United States District Court, D. Maryland
MOHAMMED A. MIAN, Plaintiff,
JOHN PAUKSTIS; HABITAT FOR HUMANITY METRO MARYLAND, INC., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court in this employment case are two motions: a
motion to dismiss filed by Defendants John Paukstis and
Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, Inc.
(“Paukstis” and “Habitat for Humanity,
” respectively) (ECF No. 6), and a motion for leave to
file a reply to the Defendants' answer under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 7(a)(7) filed by Plaintiff Mohammad A.
Mian (“Mian”) (ECF No. 15). The issues are fully
briefed, and, because no hearing is necessary, the Court now
rules pursuant to Local Rule 105.6. The Court GRANTS the
motion to dismiss (ECF No. 6) and DENIES the motion to file
under Rule 7(a)(7) (ECF No. 15).
proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against
Paukstis and Habitat for Humanitywhich Mian styled as one for
employment discrimination. ECF No. 1 at 1. Mian was a
participant in the Jewish Council for the Aging's Senior
Community Service Employment Program, which placed him as a
volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. ECF No. 1 ¶¶
3, 4. Mian volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for
approximately one year and, in December 2015, wrote to
express interest in being brought on as a regular employee.
ECF No. 1 ¶ 5, ECF No. 1-4. Mian was informed that no
positions were open. ECF No. 1-5 at 1, 1-7 at 2 (Mian asked
Habitat for Humanity to create a position for him; no
position was created). Some weeks later, an assistant manager
resigned, leaving a position open at the facility where Mian
worked. Mian apparently was not informed of the vacancy, and
another candidate was hired. ECF No. 1-5 at 1. Mian
recognized that he did not meet the physical requirements of
the assistant manager position. ECF No. 1-5 at 1.
same time, Mian alleges that a Habitat for Humanity employee
who worked in the same facility as he did, Sharika, yelled at
him on multiple occasions. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 9, 10. Mian
complained to Habitat for Humanity and to his contact at the
Jewish Council for the Aging. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 9, 12.
Following a meeting between representatives of Habitat for
Humanity and the Jewish Council for the Aging, which Mian
declined to attend, Mian was informed that he would be
reassigned to a different host site at which to volunteer.
ECF No. 1-7 at 6, ECF No. 1 ¶ 11.
thereafter filed a complaint with the Montgomery County
Office of Human Rights (“MCOHR”). ECF No. 1
¶ 14, ECF No. 1-7. The MCOHR found that no reasonable
grounds existed to support an actionable claim. ECF No. 1-7
at 8. Mian appealed to the Case Review Board of the Human
Rights Commission (“the Board”), which affirmed
the MCOHR decision. ECF No. 1-9 at 1. This suit followed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) properly is granted when a
complaint does not include sufficient factual allegations to
render the plaintiff's claims facially plausible, or to
permit reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for
the alleged misconduct. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). To assess a motion to dismiss, a
court takes as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and
makes all reasonable inferences in the favor of the
plaintiff. Phillips v. Pitt Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572
F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 1999). A court may consider materials
attached to the Complaint when reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss. Id. However, when determining if
a plaintiff has stated a valid claim, a court does not credit
conclusory statements or a plaintiff's legal conclusions,
even when the plaintiff purports them to be allegations of
fact. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Giarrantano
v. Jonson, 520 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir. 2008). Further,
“[a] court considering a motion to dismiss can choose
to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are not
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 665.
Mian is proceeding pro se, the Court must construe
his complaint liberally to allow for the development of a
potentially meritorious case. Hughes v. Rowe, 449
U.S. 5, 9 (1980). Liberal construction requires that if the
Court can reasonably read the Complaint to state a valid
claim, it must do so; however, the Court cannot ignore a
clear failure to allege facts setting forth a cognizable
claim. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901
F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990) (“The ‘special
judicial solicitude' with which a district court should
view such pro se complaints does not transform the court into
an advocate. Only those questions which are squarely
presented to a court may properly be addressed.”). The
Court is not “required to recognize obscure or
extravagant claims defying the most concerted efforts to
unravel them.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). Neither should the Court “conjure up
questions never squarely presented . . . . Even in the case
of pro se litigants, [district courts] cannot be
expected to construct full blown claims from sentence
fragments.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775
F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
Appeal of the Board's Decision
initial matter, the Court cannot grant Mian's requested
relief, which he styles as “Solicitation, ” in
his Complaint. ECF No. 1 at 7. Mian's requested relief
reads in full:
a) This honorable court is requested that in view of the
foregoing facts in the case, there was no controversial issue
left and case was over after rebuttals answer.
b) The new issue invented by the Human Rights Director for
the conclusion was just attempt to fill up vacuum of any
valid issue available to make the excuse to terminate the