United States District Court, E.D. Virginia
E. Payne Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on the MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT BY DEFENDANT GIANT FOOD STORES, LLC
FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED
(ECF No. 5) filed by Defendant Royal Ahold NV Koninkijke
Ahold ("Ahony") Ahold USA/Giant Martins Food &
Pharmacy's Motion to ("Giant Food Stores"). For
the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted and this
action will be dismissed with prejudice.
Complaint filed by Jacqueline Lenorlia Taylor (ECF No. 3),
even when read generously, presents largely incomprehensible
assertions and no cognizable claims. Thus, even liberally
construed as required by precedent, the Complaint lacks
coherence. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976). The level of incoherence is such that this case could
be dismissed as containing only "fanciful factual
allegation [s], " making it frivolous under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(d). See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989) P§ 1915(d) 's term "frivolous,
" when applied to a complaint, embraces not only the
inarguable legal conclusion, but also the fanciful factual
allegation.") Nevertheless, the Defendant has responded
to the perceived substance of the Complaint in its motion to
dismiss (ECF No. 5), and its construction of the Complaint is
not an unreasonable one. Adopting the liberal construction
used by the Defendant, the Complaint nonetheless fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Therefore,
the Defendant's motion will be granted.
own terms, the Complaint alleges (1) violation of Title II of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(a) et
seq. ; (2) violation of Title VI, 42 U.S.C. §
2000(d); (3) violation of the Pennsylvania and Massachusetts
Constitutions; (4) violation of the Virginia Human Rights
Act, Va. Code § 2.2-3900 et. seq.; (5)
violation of the Defendant company's internal ethics
policy; (6) violation of the Defendant company's internal
policy against retaliation; and (7) violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Read liberally, the complaint also may
be read to assert state law claims for defamation,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault.
All of these claims or potential claims are legally
Count I: Title II, Title VI, and the Fourteenth
first claim seeks to recover damages under "Title II and
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and 1964 (Public
Accommodations Act) 42 USC 2000 (A) (B) . et al.,
and The [sic] Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States." (Complaint 6) . Even liberally read,
Count I of the Complaint fails plausibly to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
establishes a prima facie case of Title II public
accommodation discrimination, Taylor must show that she: (1)
is a member of a protected class; (2) attempted to exercise
the right to full benefits and enjoyment of a place of public
accommodation; (3) was denied those benefits and enjoyment;
and (4) was treated less favorably than similarly situated
persons who are not members of the protected class.
Additionally, only injunctive relief is available under the
act. Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., 390
U.S. 400, 402 (1968)("When a plaintiff brings an action
under that Title, he cannot recover damages.")
fails to plausibly state a prima facie case under Title II.
Although she contends that she was discriminated and harassed
"on the basis of race color, sex/sexual orientation,
social and financial statuses[, and] more explicitly those
who are homeless and unemployed, " her complaint fails
to plausibly allege that the Defendant was responsible for
this discrimination, and otherwise alleges facts so
"fanciful" that they are "frivolous"
within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1915(d).Moreover, the
Complaint avers that the alleged treatment was
"retaliation against the Plaintiff for her filing
numerous discrimination, stalking, and sexually
offensive/harassing [sic], complaints with Defendants
Corporate Customer Service Department." (Compl.
¶26). By her own admission, therefore, the
Defendant's conduct was motivated by the
"numerous" complaints she filed with customer
service, and not because of Taylor's race.
Title II charge is further deficient because the conduct
alleged in the Complaint has not been plausibly connected any
actual person or employee associated with the Defendant.
Taylor claims that she received "several death threats
and sexual assaults" and "was told that she was not
welcome in Defendant's place of accommodation, " but
cannot identify who allegedly said any of these things.
(Compl. ¶20) . In her Complaint, Taylor offers only the
incomprehensible statement that "Defendant did so in an
unidentifiable manner by disclosing his presence."
Id. Even in her reply, which purported to respond to
the Defendant's argument that it was not tied to any of
the alleged conduct, Taylor could offer only that "some
of the threat [sic] and warnings were intermeshed with the
voices which sounded alike [sic] the voices of two of the
Defendant's male Managers, and some of Defendant's
first and second shift employees and workers in other
accommodations within the vicinity where I routinely
reside." (Pi. Reply at 10). These statements do not
plausibly connect any of the alleged conduct to the
Defendant. Thus, Taylor's Title II claim must be
VI provides that "[n]o person in the United States
shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or
be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity
receiving Federal financial assistance. 42 U.S.C. §
2000d. The two elements of Title VI that must be pled are
therefore (1) that the Defendant engages in racial
discrimination, and ...