Armour v. Universal Protection Services
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER adopting Report and Recommendations re 5 Report and Recommendations. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT plaintiff's Objection (Doc. 8) is overruled and the court adopts Judge Rushfelt's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 5) in its entirety, and dismisses this action. Signed by District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree on 7/13/17. Mailed to pro se party Sheila L. Armour by regular and certified mail. (Certified # 7015 0920 0001 7045 8782) (kao)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
SHEILA L. ARMOUR,
Case No. 17-cv-02227-DDC-GLR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On June 22, 2017, Magistrate Judge Gerald L. Rushfelt issued a Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 5), recommending dismissal of this lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) because it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
As Judge Rushfelt explained in his Report and Recommendation, plaintiff has the right to
file objections to the Report and Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 72 within 14 days after service. Doc. 5 at 1. He also advised plaintiff that
failing to make a timely objection to the Report and Recommendation would waive any right to
appellate review of his proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended
disposition. Id. On June 22, 2017, the Clerk sent a copy of the Report and Recommendation to
plaintiff by both regular and certified mail (Docket Entry for Doc. 5), thus accomplishing service
of the Report and Recommendation. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(b)(2)(C) (providing that the court may
accomplish service by mailing the Report and Recommendation “to [plaintiff’s] last known
address—in which event service [was] complete upon mailing”); accord ReVoal v. Brownback,
No. 14-4076, 2014 WL 5321093, at *1 (D. Kan. Oct. 16, 2014).
If the aggrieved party objects to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the
district judge assigned the case “must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge’s
disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); see also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1) (“A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the
report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.”). For the
Report and Recommendation to be “properly objected to,” plaintiff’s objection must “be both
timely and specific.” United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop., 73 F.3d 1057, 1060 (10th Cir.
1996). An objection is sufficiently specific if it “focus[es] the district court’s attention on the
factual and legal issues that are truly in dispute.” Id. If plaintiff fails to make such a proper
objection, then she fails to preserve the objection for appellate review. Id.
Here, plaintiff timely filed her Objection to Judge Rushfelt’s Report and
Recommendation on July 3, 2017. Doc. 8. And, her Objection is sufficiently specific. The
court thus conducts a de novo review of Judge Rushfelt’s Report and Recommendation. When
conducting this review, the court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge . . . [or] may also receive further evidence or
recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The
court’s review also takes plaintiff’s pro se status into account. Because plaintiff brings this
lawsuit pro se, the court construes her pleadings liberally and holds them to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110
(10th Cir. 1991). But the court cannot assume the role of plaintiff’s advocate and plaintiff’s pro
se status does not excuse her from “the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which a recognized
legal claim could be based.” Id. Nor is plaintiff relieved from complying with the rules of the
court or facing the consequences of noncompliance. Nielsen v. Price, 17 F.3d 1276, 1277 (10th
Here, and liberally construing plaintiff’s Complaint, the court agrees with Judge
Rushfelt’s conclusion that plaintiff’s Complaint fails to state a claim. Judge Rushfelt
recommended dismissal of the Complaint because it contains, at best, only vague references to
discrimination and retaliation based on race and fails to allege any misconduct motivated by her
race. Doc. 5 at 6. In her Objection, plaintiff asserts that the court should not adopt Judge
Rushfelt’s recommendation because she has provided the court with “sufficient evidence” to
prove her claims. Id. at 1. Plaintiff also asserts that defendant’s “act of switching companies
before her claim of work injury was resolved was an act of retaliation.” Id. These assertions
simply reiterate the allegations in plaintiff’s Complaint. The Complaint just alleges that plaintiff
was shocked by an electrical device while working for defendant and that defendant failed to
respond to reports of her injury. See generally Doc. 1. The Complaint does not allege facts
supporting a claim either for discrimination or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. See Rivera v. Sw. Bell Tel. Co., No. 13-1039-RDR, 2013 WL
2319395, at *2 (D. Kan. May 28, 2013) (“A complaint alleging employment-based
discrimination, retaliation or harassment under Title VII must ‘make at least minimal factual
allegations on every element’ of the claim. Vague references to discrimination, retaliation or
harassment without any indication that the alleged misconduct was motivated by gender or
another category protected by Title VII will be insufficient to support an employment-based
claim. . . . To prove a disparate treatment claim, plaintiff must show [s]he suffered an adverse
employment action because of [her race].” (citations omitted)); see also Land v. Midwest Office
Tech., Inc., 114 F. Supp. 2d 1121, 1140 (D. Kan. 2000) (listing elements of a retaliation claim
under Title VII). The court thus agrees with Judge Rushfelt’s report, and his recommendation.
The court accepts, adopts, and affirms his Report and Recommendation in its entirety.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT plaintiff’s Objection (Doc. 8) is overruled and
the court adopts Judge Rushfelt’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. 5) in its entirety, and
dismisses this action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 13th day of July, 2017, at Topeka, Kansas
s/ Daniel D. Crabtree
Daniel D. Crabtree
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?