Taylor v. Royal Ahold NV

Filing 12

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 1/20/2017. Copy mailed to Pro Se Plaintiff. (jsmi, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRIGNIA Richmond Division JACQUELINE LENORLIA TAYLOR, Plaintiff, V. Civil Action No. 3:16cv241 ROYAL AHOLD NV, KONINKIJIJKE AHOLD (AHony) AHOLD USA/GIANT MARTINS FOOD & PHARMACY, Defendant. MEMORANDUM OPINION This matter PLAINTIFF'S is before COMPLAINT BY the Court DEFENDANT on the MOTION TO DISMISS GIANT FOOD STORES, LLC FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED No. 5) filed ("Ahony") by Defendant Royal Ahold NV Koninkijke (ECF Ahold Ahold USA/Giant Martins Food & Pharmacy's Motion to {''Giant Food Stores") . For the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted and this action will be dismissed with prejudice. INTRODUCTION The Complaint filed by Jacqueline Lenorlia Taylor (ECF No. 3) , even when read generously, presents largely incomprehensible assertions and no cognizable construed as coherence. See Estelle v. required by claims. precedent, Gamble, Thus, the 429 U.S. 97, even liberally Complaint 106 lacks (1976). The level as of incoherence is such that this containing only "fanciful factual frivolous 490 under U.S. 319, 28 325 U.S.C. § (1989) ("§ applied to a complaint, conclusion, but Nevertheless, also the case could be dismissed allegation [s]," making it 1915(d). See 1915(d) 's Neitzke term v. Williams, "frivolous," when embraces not only the inarguable legal the fanciful Defendant has factual responded allegation.") to the perceived substance of the Complaint in its motion to dismiss (ECF No. and unreasonable its one. the construction of the Complaint is not an 5), Adopting the liberal construction used by the Defendant, Complaint nonetheless relief can be granted. fails to Therefore, state a claim upon which the Defendant's motion will be granted. DISCUSSION By its own terms, the Complaint alleges (1) violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(a) seq. ; (2) violation of Title VI, violation of the (4) 42 U.S.C. § Pennsylvania and Massachusetts 2000 (d); et (3) Constitutions; violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act, Va. Code § 2.2- 3900 et. seq.; (5) violation of the Defendant company's internal ethics policy; (6) violation of the Defendant company's internal policy against retaliation; and (7) Amendment. complaint Read liberally, the violation of the Fourteenth also may be read to assert of state law emotional claims for and distress, defamation, assault. intentional All of these infliction claims or potential claims are legally defective. A. Count I: Title II, Title VI, and the Fourteenth Amendment Taylor's first claim seeks to recover damages under "Title II and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and 1964 Accommodations 42 USC 2000 (A) (B) . Fourteenth Amendment to the (Complaint liberally read, fails Act) 6) . plausibly Even to state et al., Constitution of the a claim Count upon I and (Public The [sic] United States." of the Complaint which relief may be granted. Title To establishes a prima accommodation discrimination, facie to full accommodation; (4) benefits (3) and case of Title II Taylor must show that she: a member of a protected class; right II (2) enjoyment of a place of favorably 390 U.S. 400, Additionally, 402 plaintiff brings an action under that Title, damages.") and than similarly situated persons injunctive relief is available under the act. Newman v. Inc., is public was denied those benefits and enjoyment; was treated less Enterprises, (1) attempted to exercise the who are not members of the protected class. Park public only Piqqie (1968)("When a he cannot recover Plaintiff fails to plausibly state a prima facie case under Title II. Although she contends that she was discriminated and harassed social ^''on and the basis financial of race color, statuses[, and] sex/sexual more orientation, explicitly those who are homeless and unemployed," her complaint fails allege that the discrimination, Defendant was to plausibly responsible and otherwise alleges facts for this so "fanciful" that they are "frivolous" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1915(d).