Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Navarrete v. Miller & Long Company, Inc.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

November 13, 2013

YOLANDA NAVARRETE, Plaintiff,
v.
MILLER & LONG COMPANY, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PAUL W. GRIMM, District Judge.

This Memorandum Opinion disposes of Defendant Miller & Long Co., Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 4, and accompanying Memorandum, ECF No. 4-1; Plaintiff Yolanda Navarrete's Opposition, ECF No. 5, and accompanying Memorandum, ECF No. 5-1; and Defendant's Reply, ECF No. 6. A hearing is not necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss shall be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

I. BACKGROUND

For purposes of considering Defendant's Motion, this Court accepts the facts that Plaintiff alleged in her Complaint as true. See Aziz v. Alcoac, 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff is a Latina female who worked for Defendant from 1996 until 2008. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 5, 17, ECF No. 1. She began as a Project Manager and eventually became Senior Accounts Receivable Assistant. Id. ¶¶ 5-6. When her supervisor, the Manager of Accounts Receivable, became ill, Plaintiff stepped in and performed many of the Manager's tasks. Id. ¶¶ 6-7. Plaintiff received favorable reviews, salary increases, and bonuses. Id. ¶ 8. However, while Plaintiff performed the duties of Manager of Accounts Receivable, and even after the Manager's death, Defendant did not promote her to that role. See id. ¶¶ 9-10.

Several months later, and without posting the position for applications, Defendant hired David Oschman, a Caucasian male, to manage Accounts Receivable. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. Defendant assigned Plaintiff to train Mr. Oschman, who had little experience related to that role. Id. ¶ 15. Then, Defendant allegedly began to subject Plaintiff to harsh and repeated criticism of her performance. See id. ¶ 16. Plaintiff resigned on March 31, 2008. See id. ¶ 17.

Plaintiff filed a complaint in the Montgomery County, Maryland Office of Human Rights ("MCOHR") alleging (1) unlawful discrimination for failure to promote and (2) constructive discharge. Id. ¶ 18. She received an unfavorable determination and appealed. See id. ¶¶ 19-20. It appears that Plaintiff did not receive a decision on her appeal before she requested, and received, a Right to Sue Letter from the EEOC. See id. ¶¶ 21-23. Plaintiff filed suit in this Court on May 8, 2013, alleging discriminatory failure to promote in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. (Count I) and racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count II). See id.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Rule 12(b)(1) Standard When Jurisdictional Facts Allegedly Are Untrue

A party may move to dismiss a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), which provides that a party may assert lack of subject matter jurisdiction by motion as a defense to a claim for relief. A Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss may allege that "the jurisdictional allegations in the complaint are not true." Fontell v. MCGEO UFCW Local 1994, No. AW-09-2526, 2010 WL 3086498, at *3 (D. Md. Aug. 6, 2010); see Adams v. Bain, 697 F.2d 1213, 1219 (4th Cir. 1982) (same). If the defendant alleges as much, then "the Court may... consider matters beyond the allegations in the complaint." Fontell, 2010 WL 3086498, at *3. The Court "regard[s] the pleadings' allegations as mere evidence on the issue, " and its consideration of additional evidence does not "convert[] the proceeding to one for summary judgment." Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Ry. v. United States, 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991); see Adams, 697 F.2d at 1219 ("A trial court may consider evidence by affidavit, depositions or live testimony without converting the proceeding to one for summary judgment.").

When a defendant challenges subject matter jurisdiction, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove that subject matter jurisdiction exists. See Evans v. B.F. Perkins, Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999); El-Amin v. Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n Local No. 333, No. CCB-10-3653, 2011 WL 2580630, at *2 (D. Md. June 28, 2011). "A court should grant a Rule 12(b)(1) motion if the material jurisdictional facts are not in dispute and the moving party is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.'" El-Amin, 2011 WL 2580630, at *2 (quoting Evans, 166 F.3d at 647).

B. Rule 12(b)(1) Standard When Plaintiff Allegedly Failed to Allege Facts Upon Which Subject Matter Jurisdiction Can Be Based

When a defendant moves to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, asserting that "a complaint simply fails to allege facts upon which subject matter jurisdiction can be based, " as Defendant does here for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, "the facts alleged in the complaint are assumed to be true and the plaintiff, in effect, is afforded the same procedural protection as he would receive under a 12(b)(6) consideration." Adams v. Bain, 697 F.2d 1213, 1219 (4th Cir. 1982); see Lutfi v. United States, ___ F.App'x ___, 2013 WL 1749526, at *4 (4th Cir. Apr. 24, 2013) (Slip Op.); Fianko v. United States, No. PWG-12-2025, 2013 WL 3873226, at *4 (D. Md. July 24, 2013). Thus, "the facts alleged in the complaint are taken as true, and the motion must be denied if the complaint alleges sufficient facts to invoke subject matter jurisdiction." Kerns v. United States, 585 F.3d 187, 192 (4th Cir. 2009); see In re KBR, Inc., Burn Pit Litig., 925 F.Supp.2d 752, 758 (D. Md. 2013) (quoting Kerns, 585 F.3d at 192). "[W]hen jurisdictional facts are inextricably intertwined with those [facts] central to the merits, the [district] court should resolve the relevant factual disputes only after appropriate discovery.'" Blitz v. Napolitano, 700 F.3d 733, 739 (4th Cir. 2012) (quoting Kerns, 585 F.3d at 193). This Court must act "on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (citations omitted).

C. Rule 12(b)(6) Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for "the dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Velencia v. Drezhlo, No. RDB-12-237, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (D. Md. Dec. 13, 2012). This Rule's purpose "is to test the sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.'" Id. (quoting Presley v. City of Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006)). To that end, the Court bears in mind the requirements of Rule 8, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), when considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Specifically, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and must state "a plausible claim for relief, " as "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice, " Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79. See Velencia, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (discussing the standard from Iqbal and Twombly ). "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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.