United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
JACKQUELINE M. JORDAN, Plaintiff,
DEON WILLIAMS and MAPLE RICE, Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF
MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR DISMISSAL, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION TO AMEND, AND CERTIFYING APPEAL NOT TAKEN IN GOOD
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 30, 2019, Magistrate Judge Jon A. York filed his
report and recommendation that the pro se complaint
filed by Plaintiff Jackqueline M. Jordan in this matter
should be dismissed sua sponte under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8
and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 15.) As noted by Magistrate Judge
York, the complaint was filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
identifies Deon Williams and Maple Rice as defendants.
Plaintiff filed a one page, two paragraph objection on
October 16, 2019 (ECF No. 16), and a motion to amend her
complaint. (ECF No. 17.) On December 3, 2019, the Magistrate
Judge recommended that the motion to amend be denied. (ECF
No. 19.) Plaintiff has not filed any objections to this
report and recommendation.
reasons set forth below, the report and recommendations are
ADOPTED in their entirety, and the motion to
amend is DENIED.
to First Report and Recommendation
party objects within the allotted time to a Report and
Recommendation, as did Plaintiff, 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) (1);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). However, parties
must file specific objections. “[T]he filing of vague,
general, or conclusory objections does not meet the
requirement of specific objections and is tantamount to a
complete failure to object.” Cole v. Yukins,
2001 WL 303507 *1 (6th Cir. March 19, 2001) (citing
Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995)).
present case, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the
complaint be dismissed because Plaintiff alleged no facts
showing that Defendants were state actors or acting under
color of state law when they allegedly deprived her of a
constitutional or federal statutory right. Therefore, she
could not establish a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
has made no specific objections to the Magistrate Judge's
report. Because a “general objection to the entirety of
the magistrate's report has the same effects as would a
failure to object, ” Howard v. Sec'y of Health
and Human Services, 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991),
the Court denies Plaintiff's objections.
to Amend the Complaint
seeks to amend her complaint to allege that Defendants Deon
Williams and Maple Rice are state actors and/or acting under
color of state law so as to establish a violation of §
1983. She alleges that Williams is employed by Lighthouse
Mission Ministries as the coordinator for Safe Harbor of
Memphis. According to the website for Lighthouse Mission
Ministries, “The Lighthouse is a Christian ministry in
Memphis, Tennessee, offering Christian counseling and other
services to those who are homeless, recovering from a drug or
alcohol addiction, or recently released from
prison.” It is also described as a “small,
independent church.” Safe Harbor of Memphis is a
“faith-based recovery support services
program.” The goal of the program is “to
provide its clients with so much more than food and
shelter-we strive to make a lasting difference through group
and pastoral counseling, life building classes, and finding
them permanent employment which provides stability once they
leave  care.”
Plaintiff was a client of Lighthouse Mission Ministries and
Safe Harbor and was placed at Brimhall Foods in a jobs
training program. In a prior lawsuit, Plaintiff sued Brimhall
Foods, alleging that she was discriminated against and
retaliated against on the basis of her gender and religion in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17. Jordan v. Brimhall
Foods Co., Inc., 2017 WL 6523167 at *1 (W.D. Tenn. Dec.
7, 2017), rep. & rec. adopted, 2017 WL 6520923 (W.D.
Tenn. Dec. 20, 2017). She also alleged that she was sexually
harassed while working at Brimhall Foods. In addition to
suing Brimhall Foods, Plaintiff also purported to file her
2017 lawsuit as a “Third Party Plaintiff” against
“Third Party Defendants” Deon Williams, Maple
Rice, and Reliable Temporary Services Director. The 2017
lawsuit was ultimately dismissed because Plaintiff was not an
employee of Brimhall Foods. The relevant events of the 2017
lawsuit and the present lawsuit appear to be the same and all
occurred in 2015.
seeks to amend her complaint to allege that Deon Williams was
a state actor because, in his role as jobs coordinator for
Lighthouse Mission Ministries and Safe Harbor, he had to
comply with certain state laws. She also appears to allege
that Defendants Williams and Rice were acting under color of
state law when they purportedly violated Title VII by not
investigating her reports of discrimination and harassment
while she worked at Brimhall Foods.
Rule 15(a)(2) provides that “[t]he court should freely
give leave when justice so requires, ” leave may be
denied on the basis of undue delay, bad faith by the moving
party, repeated failure to cure defects by previously-allowed
amendments, futility of the proposed new claim, or undue
prejudice to the opposite party. Foman v. Davis, 371
U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Duggins v. Steak ‘N Shake,
Inc., 195 F.3d 828, 834 (6th Cir.1999). If the district
court concludes that the pleading as amended could not
withstand a motion to dismiss, then the court may deny the
motion to amend as futile. See Spigno v. Precision
Pipeline, LLC, 59 F.Supp.3d 831, 834 (E.D. Mich. 2014).
the fact that Defendants were required to follow state law
does not make them state actors or make them act under color
of state law. If so, every person would become a state actor
because everyone if required to follow state law.
Furthermore, all the alleged events in the amended complaint
occurred in 2015 and are now barred by the one-year statute
of limitations. See Wallace v. Kato, 594 U.S. 384,
387 (2007) (reiterating that suits under § 1983 have the
same statute of limitations as the personal injury statute of
limitations in the state in which the action is brought);
Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104 (the statute of limitations
in Tennessee for personal injury claims is one year).
Therefore, allowing Plaintiff to amend her complaint would be
futile, and the Magistrate Judge correctly determined that
her motion to amend the complaint should be denied.