Tyrone White v. Bethesda Project Inc
NOT PRECEDENTIAL PER CURIAM OPINION Coram: FISHER, RESTREPO and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges. Total Pages: 3.
Date Filed: 01/12/2017
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
TYRONE K. WHITE,
BETHESDA PROJECT INC.
On Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(E.D. Pa. Civ. No. 2-16-cv-02309)
District Judge: Honorable C. Darnell Jones, II
Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a)
January 3, 2017
Before: FISHER, RESTREPO and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges
(Opinion filed: January 12, 2017)
Using a form complaint for employment discrimination litigation, Tyrone K.
White sued Bethesda Project Inc. (“BPI”) in federal court and checked off line items in
This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not
constitute binding precedent.
Date Filed: 01/12/2017
that form indicating an intent to pursue claims for harassment and racial discrimination.
The complaint’s narrative portion suggested, however, that White used the wrong form.
His actual claims appeared to be that BPI—operator of a Philadelphia homeless shelter—
failed to safeguard White’s medical records during his stay, forged White’s signature on
paperwork submitted to the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and removed White from its
shelter in retaliation for his complaints about harassment. The District Court granted
White’s request to proceed in forma pauperis, and it dismissed his complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.1 The District Court gave White thirty days to cure that pleading defect.
White’s amended complaint was substantively different from the original. It
alleged that BPI case managers “deliberately gave” and “refused to provide” to White a
Vulnerability Index Survey Consent Form. Documents that White attached to his new
pleading included a decision from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
refusing to reopen White’s case against BPI for, among other things, forced relocation.
Again invoking 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the District Court dismissed White’s
amended complaint. But it afforded White another opportunity to amend.
The totality of allegations in White’s latest complaint was: Hilary Coulter (a BPI
case manager) “incorrectly signed a name very similar to [White’s]” and instructed
Geoffrey Ng (her supervisor) to illegally conduct a Vulnerability Index Survey, which
Rule 8 requires a statement of claim to be short, plain, and indicative of a right to relief.
Date Filed: 01/12/2017
Virginia Wilhoff (another BPI case manager) failed to “reconcile.” Elsewhere in the
pleading White cited the Fourteenth Amendment, sought damages for “discrimination,”
and hand-copied a disclaimer used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. The District Court dismissed the second amended complaint with
prejudice because, while it appeared to invoke § 1983 and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”),
“[i]t is not clear from the complaint how the defendant’s actions violated any federal
statute or how those actions could be the product of illegal discrimination.” The District
Court determined that further leave to amend would be futile. This appeal followed.
White principally argues that he should have been given a third attempt to amend
his complaint (White made no such request below). He clarifies that this suit concerns
the FHA, and cites a HUD regulation—24 C.F.R. § 100.202—that prohibits disability
discrimination with respect to the sale or rental of a “dwelling.”2 Yet, White falls far
short of providing sufficient factual material for a hypothetical third amended complaint
that, accepted as true, shows an entitlement to relief. We will thus affirm, concluding
that the District Court neither erred in dismissing White’s second amended complaint
under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) nor abused its discretion in denying further leave to amend.
This appeal gives us no reason to decide whether BPI’s homeless shelter is a “dwelling”
subject to the FHA, using our two-part test from Lakeside Resort Enters., LP v. Bd. of
Supervisors of Palmyra Twp., 455 F.3d 154, 158 (3d Cir. 2006). While courts have
found a variety of shelters to be FHA-covered “dwellings,” see, e.g., Cmty. House, Inc. v.
City of Boise, 490 F.3d 1041, 1044 n.2 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc); Hunter ex rel. A.H. v.
District of Columbia, 64 F. Supp. 3d 158, 175 (D. D.C. 2014), inquiry under Lakeside
Resort is guided by the specific facts of each case.
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