WORKMAN v. BISSESSAR
MEMORANDUM OPINION on Defendant's motion to dismiss 3 . See document for details. A separate order 12 will issue. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 9/8/2017. (lcrdm1, ) (Main Document 11 replaced on 9/8/2017) (kt).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Civil Action No. 17-1071 (RDM)
Plaintiff Joan Workman, proceeding pro se, is an employee at the Smithsonian
Institution’s Renwick Gallery (“the Smithsonian”) in Washington, D.C. On May 18, 2017, she
filed a complaint in the D.C. Superior Court, alleging that her supervisor at the Smithsonian,
defendant Kenrick Bissessar, “walk[ed]-up on [her] back [in] a threatening manner at work.”
Dkt. 1-3 at 5. She also filed motions for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and a
preliminary injunction, asserting that the “harassment” she was experiencing at her job caused
her to “fear for [her] life.” Id. at 12; see also id. at 1–4; 13. Workman’s complaint does not seek
monetary damages but, rather, requests only that the Court issue “a stay-away order” to
Bissessar. Id. at 3.
Acting on Bissessar’s behalf, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a notice of removal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1), see Dkt. 1, and, nine days later, filed a motion to dismiss
Workman’s complaint and an opposition to her motions for a TRO and a preliminary injunction,
see Dkt. 3. The Court held a hearing on Workman’s motion for a TRO, and it denied the motion
on June 15, 2017. See Minute Entry (June 15, 2017). The next month—after Workman failed to
respond to Bissessar’s motion to dismiss and opposition to her motion for a preliminary
injunction, see Dkts. 7, 9—the Court denied her motion for a preliminary injunction, concluding
that she “failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits or that she w[ould] suffer an
irreparable injury in the absence of immediate relief,” Dkt. 10 at 2. The Court, however,
deferred ruling on Bissessar’s motion to dismiss—which raised, among other defenses,
Workman’s failure to effect service—“until the time to serve pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(m)” expired on September 5, 2017. Dkt. 10 at 2. To that end, the Court “order[ed]
that [Workman] either cause process to be served upon Bissessar and proof of service to be filed
with the Court or establish good cause for failure to do so no later than September 5, 2017,” and
warned her that “[f]ailure to make such a filing w[ould] result in dismissal of this case.” Id.
As of September 8, 2017, Workman has not filed proof of service with the Court nor has
she established good cause for her failure to so. Accordingly, the Court will GRANT
Bissessar’s motion to dismiss Workman’s complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(5) for failure to effect service of process, Dkt. 3, and will DISMISS this action without
A separate order will issue.
/s/ Randolph D. Moss
RANDOLPH D. MOSS
United States District Judge
Date: September 8, 2017
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