^ Moreover, the "retaliation Complaint against discrimination, [sic], the with that the Plaintiff stalking, complaints Department." avers and alleged for her sexually Defendants treatment filing filed numerous offensive/harassing Corporate Customer Service (Compl. SI26) . By her own admission, therefore, the Defendant's conduct was motivated by the "numerous" she was with customer service, and not because complaints of Taylor's race. ^ Among other implausible claims, Taylor's complaint includes allegations that the Defendant was responsible for enlisting other customers to attack her arranging "proxy stalking teams with [that] shopping carts and for were established in the community, malls, and other shopping centers." In her own words, Taylor claims that the allegedly actionable discrimination "a great majority of the time, were by way of staged public routine enactments within and outside accommodations utilizing Defendant, Defendant's patrons, places of community members and the person who stalks Plaintiff on a daily basis." (Pi. Reply 3). The Court notes that "[t]he person who stalks Plaintiff on a daily basis" is not identified further by the Complaint as an employee of, or anyone otherwise associated with, the Defendant. The Title conduct II alleged connected any Defendant. in and welcome in is the actual Taylor threats charge Complaint person claims sexual or has she and place deficient not employee that assaults" Defendant's further of been told she accommodation," her Complaint, statement that Taylor offers "Defendant did disclosing his presence." so only the the death was not but cannot (Compl. identify who allegedly said any of these things. In with ''several that the plausibly- associated received ''was because 120). incomprehensible in an unidentifiable manner by Even in her reply, which purported to respond to the Defendant's argument that it was not tied to any of the alleged conduct, of the voices threat which Defendant's male shift within the These and sounded second 10). [sic] Taylor could offer only that "some warnings alike [sic] Managers, employees vicinity and and where statements I do were the some routinely of in other with two Defendant's the of the first and accommodations reside." plausibly alleged conduct to the Defendant. Thus, must be voices of workers not intermeshed (Pi. connect Reply any of at the Taylor's Title II claim dismissed. T i t l e VI Title shall, on VI provides the ground that of "[n]o person race, color, or in the United national States origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. The two pled are therefore (1) elements of Title VI that that the Defendant engages that the Defendants receive Ramsay, must in be racial federal 41 F. Supp. 2d 587, 592 discrimination, funds. (D. Md. See, e.g.. and (2) Farmer v. 1999). Taylor fails to plausibly satisfy either element of a Title VI her claim. She Title allegedly cannot meet II claim the first fails—because discriminatory conduct element she to for has the not the same reason connected Defendant the or his employees; moreover, and she has not even attempted to plead the second element—that the Defendant is a recipient of federal funds. Therefore, her Title VI claim must be dismissed. Fourteenth Amendment Claims Taylor's also alleges that her rights under the Fourteenth Amendment have been violated. its very terms, ^^the Fourteenth Amendment, by prohibits only state action." United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, if there is a But, 621 (2000). State action is present only "close nexus between the State and the challenged action," such that the action ''may be fairly treated as that of the State 351 (1974) . teaches case. itself." that Jackson v. Taylor the alleges state Metro. no action such Edison Co., nexus, requirement is and 419 U.S. common not met 345, sense in this The Fourteenth Amendment therefore does not apply to the conduct alleged, dismissed. For and the her same claim under reason, the Taylor's Amendment Fourteenth must be Amendment claims contained in Count VII will also be dismissed. B. Counts II Counts Defendant and I I I II and violated Massachusetts III of the Complaint Taylor's rights under constitutions. Those allege the that the Pennsylvania constitutions do not and apply. ''Virginia applies the lex loci delicti^ the law of the place of the wrong, to tort actions." Milton v. F.3d 519, Assoc. , 521 246 (4th Cir. Va. 3, 1998); 5 IIT Research Inst., s ^ also Jones v. (1993) . Even accepting R.S. every 138 Jones & fanciful allegation pled in the Complaint as true, the place of the wrong in this case is exclusively Virginia. Thus, of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts the substantive law (or any other state) does not apply, and Taylor has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Counts II and III of the Complaint will therefore be dismissed. C. Count IV: Virginia Human Rights Act Count IV of the Complaint