Byrd v. Ta Chen Interational et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION (c/m to Plaintiff 9/15/20 sat). Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 9/15/2020. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
Civil Action No. DKC 19-1873
TA CHEN INTERNATIONAL, et al.
Presently pending in this Title VII retaliation case is a
motion for a more definite statement filed by Defendants Ta Chen
International, Inc., and Asher Wolf (“Defendants”) (ECF No. 27).
The court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary.
For the following reasons, Defendants’ motion to for
a more definite statement will be denied.
The relevant factual background is laid out in full in a
previous memorandum opinion by this court. Byrd v. Ta Chen, Int’l.,
No. DKC 19-1873, 2020 WL 4933636 (D.Md. August 24, 2020). Relevant
to the motion at hand, Plaintiff Vance Byrd (“Mr. Byrd”) filed his
discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq.
(ECF No. 1).
Mr. Byrd’s initial complaint properly alleged specific forms
of retaliation in response to his initial complaint with the United
States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), (ECF No.
13-2), and the issuance of a Right to Sue letter.
Mr. Wolf, as an agent to his and Mr. Byrd’s mutual employer,
threatening to fire Mr. Byrd for “insubordination” as alleged
pretext for retaliation and the docking of his overtime.
No. 1-4, at 1-2).
Mr. Byrd also submitted numerous supplements to
his original complaint, but one, filed on July 15, 2019, alleged
questioned Mr. Byrd’s coworkers about his ongoing discrimination
case and threatened to fire those involved.
(ECF No. 5).
subsequent supplement to his complaint,1 Mr. Byrd produced text
messages that purport to show Mr. Wolf, again acting alongside his
employer, trying to use Mr. Byrd’s lack of an attorney to persuade
Mr. Byrd not to bring his EEOC claims.
(ECF, No. 18-1).
final supplement to the complaint, he also alleges “Ta Chen (empire
employment for “not signing a document” pertinent to this pending
(ECF, NO. 22, at 2-3).
Mr. Wolf again played a
central role in this termination by texting Mr. Byrd “not to [come]
Defendants continue to refer to this and a subsequent
supplement as “amendments” as that is how these motions were
originally styled by Plaintiff. (ECF Nos. 18, 22). However, as
the recent Memorandum Opinion makes clear the allegedly
retaliatory conduct mentioned in these “amendments” occurred after
his initial filing with this court on June 25 and thus are properly
considered supplemental pleadings and not motions for amendment.
ECF no. 24, at 3 & n.3, 4 & n.4).
back to work” when arguing this directive was attributable to “Ta
(ECF No. 18).
He further argued that his
employer’s retaliatory behavior continued after his termination in
the threat to call the police should he return on site, which he
alleges is against company policy.
(ECF No. 22-1, at 2).
In addressing Defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim, (ECF No. 13), Mr. Byrd’s discriminatory claims were
dismissed for failure to state a claim.
(ECF No. 24, at 21).
However, the above retaliation claims all survived in satisfying
the definition of an adverse action under Title VII’s retaliation
(Id., at 25).
motion to dismiss as it related to these separate instances of
alleged retaliation, “[a]ccording to Mr. Byrd’s complaint, all
these behaviors were motivated by a wish to retaliate against him
for filing a discrimination claim or against others who cooperated
in the complaint’s investigation and thus he sufficiently alleges
a causal connection between the claim and the adverse actions.”
organization and clarity, pro se complainants are entitled to be
liberally construed and held to a less stringent standard than
pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)).
The court’s earlier opinion
For the foregoing reasons, the motion for a more definite
statement is denied.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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