United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee
ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
T. Fowlkes, Jr. United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff Rachel Westbrook's
("Plaintiff) Complaint filed September 30, 2016. (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).
Plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis was
granted on October 3, 2016. (ECF Nos. 2 & 6). On November
16, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report and
Recommendation that Plaintiffs Complaint as against Teresa
Sims, Jean Claire Doyle, and Aaron Smith pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) be dismissed sua
sponte. (ECF No. 8). To date, no objections have been
reviewing the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation and Plaintiffs Complaint, the Court hereby
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Court adopts and incorporates the thorough analysis of the
Magistrate Judge's summary of the background and proposed
findings of facts in this case. See (ECF No. 8).
Standard for District Court's Review of a Report and
standard of review that is applied by the district court
depends on the nature of the matter considered by the
magistrate judge. See 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)). Any party who disagrees with a
magistrate judge's recommendation may file written
objections to the report and recommendation. See Thomas
v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 142 (1985). When a party fails to
timely object to a magistrate judge's recommended
decision, it waives any right to further judicial review of
that decision. Id. at 149 n.7; United States v.
Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981).
Standard for Motion To Dismiss
assessing a plaintiff's claim at the motion-to-dismiss
stage, the Sixth Circuit has stated that the court must
"construe the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff and accept all allegations as true."
Keys v. Humana, Inc., 684 F.3d 605, 608 (6th Cir.
2012). A complaint need not have specific facts, it need only
"give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests." Id.
(quoting Erikson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)).
However, the courts have also emphasized that the complaint
must raise more than labels, conclusions, or a
"formulaic recitation of a cause of action's
elements." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 545 (2007). The threshold inquiry in determining if
the moving party is entitled to dismissal is whether the
plaintiff has "provided the 'grounds' of his
entitle[ment] to relief." Id. at 555.
complaint can survive a motion to dismiss if it contains
"a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A claim
has "facial plausibility" if the plaintiff provides
enough factual allegations for the court "to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id. As the Iqbal
Court explains, "whether a complaint states a plausible
claim for relief will ... be a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense." Id. at 679. If
the complaint merely pleads facts that are parallel to the
defendant's liability, then the complaint "stops
short of the line between possibility and plausibility of
'entitlement to relief" Id. at 678 (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp., 550 U.S. at 557).
se complaints are held to a less stringent standard than
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, pro se
litigants "are not exempt from the requirements of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Wells v.
Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989); see also
Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F.App'x 608, 613 (6th Cir.
2011) ("[A] court cannot create a claim which [a
plaintiff] has not spelled out in his pleading.")
(internal quotation marks omitted).
filed a pro se complaint alleging employment
discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964 against her former employer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Tennessee ("Blue Cross"). In addition to Blue
Cross, Plaintiff also named three individuals as defendants.
These individuals are Teresa Sims, Westbrook's supervisor
at the time of her termination; Jean Claire Doyle, a
representative from Blue Cross's human resource
department; and Aaron Smith, who is otherwise unidentified in
Plaintiffs Complaint. The Sixth Circuit has interpreted Title
VII to impose no individual liability on managers or
supervisors who do not also qualify as employers under Title
VII. See Wathen v. General Electric Co., 115 F.3d
400, 403-06 (6th Cir. 1997); see also Roof v. Bel Brands
USA, Inc., 641 F.App'x 492, 496 (6th Cir. 2016).