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Young v. Fedex Employees Credit Assoc.

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

October 17, 2019

DAWNA YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDEX EMPLOYEES CREDIT ASSOC., CITY OF MEMPHIS, and SHELBY COUNTY, Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          THOMAS L. PARKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Proceeding in forma pauperis, Plaintiff Dawna Young moves to amend her complaint to bring employment-related and constitutional claims against Defendants FedEx Employees Credit Association (“FECA”), City of Memphis, Tennessee (“City of Memphis”), and Shelby County, Tennessee (“Shelby County”). Plaintiff has attached her amended complaint to the motion. (ECF No. 17-1; ECF No. 17-2.) In response, FECA moved for judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment. (ECF No. 19.)

         The Magistrate Court issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the Court grant the motion to amend the complaint. (ECF No. 30.) The Magistrate Court also recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), which enables the Court to “dismiss [a] case at any time if [it] determines that the . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” (Id.) Plaintiff objected to the R&R. (ECF No. 32.) For the reasons below, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiffs objections and ADOPTS the Magistrate Court's R&R. The Court thus DISMISSES as moot FECA's motion for judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The following standards apply to this case.

         I. Review of the R&R

         When reviewing a Report and Recommendation from the Magistrate 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.

28 U.S.C. § 636(b); accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). After conducting a de novo review, a district court need not articulate all the reasons it rejects a party's objections. See Tuggle v. Seabold, 806 F.2d 87, 92 (6th Cir. 1986). Nor does it have to review under a de novo standard the portions of the R&R that the parties did not properly object. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). A party objecting to the R&R must do so with enough specificity “to enable the district court to discern those issues that are dispositive and contentious.” Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995) (citing Howard v. Sec 'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991)). Also, a party cannot “raise at the district court stage new arguments or issues that were not presented to the magistrate [court]” absent compelling reasons. Murr v. United States, 200 F.3d 895, 902 n.1 (6th Cir. 2000) (citing United States v. Waters, 158 F.3d 93, 936 (6th Cir. 1998)).

         II. § 1915

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court “shall dismiss [a] case at any time if [it] determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” That said, “[p]ro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and should therefore be liberally construed.” Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quotations omitted).

         To determine if Plaintiff's amended complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted, the Court must turn to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for guidance. Under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” DIRECTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007).

         Under this standard, the Court may reject legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. Hananiya v. City of Memphis, 252 F.Supp.2d 607, 610 (W.D. Tenn. 2003) (citing Lewis v. ACB Business Servs., Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 405 (6th Cir. 1998)). The Sixth Circuit has noted “[a] complaint should only be dismissed if it is clear to the court that ‘no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.'” Id. (quoting Trzebuckowski v. City of Cleveland, 319 F.3d 853, 855 (6th Cir. 2003)).

         The Court should also consider the allegations in Plaintiff's amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” This standard does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” but it does require more than “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 681 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see also Reilly v. Vadlamudi, 680 F.3d 617, 622 (6th Cir. 2012). Plaintiff must allege facts that are enough “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level” and to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, at 555, 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when 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. 662, at 678.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         The Court will first address the Magistrate Court's proposed factual findings here. Plaintiff makes three general factual objections to the R&R. First, Plaintiff appears to submit that the R&R failed to address the allegation that she suffered work-related “harassment and discrimination” before March 2017. (ECF No. 32 at PageID 210.) Plaintiff also appears to suggest that the R&R failed to address the allegation that she suffered discrimination “pursuant to [Plaintiff's] race, unequal terms and conditions of employment and marital status.” (Id.)

         The Court rejects Plaintiff's objections because the R&R covered these allegations. The R&R noted that Plaintiff allegedly “began to experience discrimination based on her marital status in February 2017.” (ECF No. 30 at PageID 189-190.) It also noted that Plaintiff “complain[ed] of unequal terms and conditions of employment and retaliation.” (Id. at PageID 190.)

         Second, Plaintiff appears to suggest that the R&R did not address her “allegations of entries into [Plaintiff's] domicile on several occasions” after she filed her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). (ECF No. 32 at PageID 210.) Plaintiff also appears to suggest that the R&R overlooked the interactions she had with the Memphis Police Department that underpin her conspiracy allegations. (Id.) Finally, Plaintiff seems to indicate that the Magistrate Court failed to discuss her “post-employment” allegations that show “strong ...


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