Osei v. Sam's Club (Walmart Incorporated)

Filing 30

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 2/12/2018. (c/m to pla 2/14/18 rss, Deputy Clerk) Modified on 2/14/2018 c/m to Ghana & MD addresses (rss, Deputy Clerk).

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT ~, FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND Southern ID/8 FEB'2 Division P ~: I 4 * SARKODIE YA \V OSEI, * Plaintiff, Case No.: G,J11-17-228.t * v. * SAM'S CLUB (\VAL-MART INC.)I * Defendant. * * * * * * * * MEMORANDUM Pro Se PlaintifTSarkodic * OPINION Sam's Motion to Dismiss. ECF Nos. 14 and 29. and Plaintitrs to Casc Removal. necessary. Lac. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the ftlilowing rcasons. Dclendant's I. ECF No. 17. construcd as a Motion to Remand. No hcaring is Motion to Motion to Rcmand is denicd. BACKGROUND PlaintilTwas previously cmployed by Dcfendant Maryland and asserts claims against Defcndant attcmpted wrongful discriminated 2017. Id. I East. Inc. in ECF No. I. Now pending bcftHe thc Court is Objcetion Dismiss is granted. and Plaintiffs * County on Junc 29. 2017. ECF NO.2. which Dcfendant removcd to this C0U11 on August 10.2017. initial and renewcd * * Yaw asci tiled an action against Dcfcndant the Circuit Court ftlr Montgomery Defendant's * * 'i termination. for political persecution. discrimination. and ECF NO.2. Plaintiff appears to allcge that Dcfendant against him by assigning 2. However. at its Sam's Club storc in Gaithersburg. him extra work and ignoring his requcsts the majority of Plainti fr s Complaint and subsequent The proper defendant is Sam"s East. Inc .• and the case caption will be updated accordingly. for hclp in tilings with the Court allege that Plaintiff is the victim of an international conspiracy and persecution by U.S. and Ghanaian Government agents. aided by Defendant and its corporatc parent Wal-Mart Stores. Inc., based on Plaintiffs opposition to the "New Patriotic Partly] (NPP)" political party in Ghana. See ECI' Nos. 2. 17. 22. 27. Plaintiff tiled his Complaint in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on July II. 2017. Defendant alleges that Plainti ITdid not serve its residcnt agent: rather. a sheri ff s deputy handed a copy of the Complaint to Yahaira Castro. the co-manager of Defendant's Gaithersburg store. See ECF No. 14-1 '1'll8-10. Regardless. Defendant timely removed the action to this Court on August 10. 20 17 based on diversity of citizenship jurisdiction pursuant to 28 S II. U.s.c. 1332(a)(I). DISCUSSION A. Motion to Remand On September 6.20 17. Plaintiff tiled his Objection to Case Removal From the Circuit Court. ECF No. 17. which the Court will construe as a Motion to Remand. Ilowever. because removal was proper. the motion will be denied. Pursuant to 28 U.s.c. S 1332(a). the Court has original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds $75.000 and the action is between citizens of different States. Defendant is incorporated in Delaware. with its principal place of business in Arkansas. See ECF No. 16 'll2. Plaintiff states that he is a resident of Maryland. ECF No. 17 'll6. and has alleged damages in the amount of live million dollars. See ECF NO.2 at 3: see a/so id. at 1 (listing Plaintiffs mailing address as P.O. Box 803. Germantown, Maryland).2Plaintiffappears to argue that Defendant is a citizen of Maryland based on the location of its Gaithersburg store. See ECF No. 17 'll7. Ilowever. because a Pin cites to documents by that system. 1 filed on the Court"s electronic filing system (CM/ECF) 2 refer 10 the page numbers gencr~ltcd corporation is deemed to be a citizen of every State in which it has been incorporated State where it has its principal place of business. Arkansas. Defendant See 28 U.S.c. ~ 1332(c)( I ):1 Therefore. proper. and Plaintiffs and the is a citizen of Delaware and diversity of citizenship exists. removal is Motion to Remand is denied. B. Motion to Dismiss At the outset. the Court recognizes construed. standards and a pro se complaint. than formal pleadings omitted). Ilowever. forth a cognizable dratied by lawyers .... See Lin/or I'. claim. See /Veller excuse a pro se plaintiff 1'. Dep'/ o{Soc. Sen's .. 901 F.2d 387. 390-91 (4th Cir. 1'. advocate s failure to satisfy the procedural Md. July 11,2012) (citing Omni Capi/a/ Inlern .. LId. 104 (1987) and Hansan I'. construes requirements I'. of service of process. See 2012 WL 2871422. Rudo/{Wo//f& at *2 (D. Co.. !.ld.. 484 U.S. 97. Fair{clx COUnl)'Sch. Rd.. 405 F. App'x 793. 794 (4th Cir. 2010)). Plaintiffs Complaint VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 42 U.S.c. Act ("MHRA"). and develop claims that he failed Leeke. 574 F.2d 1147. 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). Nor may the Court Allied Was/e Serl'ices o{Washing/on. No. RWT-I1-1612. Defendant Po/son. 263 F. Supp. 3d 613. the Court may not ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts that set to clearly raise. Gordon 1'. I'. Pan/us. 551 U.S. 89. 94 (2007)) (internal quotations 1990). The Court may not act as the pro se plaintiffs Gray filed pro se is to be liberally however inartfully pleaded. must be held to less stringent (E.D. Va. 2017) (citing Erickson 618-19 that a "document to be a claim for discrimination ~ 2000e e/ self.. or the Maryland under Title Iluman Rights Md. Code. State Gov't ~ 20-101 e/ self" and provides the Court with thrce separate bases to dismiss the action under Federal Rules of Civil Procure 12(b)(I). ECF No. 14-1 at 8. First. DefCndant argues that the COlll11acksjurisdiction (5). and (6). over Plaintiffs .