Smith v. Amazon.com Services, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 22 Motion for Judgment. Signed by Chief District Judge Julie A. Robinson on 11/18/2021. (ca)
Case 2:21-cv-02260-JAR-TJJ Document 25 Filed 11/18/21 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
WARD SMITH II,
Case No. 21-CV-2260-JAR-TJJ
AMAZON.COM SERVICES LLC,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Ward Smith II, proceeding pro se, filed suit against Defendant Amazon.com
Services LLC on June 9, 2021. Plaintiff received leave to file an amended complaint and filed it
in October, asserting an employment discrimination claim and nine other claims. Defendant
filed an answer. Plaintiff has now filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 22). He
asserts that the parties have settled the case, but as of the date of filing his motion, Defendant had
not executed the settlement agreement. Plaintiff asserts that he states a claim in his amended
complaint and is entitled to judgment on the pleadings. The motion is fully briefed, and the
Court is prepared to rule. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies Plaintiff’s motion.
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c), “[a]fter the pleadings are closed—but early enough not
to delay trial—a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” The standard for a motion for
judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) is the same as that applied to a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).1 To obtain judgment on the
pleadings, the moving party must demonstrate that the pleadings reveal no material issues of fact
Myers v. Koopman, 738 F.3d 1190, 1193 (10th Cir. 2013).
Case 2:21-cv-02260-JAR-TJJ Document 25 Filed 11/18/21 Page 2 of 3
to be resolved.2 All reasonable inferences from the pleadings are construed in the non-moving
party’s favor.3 If the motion is brought by the plaintiff, the “critical question is whether the
defendant’s answer raises issues of fact that would defeat the plaintiff’s recovery.”4
Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, the Court must construe his pleadings liberally and
apply a less stringent standard than that which applies to attorneys.5 “Nevertheless, [Plaintiff]
bears ‘the burden of alleging sufficient facts on which a recognized legal claim could be
based.’”6 The Court may not provide “additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff’s
complaint or construct a legal theory on a plaintiff’s behalf.”7
Factual and Procedural Background
Plaintiff worked for Defendant in 2020 and claims that he was sexually harassed due to
his gender and retaliated against for speaking up about it. The parties state that they have entered
into a settlement agreement. Plaintiff states in his motion for judgment on the pleadings that
Plaintiff signed the settlement agreement on October 11, 2021, but as of the date Plaintiff filed
his motion (October 13, 2021), Defendant had not returned the executed agreement. Defendant
states in its response that the matter has been resolved by way of settlement and that it has
proposed a stipulation of dismissal for Plaintiff to sign. Defendant states that Plaintiff is only
willing to sign the stipulation of dismissal on the condition that it would be void if the Court
grants Plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Thus, Defendant has not filed a
Cessna Fin. Corp. v. JetSuite, Inc., 437 F. Supp. 3d 914, 919 (D. Kan. 2020).
Volvo Fin. Servs. v. JRD Contracting, Inc., No. 17-0089-WS-B, 2017 WL 8941065, at *2 (S.D. Ala. July
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173 (10th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
Requena v. Roberts, 893 F.3d 1195, 1205 (10th Cir. 2018) (quoting Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110
(10th Cir. 1991)).
Whitney, 113 F.3d at 1173–74 (citing Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110).
Case 2:21-cv-02260-JAR-TJJ Document 25 Filed 11/18/21 Page 3 of 3
stipulation of dismissal and requests that the Court rule on Plaintiff’s motion. Plaintiff did not
file a reply.
Plaintiff brings his motion asserting that the Court should grant judgment in his favor on
the pleadings. Although not entirely clear, he also asserts that the Court should craft a settlement
between Plaintiff and Defendant based on the pleadings.
Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s motion has no merit, and Plaintiff is not entitled to
judgment as a matter of law based on the pleadings. Defendant states that its answer denies the
material allegations related to liability and thus raises questions of fact, making judgment on the
pleadings inappropriate. For example, Plaintiff alleges, in paragraph nine of his amended
complaint, that he was discriminated against because of his gender and provides details of an
incident between himself and another employee. Defendant, in its answer, denies this allegation
and the incidents as described. In addition, Defendant asserts ten affirmative defenses. Thus,
there are disputed issues of fact. Accordingly, Plaintiff cannot establish that there are no issues
of material fact to be resolved, and he is not entitled to judgment on the pleadings.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that Plaintiff’s Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 22) is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: November 18, 2021
S/ Julie A. Robinson
JULIE A. ROBINSON
CHIEF 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?