ANGWENYI v. BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION (HOLDINGS) USA INC.
OPINION. Signed by Judge Susan D. Wigenton on 7/24/2017. (ld, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MARTIN LUTHER KING COURTHOUSE
50 WALNUT ST.
NEWARK, NJ 07101
SUSAN D. WIGENTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
July 24, 2017
Charles K. Angwenyi
320 Renner Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
Plaintiff Pro Se
Amy Z. Synder, Esq.
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
50 South 16th Street, 22nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Counsel for Defendant
LETTER OPINION FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
Angwenyi v. Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA, Inc.
Civil Action No. 17-1873 (SDW) (LDW)
Before this Court is Defendant Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA, Inc.’s
(“Bombardier” or “Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Charles K. Angwenyi’s (“Plaintiff”)
Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). This Court having considered
the parties’ submissions, and having reached its decision without oral argument pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 78, for the reasons discussed below, DENIES Defendant’s motion.
To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint
must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). This Rule “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (internal citations omitted); see also Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d
Cir. 2008) (stating that Rule 8 “requires a ‘showing,’ rather than a blanket assertion, of an
entitlement to relief”). In considering a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must
“accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may
be entitled to relief.” Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231 (external citation omitted). However, “the tenet
that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); see also
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. 2009) (discussing the Iqbal standard).
Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as an HVAC technician from February 10, 2014
until August 26, 2014. (Compl. at 2, 5.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated against
him because of his religious beliefs by scheduling him to work on his Sabbath in violation of the
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”). (Compl. passim.) On December 10, 2014,
after he was terminated by Defendant, Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to Title
VII with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the New Jersey
Division on Civil Rights (“DCR”). (Snyder Cert. Ex. B.) On March 26, 2015, the EEOC sent
Plaintiff a Notice of Dismissal and Right to Sue letter. (Snyder Cert. Ex. C.) Plaintiff moved for
reconsideration and the EEOC denied his request on May 18, 2015. (Snyder Cert. Ex. D.) On
June 22, 2015, Plaintiff asked the DCR to review the EEOC dismissal. (Id. Ex. D.) While that
review was still pending, Plaintiff filed a two-count Complaint pursuant to the LAD in the
Superior Court of New Jersey on August 24, 2016. (Snyder Cert. Ex. A.) Defendant removed
that suit to this Court on March 21, 2017, and on May 1, 2017, filed the instant motion to dismiss
arguing that the pending DCR review barred Plaintiff from filing suit in any court. (Dkt. Nos. 1,
8.) On June 21, 2017, the DCR administratively closed Plaintiff’s case, at his request. (Dkt. No.
11 at 2.)
The LAD “requires a complainant to make an election of remedies between either the
DCR or the Superior Court.” Hernandez v. Region Nine Hous. Corp., 684 A.2d 1385, 1390 (N.J.
1996). Where “a plaintiff elects the administrative remedy . . . that proceeding ‘shall, while
pending, be exclusive.’” Wilson v. Wal-Mart Stores, 729 A.2d 1006, 1009 (N.J. 1999) (internal
citation omitted); see also Collado v. B’Way Corp., Civ. No. 16-604 (JLL), 2016 WL 1572541,
at *6 (D.N.J. Apr. 19, 2016) (dismissing Plaintiff’s action where “Plaintiff’s DCR Charge
remain[ed] pending”). Here, once the DCR closed Plaintiff’s case, that bar to Plaintiff’s state
law claims ceased to exist. 1
Any claims under Title VII, however, are time-barred. As noted in the March 26th EEOC letter, Plaintiff had ninety
(90) days after the conclusion of the EEOC’s investigation to bring suit pursuant to Title VII. (See Snyder Cert. Ex.
C (stating explicitly that “you may only pursue this matter by filing suit against the Respondent named in the charge
with[in] 90 days of receipt of said notice”); see also Mosel v. Hills Dep’t Store, Inc., 789 F.2d 251, 252 (3d Cir.
1986)). Using either the date upon which the EEOC issued its Notice of Dismissal and Right to Sue letter (March
26, 2015) or the date upon which the EEOC denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (May 18, 2015), Plaintiff
is precluded from raising Title VII claims now.
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the Complaint will be DENIED. An appropriate order
__/s/ Susan D. Wigenton________
SUSAN D. WIGENTON, U.S.D.J
Leda D. Wettre, U.S.M.J.
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