies a clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for nondispositive preliminary measures. A district court must review dispositive motions under the de novo standard." (internal citations omitted)).

B. Rule 12(b)(6)

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a complaint that "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). This allows the "defendant to test whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief even if everything alleged in the complaint is true." Mayer v. Mylod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993) (emphasis added) (citing Nishiyama v. Dickson Cnty., 814 F.2d 277, 279 (6th Cir. 1987)).

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, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above [a] speculative level." Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007) (first alteration in original) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). 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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Although the complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's "[]bare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (citing Twombly, 5> 550 U.S. at 555) ("[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions."). "[D]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim is context-specific, requiring the... court to draw on its experience and common sense." Id. at 663-64 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). When undertaking a motion to dismiss, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court may look to "matters of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint'" for guidance. Barany-Synder v. Weiner, 539 F.3d 327, 332 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Amini v. Oberlin Coll., 259 F.3d 493, 502 (6th Cir. 2001))).

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Magistrate Judge's Report and ...


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