• While Plailltiffnrgues that he does 110t reside at his listed Germantown PO 130x mailing address. PlaintiffstalcS that he is a resident of Maryland and does not give the Court any basis to tind that he is a citizen of either Delaware or Arkansas to defeat complete diversity of citizenship. See ECF No. 17 ~ 6. 3 discrimination claim because PlaintifT lailed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Id (citing Balas 1'. HUII/inxlonlngalls Indus .. Inc .. 711 F.3d 401. 406 (4th Cir. 2013) (under Title VII. "[a]n employee seeking redress for discrimination cannot Iile suit until she has exhausted the administrative process") and CI!free \'. Verizan COIllIllC'IIS. 111(",. 55 F. Supp. 2d 672.678 (D. 7 Md. 2010) ("like Title VII. the MHRA does require that would-be plaintiffs first file a charge of discrimination with an enforcement agency"). Second. Defendant argues that PlaintifT tailed to properly serve its resident agent pursuant to Maryland Rulc of Civil Procedure 2-124(d). ECF No. 14-1 at 5. Third. Defendant argucs that Plaintiff has lailed to plead a prilllajilcie case of discrimination or retaliatory discharge. ECF No. 14-1 at 9 (citing Nichols \'. COIllCllsl Cahiel'ision. 84 F. Supp. 2d 642. 653 (D. Md. 20(0) (providing the four elements ofaprillla .filcie case of discrimination)). Defendant can prevail on anyone of its three bases: howevcr. becausc Plaintiffs Complaint fails to provide"a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relicI" as required by Rule 8(a)(2). much less meet the standards set t{lrth in Bell All. Corp. 1'. Tll"olllhiy. 550 U.S. 544. 570 (2007) and Ashcro/i \'. I"hal. 556 U,S, 662. 678 (2009) to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face:' the Complaint must be dismissed at the outset. and thc Court nced not address Defendant's rcmaining arguments in detail. Even alier liberal construction of the Complaint. the Court is unable to discern a cognizable claim against Defendant. See Spencer 1'. Earley. 278 F, App'x 254. 259-60 (4th Cir. 2(08) (quoting !Iailles 1'. Kerner. 404 U.S. 519. 521 (1972) C'd]ismissal of a pro se complaint ... I{lr failure to state a valid claim is [ I only appropriate whcn. alier applying this liberal construction. it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintifTcan prove no sel offilcls in support of his claim which would cntitle him to reliel"')) (emphasis in original), While PlaintifTinvokes general language suggestive of 4 employment discrimination, discriminated he alleges no set of facts to support the notion that he was against. wrongfully the Complaint terminated, alleges that Defendant PlaintifTbecause of his opposition or constructivcly is party to an international to a Ghanaian complain!. a court need not do so when determining O'Connor I'. I'. by Defendant. conspiracy RatheL set up to persecute political party. In contrast to practice under Rule 12(b)(6). where a court must presume the truthfulness Company discharged of the allegations jurisdiction set forth in the under Rule 12(b)(I). See US .. 159 F.R.D. 22. 25 (D. Md. 1994) (citing Ohio Nalional Life Insurance Uniled Slales. 922 F.2d 320 (6th CiL1990)). dismiss such "patently insubstantial" Under Rule 12(b)( I). Courts may sua .\j)()nle where the complaint's complaints and include "claims describing "factual contentions are clearly baseless" fantastic or delusional scenarios:' See hI. (citing Neil::ke 1'. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 n.6 (1989)): see also Ilagam 1'. Lm'ine. 415 U.S. 528. 536-37 (1974) (federal courts lack power to entcrtain claims that arc "so attenuated and unsubstantiatcd as to be absolutely Plaintiff has been afforded an opportunity dcvoid of merit"). to respond to Defendant's clarify his cause of action but has refused to do so.~ Moreover. .. It Is Finished" sets forth additional state that he is departing conspiracy 4 and last pleading. entitled thcories that makc no mention of Defendant and for Ghana and will never return to the United States. lOCI' No. 27 at I. The Court will not attempt to extract a legally cognizable further, and his Complaint Plaintiff's arguments claim from Plaintiff's pleadings any must be dismissed. On September 25. 2017. PlaintitTfiled Court's Standing Order Concerning various pleadings \"dlh the Court contending Removal. ECF No. 10. Defendant's that he had not received the response thereto. ECF No. 16. and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 14, when filed. See ECF Nos. 19-22. !lowever, the docket reflects both claims to not have received. Plailltiffis in possession of these liIings and has not requested additional time to reply. electronic and mail service of the filings Plaintiff 5 III. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons. Defendant's initial and renewed Motion to Dismiss. ECF 14 and 29. shall be granted. PlaintilTs Motion to Remand. ECF o. 17. shall be denied. A separate Order follows. Dated: Februarvl ~O 18 GEORGE.I.IIAZEL United States District Judge 6 os.

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