alleges violation of the Virginia Human Rights claim is Act, Va. barred by Code the § 2.2-3900 express et. language of seq. , that but Taylor's statute. The statute provides that ''[n]othing in this chapter or in Article 4 (§ 2.2-520 et seq.) of Chapter 5 creates, nor shall it be construed to create, to enforce its subsections applies B only provides a an independent or private cause of action provisions, and to C." Va. Code employers with (C) action 2.2-3903{A), less than in Subsection employees, 20 (B) and Va. Code § 2.2- provides the procedures for the cause of provide under Subsection the (D) exclusive the Act. alleged that she is, be, § specifically provided and confirms that it is available only to employees. Va. Code § 2.2-3903{C). and as cause of action only to employees. 3903(B). Subsection (C) action, except Va. Code confirms that subsections basis § has ever been, an employee of the Defendant. for 2.2-3903 a private (D) . cause Taylor has (3) of not or has ever even applied to Count IV therefore fails present a claim upon which relief may be granted, to and will be dismissed with prejudice. D. Count V: Violation of Company Code of Ethics^ Count Defendant's V of the internal Complaint ''Code of alleges Ethics." violation Neither federal of the law nor the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes an independent cause of action in such circumstances, a fact that has not changed since the Plaintiff unsuccessfully asserted this same claim in May of this year. See Taylor v. Ahold, USA, Civ. Action No. Identified as a second ''Count IV" in the Complaint. 3:16cv248, ECF No. 2, (May 2, 2016) . Therefore, Count V will also be dismissed with prejudice. E. Count VI: Retaliation^ Count VI, violation entitled Count V in the Complaint, of Retaliation," an In the policy, namely noted the analysis Taylor has not alleged that she is, has ever addition of Count IV above, been, internal to company also alleges the defects in ''No or has ever applied to be an employee of the Defendant. To extent this portion of the Complaint can conceivably be interpreted as asserting a retaliation claim under Title VII, it therefore fails to state a claim (independent of Count I) upon which relief may be granted. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3. For that reason and for the reasons outlined in Counts Count VI I and IV, will also be dismissed with prejudice. F. Count VII: Fourteenth Amendment Claim^ Count VII, entitled Count VI in the Complaint, factual allegations (especially Count I) the Defendant's contained earlier in restates the the complaint and repackages them as a second claim that conduct violated the Fourteenth Amendment. the reasons already stated in the discussion of Count ^ Identified as count ''Count V" in the Complaint. contains two "Count I, For this The Complaint IVs". ^ Identified as count "Count VI" in the Complaint. The Complaint contains two "Count IVs". claim must satisfy also the be dismissed state-action {because it fails requirement of to the plausibly Fourteenth Amendment). G. Unentimerated Claims Conceivably Raised in Complaint Although provided the above, conceivably Complaint its raise factual many of the (1) and defects (2) only the (liberally unenumerated assault, (3) asserts allegations additional These claims include: emotional distress, itself state counts construed) law claims. intentional infliction of defamation. These claims suffer from already noted in the Plaintiff's federal claims, especially those associated with Count I. Nevertheless, those defects need not be rehashed. Because each asserted in the Complaint will be dismissed, adjudication remain of exists. § 1367(c)(3), any remaining Pursuant the Court to thus state-law claims discretion elects claim no basis for the (unenumerated) its federal under not to 28 U.S.C. exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over any of those claims because there is no basis to do so. Inc., 556 U.S. 635, 636 See also Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, (2009). CONCLUSION For the PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO reasons COMPLAINT outlined BY STATE A CLAIM above, DEFENDANT UPON WHICH the GIANT MOTION FOOD RELIEF MAY TO STORES, BE DISMISS LLC GRANTED FOR (ECF No. 5) will be GRANTED, and this action will be DISMISSED with prejudice. The Clerk is directed to send a copy of the Memorandum Opinion to the plaintiff. It is so ORDERED. /s/ Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge Richmond, Virginia Date: January , 2017

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