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 are a motion to dismiss filed by
Defendant Board of Education, Montgomery County, Maryland
(“Defendant”) (ECF No. 18), and motions for
summary judgment, to strike, and for sanctions filed by
Plaintiff Adrian Pugh (“Plaintiff”) (ECF Nos. 21;
29; 30). The issues have been fully 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, and the motions for summary judgment, to strike,
and for sanctions will be denied as moot.
complete recitation of Plaintiff's allegations can be
found in the court's prior memorandum opinion granting
Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's initial
complaint (ECF No. 11). Defendant's prior motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim was granted because
Plaintiff had not alleged sufficiently that Defendant failed
to hire her because of her race. (ECF No. 11, at 14). As the
Plaintiff makes broad, conclusory allegations that she was
not hired because of her race, but she has alleged no facts
in support of those conclusions. . . .
Moreover, Plaintiff has failed to allege that she applied for
any open position for which she was qualified; indeed, she
failed to allege that she applied for any position at all
during the 300 day statutory period. Plaintiff explains in
her letter to the EEOC that, “due to [her] active
lawsuit against them, ” she believes Defendant knew she
was “still interested in being hired by them to teach
provisionally, and that each time they hire a White
provisional teacher . . . then that new hire counts as a new
incident of disparate treatment, racial discrimination in the
hiring process against [her.]” ([ECF No. 1-2] at 2). .
. . A pending employment discrimination lawsuit is not an
“open application” for employment. By failing to
allege that she applied for a position with Defendant or
attempted to obtain a [Conditional Degree Certificate
(“CDC”)] for a specific position during the
relevant time period, Plaintiff has not pleaded sufficient
facts to state a claim for failure to hire. Defendant could
not have discriminated against Plaintiff by hiring a
different candidate for a position to which Plaintiff did not
apply. The complaint fails to state a plausible claim for
relief, and accordingly, Defendant's motion to dismiss
will be granted.
(ECF No. 11, at 14-16). Plaintiff was instructed that,
“if she still wishe[d] to proceed on a Title VII claim
against Defendant for failure to hire her as a Special
Education teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School for the
2014-2015 school year, ” and if she could “allege
in good faith that, after June 19, 2014, she was qualified
for the position to which Ms. Moran was hired; applied for or
was prevented from applying for that position; and was not
hired to that position because of her race, ” then she
would be permitted to file an amended complaint within
twenty-one days. (Id. at 17).
3, Plaintiff filed a document titled “Amended
Complaint” (ECF No. 13), and a motion for
reconsideration of the dismissal of her class action request
(ECF No. 14). On May 5, the court denied Plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration and dismissed the “amended
complaint” without prejudice. (ECF No. 15-1). The court
explained that Plaintiff's filing was not in the form of
a complaint and did not plead new allegations against
Defendant. As the court noted:
[T]he “amended complaint” is devoid of details
establishing that she was qualified for the position or that
she was not hired to the position because of her race.
Plaintiff has not included specific dates or any
particularized context for her allegations. The
“amended complaint” largely consists of
conclusory statements without further factual enhancement.
(Id. at 4). Plaintiff was “provided one final
opportunity to file an amended complaint in proper form
within the next fourteen (14) days.” (Id. at
filed her second amended complaint on May 22. (ECF No. 17).
Defendant filed the pending motion to dismiss on June 5 (ECF
No. 18), Plaintiff submitted a response in opposition on June
23 (ECF No. 21), and Defendant replied (ECF No. 25). Without
leave of court, Plaintiff filed a surreply on July 31. (ECF
No. 27). Plaintiff also filed a separate motion for summary
judgment (ECF No. 21), Defendant submitted a response in
opposition on July 19 (ECF No. 26), and Plaintiff replied on
July 31 (ECF No. 28). On August 18, Plaintiff filed a motion
to strike (ECF No. 29), and a motion for sanctions (ECF No.
30). Defendant submitted a response in opposition to
Plaintiff's motions to strike and for sanctions (ECF No.
31), and Plaintiff replied (ECF No. 32).
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 plaintiff's complaint need only satisfy the
standard of Rule 8(a), which requires a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “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).
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 Cty. 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, 193
(4th Cir. 2009). Ultimately, a complaint must
“‘permit[ ] ...