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Braddock v. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Danville Division

March 27, 2018

WILLIAM TERRY BRADDOCK, Plaintiff,
v.
VIRGINIA DEPARMTENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JACKSON L. KISER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”), Jeannie Thorpe, Terry Witt, Nancy Nolde, and Robert Irving's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff William Braddock's Complaint. The issue was briefed by the parties and I heard arguments in open court on March 22, 2018. For the reasons stated in open court and set forth more fully herein, I will grant the Motion to Dismiss and afford Plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint, if he so chooses.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, alleges in a form complaint that he was employed by the DMV. He asserts that his “position was filled after going out on medical leave in April 2015.” He further alleges that he was “placed in a different position that was not a real position, only a token gesture, after complaining.” He also claims he was retaliated against, saying that “[r]etaliation continued in numerous forms through process.”

         Although not included in his Complaint, but filed by the Defendants, Plaintiff's Charge of Discrimination says that he requested time off in April 2015 as a “reasonable accommodation” and was out of work until September 2015. While he was out, his employer filled his position and, when he returned, he was placed in a Generalist position. He asserts that these actions were in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (“ADA”).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When a challenge to subject matter jurisdiction is raised under Rule 12(b)(1), “the burden of proving subject matter jurisdiction is on the plaintiff.” Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R. Co. v. U.S., 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991) (citing Adams v. Bain, 697 F.2d 1213, 1219 (4th Cir. 1982)). “In determining whether jurisdiction exists, the district court is to regard the pleadings' allegations as mere evidence on the issue, and may consider evidence outside the pleadings without converting the proceeding to one for summary judgment.” Id. “The court must grant the motion ‘only if the material jurisdictional facts are not in dispute and the moving party is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.'” Little v. Stock Bldg. Supply, LLC, Case No. 4:10-cv-129, 2011 WL 5146179, at *3 (E.D. N.C. Sept. 2, 2011) (quoting Richmond, 945 F.2d at 768). Generally speaking, allegations of Eleventh Amendment immunity, like those raised by DMV and the individual defendants, are treated as challenges to subject matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 677-78 (1974).

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. In determining facial plausibility, the court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true. Id. The Complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief” and sufficient “[f]actual allegations . . . to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotation marks omitted). Therefore, the Complaint must “allege facts sufficient to state all the elements of [the] claim.” Bass v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003). Although “a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, ” a pleading that merely offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendants' various arguments for dismissal are addressed in turn.

         A. Dismissal pursuant to FRCP 8(a)

         Defendants' seek dismissal because the Complaint lacks “a short and plain statement of the ground's for the Court's jurisdiction . . . [and] a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although pro se complaints are afforded liberal construction, Defendants point out that district courts are not “required to conjure up and decide issues never fairly presented to them.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.32d 1274, 1276 (4th Cir. 1985).

         Although Plaintiff's Complaint is lacking, the primary fault is the court's form complaint. Plaintiff answered every questions posed, and thus any omission is not grounds for dismissal, but for either a more definite statement of his claim, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e), or an amended pleading.

         B. Lack of Subject ...


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