United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge.
Zane Caldwell, proceeding pro se, moves for leave to file a
second amended complaint against his former employer,
defendant United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS). For the
following reasons, the court will deny the motion as futile
and dismiss the case with prejudice.
background facts of this case are provided in detail in the
court's two previous memorandum opinions on UPS's
motions to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and (b)(6). (Dkt. Nos. 25 and 38.) Here, the court
offers only those facts necessary to decide Caldwell's
December 2013, Caldwell loaded trucks for UPS. Because of
various health problems, including the flu, he missed work
from December 8 through December 12. On each day, he texted
his supervisor, Cody, telling him that he was going to be
out. But Cody did not inform management, and Caldwell was
discharged on December 16 for failure to notify the company
of his absences.
four months later, on April 30, 2014, Caldwell filed a charge
of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), alleging that UPS had denied him a
reasonable accommodation and discharged him in violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C.
§ 12101 et seq.). The EEOC took no action on
the charge and issued a right-to-sue letter. Caldwell then
filed this case against UPS on June 30, 2015.
original complaint, Caldwell appeared to allege that he was
wrongfully discharged in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.)
and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) (29
U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), but not the ADA. (Dkt.
No. 1.) On UPS's motion to dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1)
and (b)(6), the court dismissed Caldwell's complaint, in
part for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and in part for
failure to state a claim. (Dkt. No. 2 at 6-10.) But it gave
Caldwell leave to file an amended complaint limited to claims
under the FMLA and the ADA. (Id. 10-13.)
filed an amended complaint alleging only two ADA
claims-failure to accommodate and wrongful discharge. (Dkt.
No. 27.) UPS again moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), and
the court again dismissed Caldwell's complaint,
concluding that it did not state either a
failure-to-accommodate or wrongful-discharge claim, because
it did not allege sufficient facts to establish a disability
under the ADA. (Dkt. No. 38 at 7-9.) The court did not give
Caldwell leave to file a second amended complaint, but it did
not foreclose the possibility of such leave either.
(Id. at 9.) Rather, it instructed Caldwell that if
he wished to file a second amended complaint, then he needed
to file a formal motion seeking leave to do so on or before
May 16, 2016. (Id.)
days before the deadline, on May 13, Caldwell filed a
document entitled "formal motion, " in which he
asked for leave to file a second amended complaint and for a
30-day extension "to allow [him] proper time to get
[the] second amended complaint filed with exhibits."
(Dkt. No. 41 at 1.) The court granted the extension, but
again instructed Caldwell "to file a brief explaining
why it should grant him leave to file a second amended
complaint at the same time that he files the proposed second
amended complaint (and any supporting documents)." (Dkt.
the next month, Caldwell filed three more
documents-"Amended Second Complaint" (Dkt. No.
41-1), "2nd Amendment Attachment" (Dkt. No. 42),
and "Amende [sic] Second Complaint" (Dkt. No. 44).
He did not, however, file a brief explaining why leave should
opposes Caldwell's motion on two grounds. (Dkt. No. 45 at
4-8.) First, it contends that the motion should be denied
because Caldwell failed to file a supporting brief.
(Id. at 4.) And second, it argues that the motion
should be denied because amendment would be futile.
(Id. at 4-8.)
party requested an oral hearing on Caldwell's motion, and
the court does not believe that one would be helpful. Hence,
the court decides the motion without an oral hearing.
See W.D. Va. Civ. R. 11(b).
preliminary matter, the court must decide whether to reach
the merits of Caldwell's motion even though he did not
comply with its instruction to file a supporting brief. While
pro se parties are not excused from following the
rules and orders of the court, they are not held to the same
standards as attorneys. Indeed, they are afforded wide
latitude. Here, the court does not believe that Caldwell
intended to flout its instruction to file a supporting brief.
Instead, it thinks that he simply did not understand what was
required of him. In his interactions with the court, Caldwell
has been courteous ...