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Chappell v. Baltimore County Public Schools

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 17, 2019

CHANTE CHAPPEL Plaintiff,
v.
BALTIMORE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.

         In this employment discrimination case, self-represented plaintiff Chante Chappell has sued "Baltimore County Public Schools"[1] under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (the "ADA"). ECF 1 (the "Complaint"). Plaintiff alleges that, during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, she was discriminated against based on her "respiratory" disability. Id. at 5-6. Specifically, Chappell complains that defendant failed to provide air conditioning in her workplace. Id. at 6.

         Plaintiff asserts claims for failure to accommodate, unequal terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation. Id. at 5. However, she has not specified the requested relief. Plaintiff explains that her requested relief is "pending advice from [an] attorney once [she] obtain[s] one." Id. at 7.

         On December 10, 2018, defendant moved to dismiss the complaint (ECF 5), pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), supported by a memorandum of law. ECF 5-1 (collectively, the "Motion"). On three occasions between December 19, 2018 and February 26, 2019, Chappell sought (ECF 8; ECF 10; ECF 13) and I approved (ECF 9; ECF 11; ECF 14) an extension to respond to the Motion. By Order of February 26, 2019 (ECF 14), I set a response deadline of March 29, 2019. Nevertheless, Chappell has failed to file an opposition, and the time do so has expired. See Local Rule 10 5.2(a).

         No hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall grant defendant's Motion, with leave to amend.

         I. Factual Background

         In February 2016, plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). ECF 1 at 6. Chappell received a Notice of Right to Sue letter on August 20, 2018. Id. This suit followed on October 31, 2018.

         As noted, Chappell's claims arise out of her employment with defendant during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. ECF 1 at 5. She alleges that defendant discriminated against her based on her "respiratory" disability. Id. at 5.

The facts of the Complaint are set forth below, in their entirety, id. at 6:
AC was slated by the board of education by the summer of 2017 but wasn't provided. ADA alternative accommodations were to 1) stand in the hallway/doorway, 2) fans (never provided), 3) inhaler. My working area - Entire new wing of building had no working AC.

         II. Standard of Review

         A defendant may test the legal sufficiency of a complaint by way of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). In re Birmingham, 846 F.3d 88, 92 (4th Cir. 2017); Goines v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd, 822 F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th Cir. 2016); McBurney v. Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393, 408 (4th Cir. 2010), aff'd sub nom., McBurney v. Young, 569 U.S. 221 (2013); Edwards v. City of. Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion constitutes an assertion by a defendant that, even if the facts alleged by a plaintiff are true, the complaint fails as a matter of law "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted."

         Whether a complaint states a claim for relief is assessed by reference to the pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). That rule provides that a complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." The purpose of the rule is to provide the defendants with "fair notice" of the claims and the "grounds" for entitlement to relief. Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).

         To survive a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain facts sufficient to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009) (citation omitted) ("Our decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard for 'all civil actions'-----"); see also Willner v. Dimon,849 F.3d 93, 112 (4th Cir. 2017). But, a plaintiff need not include "detailed factual allegations" in order to satisfy Rule 8(a)(2). Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Moreover, federal pleading rules "do not countenance dismissal of a complaint for imperfect statement of ...


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