JOHNSON v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re: Plaintiff's Complaint. See the attached Memorandum Opinion for further details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 01/30/2017. (lcapm1)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION, et al.,
SEAN E. JOHNSON,
Case No. 17-cv-00170 (APM)
This matter comes before the court on review of Plaintiff Sean E. Johnson’s Complaint.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se. The court dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint sua sponte for failure to
comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a short
and plain statement” of the basis for the court’s jurisdiction; “a short and plain statement” of the
pleader’s claim, showing she or he is entitled to relief; and a demand for relief. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8(a). The purpose of this minimum pleading standard is to give fair notice to the defendant of
the claims being asserted, such that the defendant can prepare a responsive answer and adequate
defense, as well as determine whether the doctrine of res judicata applies. Butler v. Cal. St.
Disbursement Unit, 990 F. Supp. 2d 8, 9 (D.D.C. 2013). Pleadings filed by pro se litigants are
held to less stringent standards than those filed by lawyers, but all litigants must comply with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Moore v. Agency for Int’l Dev., 994 F.2d 874, 876 (D.C.
The court has reviewed Plaintiff’s Complaint and concludes it falls short of satisfying
Rule 8’s basic requirements. The entire Complaint consists of one sentence: “I, Sean E. Johnson,
am suing the U.S. Department of Transportation for Employment Discrimination, QI Security
Service on the bases of wrongful termination and breach of contract, and I am suing Concentra
Health Care/Service for medical malpractice.” See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1, Sup. Ct. Docs.
(Summons & Compl.), ECF No. 1-1, at 3. These conclusory allegations do not provide any
Defendant with adequate notice of the basis for the claim against it. The Complaint does not
convey what type of discrimination Plaintiff allegedly suffered—e.g., race, gender, retaliation—at
the hands of Defendant Department of Transportation. Similarly, it neither states the nature of the
relationship between Plaintiff and Defendants QI Security Service and Concentra Health
Care/Service, nor conveys what actions caused the alleged wrongful termination and medical
malpractice. Although Plaintiff seeks relief in the amount of $1,188,847.70, the Complaint
conveys no basis for that request. See id.
In short, Plaintiff’s Complaint neither contains a “short and plain statement” of the court’s
jurisdiction and material facts, nor conveys the nature of the dispute. Therefore, as drafted, the
Complaint fails to meet the standard set forth in Rule 8(a) and must be dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ.
An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.
Amit P. Mehta
United States District Judge
Date: January 30, 2017
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