United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
HANNAH LAUCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Commonwealth of
Virginia and Virginia Department of Medical Assistance
Services's ("DMAS") (collectively,
"Defendants") Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 14.)
Plaintiff Victor Motley, Sr., proceeding pro se,
responded and Defendants replied. (ECF Nos. 16, 17.)
Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition. The Court
dispenses with oral argument because the materials before it
adequately present the facts and legal contentions, and
argument would not aid the decisional process. The Court
exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1331. For the reasons that follow, the Court
will grant the Motion to Dismiss.
Factual and Procedural Background
November 6, 2015, Motley filed a Motion for Judgment in state
court, alleging two counts against the Defendants: (1) age
and race discrimination; and, (2) negligence. On July 15,
2016, Defendants removed the case to this Court. Following
removal, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, which the
Court granted, dismissing the Complaint and granting Motley
leave to file an amended complaint as to his age and race
discrimination claims. On April 5, 2017, Motley filed an
Amended Complaint, alleging two counts against Defendants:
(1) age discrimination under the ADEA ("Count I");
and, (2) race discrimination under Title VII ("Count
II"). Shortly thereafter, Defendants filed the Motion to
Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
Summary of Allegations in the Amended
Amended Complaint is not a model of clarity. His claims appear
to arise out of an unsuccessful application for a job at
DMAS. The Amended Complaint does not specify the position for
which he applied, but includes a quoted portion of the job
notice, which read: "Prefer degree in law, public
administration, social work, mental health/mental
retardation, and/or experience as an attorney, administrative
hearing officer, eligibility worker/specialist, or the
equivalent combination of education and experience."
(Am. Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 13.) Motley contends that a
Juris Doctorate ("J.D.") constituted a specific
material qualification for the position. Motley, who is
African-American and was sixty at the time of his
application, was not hired. DMAS filled the position with an
individual who was "substantially younger, " was
Accordingly, the Court will deny Motley's Motion to
Strike, (ECF No. 18), and grant Defendants' First and
Amended Motions for Extension, (ECF Nos. 20, 21).
Nonetheless, the Court admonishes Defendants to adhere to
filing deadlines. "outside the protected class [of
race], " did not have a J.D., and "was treated more
favorably." (Am. Compl.¶ 14, 20.)
alleges that the "Agency"-presumably
DMAS-"stated" that he "has no Medicaid or health
care experience, did not have experience in analytical
writing, and did not demonstrate that he possessed any
experience in interviewing individuals to obtain financial,
legal and/or medication information, " and that
"[a]ccording to his employment application, Mr. Motley
does not possess a JD." (Am. Compl. ¶ 4.) Motley,
however, does have a J.D. and he had worked as a "self
employed [sic] attorney in Virginia from May 1982 through
Dec. 2000, over 18 years and had tried civil and criminal
cases in State and Federal Courts, Legal research and writing
and Oral presentation." (Am. Compl. ¶ 5.) Motley
included this information, as well as his resume, which
detailed with other unspecified "significant material
qualifications, " in his application for the position at
DMAS. (Am. Compl. ¶ 5.) Motley contends that he was
qualified for the position and possessed the "Preferred
Qualifications, " including a J.D., (Am. Compl. ¶
9), and that DMAS's statement that he "does not
possess a JD" was false, (Am. Compl. ¶6).
his age discrimination claim, Motley avers that,
"[r]eviews of the Virginia Retirement System indicate
that with the number of workers eligible to retire in the
next five (5) years, they are under funded, [sic] making age
and current state employment relevant to employment."
(Am. Compl. ¶ 13.)
refers to an "EEOC charge" and a "Dismissal
Notice of Rights" but does not attach a Dismissal and
Notice of Right to Sue letter to his Amended Complaint. (Am.
Compl. ¶ 2.) Motley seeks $20, 000, 000 and costs.
Analysis: The Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss seeks to dismiss the
Amended Complaint, inter alia, for failure to state
a claim. The Court will dismiss the Amended
Complaint because Motley fails to state a claim for which
relief could be granted.
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State
a Claim Standard
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C.
v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5A
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and
the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Matkari, 7 F.3d at 1134; see also
Martin, 980 F.2d at 952.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require only 'a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give
the defendant fair notice of what the .. . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (omission in
original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with
complaints containing only "labels and conclusions"
or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. (citations omitted); see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Instead, a
plaintiff must assert facts that rise above speculation and
conceivability to those stating a claim that is
"plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 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. at
678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Therefore, in
order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for
failure to state a claim, the plaintiff must "allege
facts sufficient to state all the elements of [his or] her
claim." Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours &
Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citations
on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6). .., matters outside the
pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the
motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule
56, " and "[a] 11 parties must be given a
reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is
pertinent to the motion." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d); see
Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 149 F.3d 253,
260-61 (4th Cir. 1998); Gay v. Wall, 761 F.2d 175,
177 (4th Cir. 1985). However, "a court may consider
official public records, documents central to plaintiffs
claim, and documents sufficiently referred to in the
complaint [without converting a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into one
for summary judgment] so long as the authenticity of these
documents is not disputed." Witthohn v. Fed. Ins.
Co., 164 Fed.Appx. 395, 396-97 (4th Cir. 2006) (citing
Alt. Energy, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins.
Co., 267 F.3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2001); Phillips v.
LCI In! 7, Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618 (4th Cir.
1999); Gasner v. Cty. of Dinwiddle, 162 F.R.D. 280,
282 (E.D.Va. 1995)).
Obligation to Construe Pro Se Pleadings Liberally
district courts have a duty to construe pro se
pleadings liberally. Bracey v. Buchanan, 55
F.Supp.2d 416, 421 (E.D. Va. 1999). That said, a pro
se plaintiff must nevertheless allege sufficient facts
to state a cause of action. Id. (citing Sado v.
Leland Mem'lHosp.,933 F.Supp. 490, 493
(D. Md. 1996)). The Court cannot act as a pro se
litigant's "advocate and develop, sua
sponte, statutory and constitutional claims" that
the litigant failed to raise on the ...