Macklin v. F M C Transport Incorporated
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 3 Motion to Dismiss; granting 8 Motion to Amend/Correct. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 4/6/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FMC TRANSPORT, INC.
Dennis Macklin brings employment-discrimination claims against FMC
Transport under Title VII and § 1981. FMC moves to dismiss for failure to
state a claim or to change venue. Macklin responded to FMC's motion and
moves to amend his complaint. The Court evaluates Macklin's proposed
amended complaint in light of FMC's motion to dismiss.
1. Timely Title VII Claims? FMC argues first that Macklin's Title VII
claims are untimely. Upon receiving his right-to-sue letter from the EEOC,
Macklin had ninety days to file his Title VII claims. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1).
The EEOC mailed him the right-to-sue letter on 28 July 2011. The ninety-day
deadline passed around the end of October 2011. Macklin, however, did not
file his complaint until 20 December 2011, nearly two months after the
Macklin offers no excuse for his late filing.
Instead, he cites 20
September 2011 as the date the EEOC issued his right-to-sue letter. Macklin,
however, is mistaken. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights, not the
EEOC, issued its right-to-sue letter on that date. The MCHR's letter gave
Macklin the right to bring an action within ninety days" in any state circuit
court in any county in which the unlawful discriminatory practice is alleged
to have occurred." Document No. 4-2. The MCHR letter established Macklin's
right to sue in state court under the Missouri Human Rights Act. This was a
separate matter from the EEOC's earlier letter giving Macklin the right to sue
under Title VII. The Court sees no reason to apply equitable tolling principles
here. Williams v. Thomson Corp., 383 F.3d 789, 791 (8th Cir. 2004). Macklin's
Title VII claims are thus time barred. Williams, 383 F.3d at 790-91. FMC's
motion to dismiss Macklin's Title VII claims is therefore granted.
2. Failure to State a § 1981 Claim? FMC argues next that Macklin failed
to plead sufficient facts to state a § 1981 claim. The Court agrees with FMC
that Macklin's complaint was somewhat thin.
But Macklin's proposed
amended complaint remedies this problem. The amended complaint crosses
Iqbal's plausibility threshold. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
129 S. Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009). The Court grants Macklin's motion to amend his complaint
subject to its earlier ruling that his Title VII claims are time barred. FED. R.
CIV. P. 15(a)(2). Macklin must file his amended complaint by 16 Apri12012.
FMC's motion to dismiss Macklin's § 1981 claim is denied.
3. Venue Change? FMC also argues that the Court should transfer this
case to the Western District of Missouri, Southern Division. FMC is located
there, and it claims that all the events and actions forming the basis of
Macklin's complaint occurred there. But Macklin points to several reasons to
keep the case in the Eastern District of Arkansas. For example, Macklin lives
in Arkansas and was an Arkansas resident when he entered into the lease
agreement with FMC; Macklin's truck is registered in Arkansas; the wreck,
which allegedly precipitated Macklin's firing, occurred on an Arkansas
highway; the brake work, which Macklin says caused the wreck, was
performed in Arkansas; and Macklin's expert witness lives in Arkansas. At
this point, FMC has not tipped the scales in favor of transferring this case. 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Court denies FMC's motion to change venue without
Macklin's motion to amend his complaint, Document No.8, granted.
FMC's motion to dismiss or to change venue, Document No.3, granted in part
and denied in part.
D.P. MarsHall Jr.
United States District Judge
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