Hansberry v. Postal Service (U.S.) et al

Filing 11

ORDER granting 4 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and dismissing the complaint without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies; and denying as moot 10 Motion to Extend Time. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 12/16/13. (kpr)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS EASTERN DIVISION TAWANA HANSBERRY v. PLAINTIFF No. 2:13-cv-126-DPM U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, PATRICK DONAHOE, Postmaster General, USPS; NATIONAL RURAL LETTER CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION; and SHIRLEY BRANSCUM, Arkansas representative, National Rural Letter Carriers' Association DEFENDANTS ORDER Tawana Hansberry is a rural letter carrier for the United States Postal Service in Marianna, Arkansas. She also served as a local union steward for the National Rural Letter Carriers Association for nearly ten years, before she was decertified in May 2013. In this prose action, Hansberry alleges that the USPS is discriminating against her based on race, color, and sex, N2 1 at 2, and is retaliating against her because she complained about workplace discrimination and participated in an employment discrimination case for another USPS employee. N2 1 at 6. The NRLCA and its District Representative, Shirley Branscum, are in the case because Hansberry says they conspired with the USPS to decertify her as the local union steward. NQ 1 at 6. Hansberry asks that Defendants stop discriminating against her and reinstate her union steward position. NQ 1 at 3. But Hansberry, a postal employee, "must exhaust applicable administrative remedies before commencing a Title VII action in federal court." Patrick v. Henderson, 255 F.3d 914, 915 (8th Cir. 2001). Hansberry twice requested pre-complaint counseling. NQ 1 at 8-10 & 13-15. And in response to her requests, she received a letter from the USPS notifying her of her right to file a formal administrative complaint, NQ 1 at 4. Hansberry mistakes this letter for an EEOC right-to-sue letter, NQ 1 at 2. The USPS letter, however, only authorized her to file an EEO complaint internally, not to file a complaint in this Court. 29 C.F.R. ยง 1614.105. Hansberry did not complete the administrative process before filing suit. The complaint and its attachments reveal that she did not file a formal administrative complaint within the required fifteen-day window. And she never got a final administrative word on her allegations, which is a precondition to suing. Hansberry therefore has failed to exhaust. Patrick, 255 F.3d at915. -2- Defendants' motion to dismiss, NQ 4, granted. Hansberry's complaint is dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies. Motion, NQ 10, denied as moot. So Ordered. D.P. Marshall Jr. United States District Judge 16 December 2013 -3-

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