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Moore v. National Tire & Battery

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

October 9, 2013

ANGELA MOORE et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONAL TIRE & BATTERY (NTB), Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, Jr., District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The Court has carefully reviewed the record and deems a hearing unnecessary. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This case sounds in employment discrimination. Plaintiffs Everlina Jackson (Jackson) and Angela Moore (Moore) are Maryland residents. Jackson and Moore used to work for Defendant National Tire & Battery (Defendant). Although Plaintiffs do not allege their race or sex, the Court's understanding is that they are African-American females.

In October 2008, Jackson applied for an assistant manager position. Defendant allegedly did not select her for the position and made her train other people for it.

Jackson also alleges that she "bases her claims for discrimination upon the facts underlying retaliation." Doc. No. 1 ¶ 9. In this connection, Jackson alleges that Defendant would not allow her to return to work after she took FMLA leave in March 2010. Jackson does not allege any further facts regarding Defendant's purported retaliation.

For her part, Moore alleges that Defendant subjected her to sexual and racial harassment from July 2009 to January 2010. In Moore's words, Defendant based the harassment on her "dress, hair style, [and] other items of appearance." Id. ¶ 13. Moore adds that she "was not promoted and was given unequal work schedules by the Defendant...." Id. ¶ 17. Moore alleges no further facts to support her claims.

On January 19, 2013, based on these meager allegations, Plaintiffs lodged their Complaint. On September 16, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. Doc. No. 10. Plaintiffs' response was due by October 3, 2013. Although this date has passed, Plaintiffs have yet to respond.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Rule 12(b)(1)

Generally, "a failure by the plaintiff to exhaust administrative remedies concerning a Title VII claim deprives the federal courts of subject matter jurisdiction over the claim." Jones v. Calvert Group, Ltd., 551 F.3d 297, 300-01 (4th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). "Motions to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies are governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)...." Khoury v. Meserve, 268 F.Supp.2d 600, 606 (D. Md. 2003) (citation omitted); Puryear v. Shrader, Civil No. PJM 11-3640, 2013 WL 1833262, at *1 (D. Md. Apr. 30, 2013) (citation omitted). "[I]f the governmental entity challenges jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1)... the court is free to consider exhibits outside the pleadings to resolve factual disputes concerning jurisdiction." Zander v. United States, 843 F.Supp.2d 598, 603-04 (D. Md. 2012) (alteration in original) (citation and internal quotations marks omitted); see also Bennett v. Kaiser Permanente, Civil Action No. 10-CV-2505 AW, 2013 WL 1149920, at *2-3 (D. Md. Mar. 20, 2013) (citation omitted) ("Courts may consider materials outside the pleadings to determine whether they have subject matter jurisdiction.").

B. Rule 12(b)(6)

The purpose of a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is to test the sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. See Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). In two recent cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the standard applicable to Rule 12(b)(6) motions. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). These cases make clear that Rule 8 "requires a showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 n.3 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). This showing must consist of at least "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570.

In deciding a motion to dismiss, the court should first review the complaint to determine which pleadings are entitled to the assumption of truth. See Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949-50. "When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. at 1950. In so doing, the court must construe all factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 783 (4th Cir. 1999). The Court need not, however, accept unsupported legal allegations, Revene v. Charles County Commissioners, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations, ...


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