United States District Court, D. Maryland
ADRIAN D. PUGH
BOARD OF EDUCATION MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge
pending and ready for resolution in this employment
discrimination case is the motion to dismiss filed by
Defendant Board of Education, Montgomery County, Maryland
(“Defendant”). (ECF No. 5). The issues have been
briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed
necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, the
motion to dismiss will be granted.
the second employment discrimination case Plaintiff Adrian D.
Pugh (“Plaintiff”), an African-American woman who
works or worked for Defendant as a paraeducator, or
teacher's assistant (see ECF No. 1-2, at 1), has
brought against Defendant. On September 27, 2013, Plaintiff,
proceeding pro se, sued Defendant and the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”),
alleging that Defendant failed to hire her as a
“provisional teacher” based on her race, in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e et seq. (“Title
VII”). Complaint, Pugh v. Montgomery Cty. Bd.
of Educ., No. DKC 13-2862 (D.Md. Sept. 27, 2013), ECF
No. 1. The court dismissed Plaintiff's Title VII and
denial of due process claims against the EEOC. Pugh v.
EEOC, No. DKC 13-2862, 2014 WL 2964415, at *4-5 (D.Md.
June 30, 2014). Following discovery, the court granted
Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Pugh v.
Montgomery Cty. Bd. of Educ. (Pugh I), No. DKC
13-2862, 2016 WL 560793 (D.Md. Feb. 12, 2016), aff'd
per curiam, 667 F.App'x 398 (4th Cir.
2016) (mem.), cert. denied, No. 16-6580, 2017 WL
737856 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2017) (mem.). The United States Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed in an unpublished
opinion and the United States Supreme Court denied
Plaintiff's petition for writ of certiorari was pending,
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed the instant
action on November 28, 2016, alleging racial discrimination
in employment practices in violation of Title VII. (ECF No.
1, at 4). Plaintiff's complaint attached two
documents, a memorandum in support and a purported copy of a
letter sent to the EEOC, dated April 8, 2015. (Id.
alleges that Pugh I “was unfairly dismissed at
the District Court and Circuit Court levels.” (ECF No.
1-1, at 1). She also alleges that her “due process
rights have been egregiously denied by EEOC” and that
the “EEOC continues to dismiss [her]
complaint(s)” improperly. (Id.). Finally,
Plaintiff alleges that she “learned of new incidents of
racially disparate treatment by the defendant” while
her previous case was pending, and alleges that Defendant
“continues to consistently hire White Comparators for
teaching positions, while continuing to consistently deny
African-American candidates equal opportunity.”
(Id. at 2).
“new incidents” to which Plaintiff alludes appear
to be those detailed in the letter addressed to the EEOC that
was attached to the complaint. (ECF No. 1-2). Plaintiff
identified three incidents which allegedly constituted
discriminatory employment practices: the hiring of
Plaintiff's former coworker Lisa Moran as a provisional
teacher in special education; the resignation of
Plaintiff's former coworker Monique Williams, who had
accepted a position as a provisional teacher with Prince
George's County Public Schools; and the publication of
“news reports” regarding Defendant's
initiatives to increase teacher diversity, which Plaintiff
describes as “proof after-the-fact that [her] first
EEOC claim of racial discrimination/disparate treatment by
[Defendant] . . . was true.” (Id. at 1-3).
February 6, 2017, Defendant moved to dismiss for failure to
state a claim. (ECF No. 5). Plaintiff was provided with a
Roseboro notice (ECF No. 6), which advised her of
the pendency of the motion to dismiss and her entitlement to
respond within seventeen days from the date of the letter.
See Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309, 310
(4th Cir. 1975). Plaintiff opposed the motion (ECF
No. 9), and Defendant replied (ECF No. 10).
Standard of Review
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to test
the sufficiency of the complaint. Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir.
2006). A complaint need only satisfy the standard of Rule
8(a)(2), which requires a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” “Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a
‘showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of
entitlement to relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 n.3 (2007). That showing must
consist of more than “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” or “naked
assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citations omitted). At this stage, all well-pleaded
allegations in a complaint must be considered as true,
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994), and
all factual allegations must be construed in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. See Harrison v. Westinghouse
Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 783 (4th
Cir. 1999) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7
F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)). In evaluating
the complaint, unsupported legal allegations need not be
accepted. Revene v. Charles Cnty. Comm'rs, 882
F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989). Legal conclusions
couched as factual allegations are insufficient,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, as are conclusory factual
allegations devoid of any reference to actual events,
United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844,
847 (4th Cir. 1979); see also Francis v.
Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 192 (4th Cir.
se pleadings are liberally construed and held to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976));
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Liberal
construction means that the court will read the pleadings to
state a valid claim to the extent that it is possible to do
so from the facts available; it does not mean that the court
should rewrite the complaint to include claims never
presented. Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1132
(10thCir. 1999). That is, even when pro
se litigants are involved, the court cannot ignore a
clear failure to allege facts that support a viable claim.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
391 (4th Cir. 1990); Forquer v. Schlee,
No. RDB-12-969, 2012 WL 6087491, at *3 (D.Md. Dec. 4, 2012)
(“[E]ven a pro se complaint must be dismissed
if it does not allege a plausible claim for relief.”
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted)).
memorandum in support of the complaint, Plaintiff plainly
states that “this case is being filed subsequent to
another original complaint filed in this court by me (pro se)
against this same defendant for the same claim of
racial disparate treatment in employment/hiring
practices[.]” (ECF No. 1-1, at 1). ...