United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
RICHARDSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are a Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge (Doc. No. 22) and Objections filed by
Plaintiff (Doc. Nos. 25-27). Related to Docket Nos. 26 and
27, also pending are Plaintiff's motions for a default
judgment (Doc. Nos. 21, 24).
magistrate judge issues a report and recommendation regarding
a dispositive pretrial matter, the district court must review
de novo any portion of the report and recommendation
to which a proper objection is made. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the
recommended disposition, review further evidence, or return
the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
district court is not required to review, under a de
novo or any other standard, those aspects of the report
and recommendation to which no objection is made. Ashraf
v. Adventist Health System/Sunbelt, Inc., 322 F.Supp.3d
879, 881 (W.D. Tenn. 2018); Benson v. Walden
Security, No. 3:18-cv-0010, 2018 WL 6322332, at * 3
(M.D. Tenn. Dec. 4, 2018). The district court should adopt
the magistrate judge's findings and rulings to which no
specific objection is filed. Id.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3),
the Court has reviewed de novo the portion of the
Report and Recommendation to which Plaintiff filed objection,
the Objections, and the file. For the reasons stated herein,
the Objections of the Plaintiff are overruled, and the Report
and Recommendation is adopted and approved. Defendants'
Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 12 and 13) are granted, and
Plaintiff's federal claims are dismissed. The Court, in
its discretion, declines to exercise jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's state law claims, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
facts are more fully set forth in the Report and
Recommendation, but for purposes of this Order, the Court
notes that Plaintiff filed his Complaint, pro se, on
March 25, 2019 (Doc. No. 1). The Complaint alleges that it is
brought pursuant to Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et
seq.) and Section 1981 (42 U.S.C. § 1981) for
retaliation in employment. Although Plaintiff checked boxes
on the form complaint indicating that he was bringing claims
pursuant to relevant state, city or county law, he failed to
specify what those laws were. The Defendants are Hatch
Stamping, Plaintiff's former employer, and Josh Jordan,
Plaintiff's former supervisor. Plaintiff alleges that the
discriminatory acts occurred on August 9, 2017. Plaintiff
claims that he engaged in protective activity by refusing to
“run production” at Hatch Stamping and refusing
to sign off on “bad parts” (Doc. No. 1). He
contends that Defendant Jordan retaliated against Plaintiff
by terminating his employment. Plaintiff asserts that
Defendant Hatch Stamping was aware of Jordan's
retaliation against him and did nothing. Id.
argue, and the Magistrate Judge agreed, that Plaintiff's
Title VII claims are untimely. Plaintiff's employment was
terminated on August 9, 2017. Plaintiff received a Notice of
Right to Sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) on April 16, 2018. Plaintiff
filed a wrongful termination civil complaint in the Davidson
County General Sessions Court on June 6, 2018, but he
voluntarily non-suited that action on September 9, 2018. He
did not re-file this action until March 25, 2019.
seeking relief under Title VII must file a civil action
within 90 days of receipt of the Notice of Right to Sue
letter from the EEOC, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1), which
Plaintiff did. Filing a complaint that is later dismissed
without prejudice, however, does not toll this statutory
filing period under Title VII. Bills v. Shelby Cty.
Gov't, No. 2:17-cv-02634, 2018 WL 3398169, at * 4
(W.D. Tenn. July 12, 2018) (citing Wilson v. Grumann Ohio
Corp., 815 F.2d 26, 27 (6th Cir. 1987)). If a filed
complaint is thereafter voluntarily dismissed, the situation
is treated as if the plaintiff had never filed suit in the
first place, and the filed-but-voluntarily-dismissed
complaint does not affect the filing deadline under Title
three documents the Court considers to be Plaintiff's
Objections, the only reference he makes to the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation about timeliness is to state:
“PLAINTIFF CLAIM, IS CLEARY COGNIZABLE, AND FILED
TIMELY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF A COURT.” (Doc. No.
25). As noted above, the Court must review and address only
those parts of the Report and Recommendation to which
Plaintiff files specific objections. The above-quoted
statement from Plaintiff is not a specific objection. But
even if it was and thus had to be considered, the Court finds
that the Magistrate Judge's recommendation concerning the
Title VII claims in Plaintiff's Complaint is correct and
that those claims should be dismissed with prejudice.
has failed to file any specific objection to the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation that Plaintiff's Section 1981
claims be dismissed or that Defendant Jordan's Motion to
Dismiss be granted. In addition, with regard to both
Defendants, Plaintiff has not filed a specific objection to
the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that the Court
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's state law claims. Therefore, the Court need
not address those recommendations.
Nos. 26 and 27 both relate not to any of these
recommendations of the Magistrate Judge, but rather to
Plaintiff's claim that default judgment should be entered
against Defendants. Plaintiff's pending Motions for
Default Judgment (Doc. Nos. 21 and 24) are
DENIED. The Clerk of Court has not entered
default in this case, and Rule 55 requires entry of default
before any entry of default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a) and
(b). And even if it could enter default judgment in this
case, the Court would decline to do so. The response of
Defendants to those motions (Doc. No. 23) provides a
sufficient explanation of excusable neglect as to the
tardiness of Defendants' response to Plaintiff's
Complaint. Moreover, Defendants' responses to the
Complaint (their respective motions to dismiss, Doc. Nos. 12
and 13) were only nine days late (for Hatch Stamping) and two
days late (for Jordan). These had been filed by the time
Plaintiff filed his Motions for Default Judgment, a fact that
bolsters the Court's conclusion that there was no
prejudice to Plaintiff from Defendants' tardiness.
Furthermore, other factors also cut against entry of default
judgment, as Defendants correctly note.
Plaintiff's Motions for Default Judgment (Doc. Nos. 21
and 24) are DENIED. In addition, the Report
and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. No. 22) is
ADOPTED and APPROVED. The Motions to Dismiss
of Hatch Stamping Co. (Doc. No. 12) and Josh Jordan (Doc. No.
13) are GRANTED. Plaintiff's federal
claims for violations of Title VII and Section 1981 are
DISMISSED with prejudice. The Court, in its
discretion, declines to exercise jurisdiction over