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Young v. Fedex Employees Credit Association

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

September 17, 2019

DAWNA YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDEX EMPLOYEES CREDIT ASSOCIATION; CITY OF MEMPHIS, Various Divisions and Departments; COUNTY OF SHELBY, Various Divisions and Departments, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          TU M. PHAM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is a motion to amend under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 (ECF No. 17) by a pro se plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis, as well as a motion for judgment on the pleadings (ECF No. 19) by defendant FedEx Employees Credit Association (“FECA”).[1] Plaintiff Dawna Young initially filed a Title VII action against FECA and sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis, which the court granted. Within twenty-one days of FECA filing its answer, Young moved to amend her complaint under Rule 15, which permits amendment as a matter of course (if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is required) within twenty- one days after service of a responsive pleading. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(B). Because Young's complaint meets the requirements of Rule 15(a)(1)(B), the court recommends that her motion to amend be GRANTED.

         As Young is proceeding in forma pauperis, the amended complaint falls within the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See Matthews v. City of Memphis, No. 2:14-cv-02094, 2014 WL 3049906, at *1 (W.D. Tenn. July 3, 2014) (granting a Rule 15 motion to amend in an in forma pauperis action and dismissing the amended complaint pursuant to § 1915); see also Smith v. Washington, No. 2:18-cv-10736, 2018 WL 4030809, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 23, 2018) (“Section § 1915(e)(2) is applicable throughout the entire litigation process.”) (quoting In re Prison Litigation Reform Act, 105 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir. 1997)). For the reasons set forth herein, the court recommends that Young's complaint be DISMISSED pursuant to § 1915. As a result, the court recommends that FECA's motion for judgment on the pleadings be DENIED as moot.

         I. PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT

         Young began working for FECA as a collector in February 2016.[2]According to the complaint, she began to experience discrimination based on her race and marital status[3] in February 2017. (ECF No. 17-1, at 2.) Young complains of unequal terms and conditions of employment and retaliation. (Id.) According to Young, she sent human resources a “Hostile Work Environment” email in March 2017. (Id. at 4.) Young states that although the HR department conducted an investigation, it never provided her with the results. (Id.) Young alleges she was asked about another employee in August 2017, but the complaint does not specify the subject matter of the conversation or provide any further details. (Id.) In her complaint, Young writes that in September 2017, “the harassment [became] intolerable and [she] went to EEOC, ” at which time an EEOC representative advised her not to file a charge against FECA. (Id.)

         Young complains of an “absolutely horrible” work environment from November 2017 until she resigned in February 2018, during which time she received “excessive workloads” beginning in December 2017. (ECF No. 17-2, at 2.) She then writes: “I informed my manager of the excessive workload, trash cans were being placed in my seat, other employees clocking me in before I arrived, unable to clock in when I got to work due to locking of the system.” (Id.) In addition, the complaint includes suspicions that FECA employees called Young's work extension and pretended to be FECA members in order to bring down her Quality Assurance score. (Id. at 4.) According to Young, she recognized the voices as being those of her co-workers and acquaintances. (Id.)

         Young's original and amended complaints also include a significant number of allegations unrelated to her employment. For instance, she alleges in her original complaint that from December 2017 to September 2018, someone entered her home on several occasions and removed items including her birth certificate, her children's birth certificates, her work badge, various documents, articles of clothing and a spare garage opener. (ECF No. 1-1, at 1.) Similarly, Young alleges that someone entered her home in February 2019, took her iPhone and removed pictures from the device before placing it back in her house. (Id.) In the original complaint, Young also writes: “I began to notice that my phone calls, multi-media messages and texts were being re-directed. Then I began to notice that I was not getting certain mail items or the items severely delayed this is when I enrolled in informed delivery with USPS.com. I have also had several annoying, degrading, anonymous, spoofed phone calls as well.” (Id.)

         Young additionally recounts instances of contacting the police with complaints that were not taken seriously. (Id.) On two occasions, police officers told Young she was not at her assigned precinct. (Id.) On another occasion, police officers failed to provide her with a report number. (Id.) During the latter encounter, a police officer allegedly asked Young if she was under investigation and if her son's father had a girlfriend. (Id.) Young also contends she sent a complaint to the FBI regarding computer hacking in August 2018, to which the FBI never responded. (Id. at 1-2.) In her complaint, Young writes: “My last report was filed April 4, 2019 after I contacted yahoo about my passwords being changed and was advised that my computer had been hacked by Russians, back in June 2018 they stated Mexicans.” (Id. at 2.) In addition, Young states that throughout 2018 and 2019 she noticed several white vehicles driving past her home. (Id.) Finally, she complains of false rumors labeling her as “a snitch” in her community, leading to public provocations. (Id.)

         Young also provides a significant number of post-employment allegations in her complaint relating to FECA. She writes: “After [resigning] I began to experience retaliatory harassment through out public and private sectors. I began to notice the commanalities of social media friends in my approximate locations and private matters discussed indirectly amongst strangers. Then it became apparent that on about August 2018 that my devices may be bugged, I attempted to get a forensics done on my devices but ran into constant obstacles.” (ECF No. 17-1, at 4.) Young alleges that after her “constructive discharge, ” she “noticed the same female and male exiting [her] frequent business interactions.” (ECF No. 17-2, at 1.) Young asserts FECA invaded her privacy by using some form of tracking on her social media accounts. (Id.) She complains of “privacy concerns and retaliatory harassment” with other employers after leaving her employment with FECA, as well. (Id. at 3.) Young implies that FECA conspired with other employers to continually harass her at other jobs. (Id.) According to the complaint, the conspiracy does not end there but rather extends to the Memphis Police Department and FBI. (Id. at 4.) Young states that FECA has financial ties to the FBI and the Memphis Police Department. (Id.)

         Young complains of “[e]ntries into [her] home on various occasions, removing pots, cups, forks and spoons.” (Id. at 5.) Finally, she claims “[o]vercharges from various stores resulted after my departure from the Credit Association.” (Id.) These stores include Carter's, Kroger's and Subway. (Id.) Young states that these incidents began only after leaving her employment with FECA, implying that FECA is somehow responsible. (Id.)

         Young's original complaint asserts a Title VII claim against FECA. (ECF No. 1, at 4.) The amended complaint provides additional allegations of wrongdoing against FECA and also names the City of Memphis and Shelby County as defendants. (ECF No. 17-1, at 3.) In addition to the Title VII claim, the amended complaint asserts claims pursuant to §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985. (ECF No. 17-2, at 1-5.)

         II. PROPOSED CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

         A. Section 1915 Screening

         Pursuant to § 1915, in proceedings in forma pauperis, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if it determines that the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For pro se plaintiffs proceeding in forma pauperis, the screening process applies equally to original and amended complaints. See Matthews, 2014 WL 3049906, at *1. In the Sixth Circuit, an amended complaint supersedes the original and serves as the “legally operative complaint” in the matter. See Parry v. Mohawk Motors of Mich., Inc., 236 F.3d 299, 306 (6th Cir. 2000). In this case, Young appears to use her amended complaint only to supplement the allegations contained in the original, as the amended complaint does not ...


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