Glapion-Pressley v. City and County of Denver
ORDER. The Court OVERRULES Defendants' objection (ECF No. 50 ), ACCEPTS and ADOPTS the recommendation (ECF No. 49 ), and GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss (ECF No. 27 ). The Clerk is directed to CLOSE this case. By Judge Raymond P. Moore on October 13, 2020. (rvill, )
Case 1:19-cv-02806-RM-MEH Document 52 Filed 10/13/20 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 4
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Raymond P. Moore
Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-02806-RM-MEH
MELEAHA R. GLAPION-PRESSLEY,
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,
This employment case is before the Court on the recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty (ECF No. 49) to grant Defendant’s motion to dismiss (ECF
No. 27). Plaintiff objected to the recommendation (ECF No. 50), and Defendant filed a response
(ECF No. 51). For the reasons below, the Court overrules Plaintiff’s objection and accepts the
recommendation, which is incorporated into this order by reference. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3), this Court reviews de novo any part of the
magistrate judge’s recommendation that is properly objected to. An objection is proper only if it
is sufficiently specific “to focus the district court’s attention on the factual and legal issues that
are truly in dispute.” United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop., 73 F.3d 1057, 1060 (10th Cir.
1996). “In the absence of a timely objection, the district may review a magistrate’s report under
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any standard it deems appropriate.” Summers v. State of Utah, 927 F.2d 1165, 1167 (10th Cir.
Defendant fired Plaintiff. She then filed, pro se, a charge of discrimination with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), alleging that “Defendant continuously
harassed, discriminated, and retaliated against Plaintiff in her employment in violation of
Title VII and the Colorado Civil Rights Act.” (ECF No. 18 at ¶ 8.) Her signed EEOC complaint
includes the following declaration: “Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I, Meleaha Ruth GlapionPressley, declare preparing herein June 12, 2019 (Wednesday) Filed Formal Complaint of
Discrimination (26 pages) truthfully and to the best of my ability.” (ECF No. 47-1 at 24.) After
the EEOC issued a right-to-sue letter, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit, asserting four claims for
relief—three Title VII claims and a whistleblower claim.
Defendant’s motion to dismiss was referred to the magistrate judge, who determined that
Plaintiff’s declaration above was insufficient to satisfy Title VII’s verification requirement.
See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(b) (“Charges shall be in writing under oath or affirmation and shall
contain such information and be in such form as the Commission requires.”); 29 C.F.R. § 1601.9
(“A charge shall be in writing and signed and shall be verified.”). Accordingly, the magistrate
judge recommended dismissing Plaintiff’s Title VII claims and declining to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over her remaining claim.
Plaintiff contends that her EEOC complaint satisfies the verification requirement because
it specifically invokes § 1746. But she cites no authority showing that the magistrate judge’s
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analysis of this issue is incorrect. The purpose of the verification requirement is “to protect
employers and perhaps co-workers ‘from the disruption and expense of responding to a claim
unless a complainant is serious enough and sure enough to support it by oath subject to liability
for perjury.’” Gad v. Kan. State Univ., 787 F.3d 1032, 1037 (10th Cir. 2015) (quoting Edelman
v. Lynchburg College, 535 U.S. 106, 113 (2002)). Plaintiff concedes that her declaration is
“unsworn” and that she “failed to use the magic words ‘under penalty of perjury.’” (ECF No. 50
at 2.) Thus, the Court finds there is no basis for finding that she substantially complied with
§ 1746 by mere citation.
The fact that Plaintiff filed the EEOC complaint pro se does not compel a different
conclusion. Assuming the Court should liberally construe Plaintiff’s EEOC complaint even
though she is now represented by counsel, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972),
the Court will not insert legally-binding words into Plaintiff’s declaration. In other words, the
Court will not make a promise for her or pretend that she made a promise she did not make.
Plaintiff’s reliance on the doctrine of incorporation by reference is misplaced. Plaintiff
cites no authority for the proposition that referring to § 1746 is equivalent to providing an
unsworn declaration, certification, verification, or statement that is substantially in the form set
forth in the statute. Such a rule would make little sense in the context of this case, where the
verification requirement serves to balance employer and employee interests in resolving
Finally, Plaintiff makes no argument aside from her Title VII arguments as to why the
Court should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her whistleblower claim. The Court agrees
with the magistrate judge’s recommendation to decline supplemental jurisdiction and dismisses
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this claim without prejudice.
Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES Defendants’ objection (ECF No. 50), ACCEPTS
and ADOPTS the recommendation (ECF No. 49), and GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss
(ECF No. 27). The Clerk is directed to CLOSE this case.
DATED this 13th day of October, 2020.
BY THE COURT:
RAYMOND P. MOORE
United States District Judge
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