JEAN-PIERRE v. SCHWERS et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Michael A. Shipp on 7/22/2016. (km)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JUL 2 2 2016
WILLIAM T. WALSH
JOHN B. JEAN-PIERRE,
Civil Action No. 15-7288 (MAS) (LHG)
ANGELA SCHWERS, et al.,
SHIPP, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Angela Schwers and Pearson Education,
Inc.'s 1 (collectively, "Defendants") motion to dismiss pro se Plaintiff John B. Jean-Pierre's
("Plaintiff') Complaint pursuant to Rule l 2(b)( 6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF
No. 6.) Plaintiff opposed the motion (ECF No. 7), and Defendants replied (ECF No. 8). The Court
has carefully considered the parties' submissions and decides the matter without oral argument
pursuant to Local Civil Rule 78.1. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Defendants'
This Complaint arises out of an alleged employment discrimination claim. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants singled out Plaintiff for an August 22, 2013 police investigation because of his
Improperly pled as Pearson Education in Plaintiffs Complaint. (ECF No. 1.)
race and color. (Compl. ifif 9-10, ECF No. 1.)2
Plaintiff first filed his discrimination claim with
the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights on May 14, 2015. (Id.
On June 12, 2015, Plaintiff
filed his charge with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"),
and it was dismissed on July 15, 2015. (EEOC Dismissal and Notice of Rights, ECF No. 1; Compl.
7-8.) Thereafter, on October 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this action. (ECF No. 1.)
A district court conducts a three-part analysis when considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
Malleus v. George, 641 F .3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011 ). "First, the court must 'tak[ e] note of the
elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim."' Id. (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
Second, the court must accept as true all of a plaintiff's well-pleaded factual
allegations and construe the complaint in the lightmostfavorable to the plaintiff. Fowler v. UPMC
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009).
The court, however, must disregard any
conclusory allegations proffered in the complaint. Id. at 210. Finally, once the well-pleaded facts
have been identified and the conclusory allegations ignored, a court must "determine whether the
facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a 'plausible claim for
relie£"' Id. at 211 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). Notably, Rule 8(a)(2) "requires only 'a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the
defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."' Bell At!. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). On a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a "defendant bears the burden of showing that no
claim has been presented." Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005).
Plaintiff's Complaint is a form complaint sheet used for charges submitted to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, and Plaintiff attaches the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission's Dismissal and Notice of Rights. (ECF No. 1.)
Defendants argue that the Court should dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) because: (1) Plaintiff failed to first exhaust his administrative remedies; (2) Plaintiff
failed to state a claim for race discrimination under Title VII; and (3) individuals, such as
Defendant Angela Schwers, cannot be held liable under Title VII. (Defs.' Moving Br. 3-10, ECF
No. 6-1.) Plaintiff filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion to dismiss, setting forth the factual
nature of his claim in more detail than in his Complaint. (Pl.'s Opp'n Br., ECF No. 7.)
Before a plaintiff can seek judicial relief, he must first "exhaust all required administrative
remedies." Robinson v. Dalton, 107 F.3d 1018, 1020 (3d Cir. 1997). "[Q]uestions of whether a
plaintiff has timely exhausted the administrative remedies in Title VII actions 'ate in the nature of
statutes oflimitation."' Id. at 1021 (quoting Hornsby v. U.S. Postal Serv., 787 F.2d 87, 89 (3d Cir.
1986)) (emphasis added). The Third Circuit has held that a dismissal on statute of limitations
grounds pursuant to Rule l 2(b)(6) is warranted when "the time alleged in the statement of a claim
shows that the cause of action has not been brought within the statute of limitations." Cito v.
Bridgewater Twp. Police Dep 't, 892 F .2d 23, 25 (3d Cir. 1989) (emphasis omitted). A plaintiff
alleging a claim under Title VII must first file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC within
180 days of the alleged unlawful practice, or within 300 days if first filed with a state agency. 42
U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(l) (2009). A plaintiff may file a Title VII claim in federal court only after
filing a charge with the EEOC. Robinson, 107 F .3d at 1021. When assessing on what date to
begin counting towards the 300-day limit for filing a charge with the EEOC, "[t]he proper focus
is upon the tirne of the discriminatory acts, not upon the time at which the consequences of the
acts became the most painful." Del. State Coll. v. Ricks, 449 U.S. 250, 258 (1980) (quoting
Abramson v. Univ. ofHaw., 594 F.2d 202, 209 (9th Cir. 1979)). 3
Plaintiff alleges that the discriminatory police investigation occurred on August 22, 2013.
(CompI. if 9.) Plaintiff has not alleged that he suffered any discrimination past that date. 4 Although
Plaintiff alleges more facts relating to his claim in his opposition brief, those facts do not support
an inference of discrimination beyond August 22, 2013. (ECF No. 7.) Thus, in order to comply
with the 300-day time limitation, Plaintiff would have had to file his charge with the EEOC by
June 18, 2014. Plaintiff, however, did not file his charge with the EEOC until June 12, 2015.
(Compl. if 7.) Thus, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted because Plaintiff failed to exhaust
his administrative remedies. This Court need not address Defendants' further arguments, as they
Equitable tolling may be permitted under limited circumstances, none of which are alleged, or
could even be inferred, under a liberal reading of the Complaint. Here, Plaintiff claims only that
he filed his charge "within the time frame allowed." (Pl. 's Opp'n Br., 2.) Therefore, the Court
will not toll.
On the form EEOC Complaint, Plaintiff checked "yes" in response to the prompt, "[i]f practice
is continuing check the appropriate box.'' (Compl. if 5a.) This, however, does not constitute a
sufficient allegation that Plaintiff suffered discrimination beyond the date provided.
For the reasons set forth above, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted. An order
consistent with this Memorandum Opinion will be entered.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: July~, 2016
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