United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LINDSAY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13),
filed May 12, 2016. After careful consideration of the
motion, pleadings, and applicable law, the court grants in
part and denies in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
Specifically, the court dismisses with prejudice Plaintiff
Aderiance Ragland's ("Plaintiff or "Ms.
Ragland") discrimination claims for failure to train in
violation of the Americans with Disability Act
("ADA") and Age Discrimination in Employment Act
("ADEA") that arose from her Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") Charge No.
451-2015-00560 ("First Charge"), as those claims
are procedurally time-barred for her failure to file suit
within 90 days of receiving her right-to-sue letter. Further,
the court denies without prejudice Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiffs discrimination claims for failure to hire
in violation of the ADA, ADEA, Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), [*] and retaliation that arose
from her EEOC Charge No. 450-2015-02903 ("Second
Charge"); and orders Ms. Ragland to amend
Plaintiff's Complaint (“Complaint”) to
address the deficiencies identified by the court. Ms. Ragland
did not file a response to the motion to dismiss.
Factual and Procedural Background
Ragland filed this action against Dallas County Community
College District (“Defendant” or
“DCCCD”) on March 14, 2016, contending that while
she was employed by Defendant from 2012 to 2015, it
discriminated against her in violation of Title VII, the ADA,
and the ADEA. Plaintiff also contends that Defendant
retaliated against her for bringing the allegedly
discriminatory allegations against DCCCD.
the paucity of the allegations set forth in the Complaint,
the court is not certain of the factual bases for her suit
against Defendant. From what the court can ascertain,
Plaintiff worked as an Academic Advisor from 2012 to 2015 at
El Centro Community College, which is a DCCCD school.
Plaintiff contends that her work environment was full of
overt criticisms evidenced by five discriminatory actions.
With respect to her age discrimination claim, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant discriminated against her by: (1)
refusing to promote her to the position of Academic Advisor
II; and (2) not providing her with additional professional
development to enhance her skills so that she could be
promoted. With respect to her disability claim, Plaintiff
contends that Defendant violated the ADA by: (1) failing to
accommodate her cognitive rehabilitation that arose after her
stroke; (2) failing to accommodate her other physical
conditions while she was under the care of the Department of
Assistive and Rehabilitation Services of Texas
(“DARS”); and (3) denying her a position at
another DCCCD school. Plaintiff also asserts that after she
raised claims of discrimination against DCCCD, her working
environment became increasingly hostile, which interfered
with the accommodations suggested by DARS.
filing her lawsuit, Ms. Ragland submitted two charges of
discrimination to the EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Right Division (“TWC”). Defendant contends
that the court lacks jurisdiction with respect to all of
Plaintiff's claims, as she has either failed to file suit
timely or failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.
Further, Defendant contends that even if the court had
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims, those claims should
still be dismissed for her failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
federal court has subject matter jurisdiction over civil
cases “arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States, ” or over civil cases in
which the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive
of interest and costs, and in which diversity of citizenship
exists between the parties. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
1332. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and
must have statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate a
claim. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994) (citations omitted); Home Builders
Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d
1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998). Absent jurisdiction conferred by
statute or the Constitution, they lack the power to
adjudicate claims and must dismiss an action if subject
matter jurisdiction is lacking. Id.; Stockman v.
Federal Election Comm'n, 138 F.3d 144, 151 (5th Cir.
1998) (citing Veldhoen v. United States Coast Guard,
35 F.3d 222, 225 (5th Cir. 1994)). A federal court must
presume that an action lies outside its limited jurisdiction,
and the burden of establishing that the court has subject
matter jurisdiction to entertain an action rests with the
party asserting jurisdiction. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at
377 (citations omitted). “[S]ubject-matter jurisdiction
cannot be created by waiver or consent.” Howery v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 919 (5th Cir. 2001).
federal court has an independent duty, at any level of the
proceedings, to determine whether it properly has subject
matter jurisdiction over a case. Ruhgras AG v. Marathon
Oil Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583 (1999)
(“[S]ubject-matter delineations must be policed by the
courts on their own initiative even at the highest
level.”); McDonal v. Abbott Labs., 408 F.3d
177, 182 n.5 (5th Cir. 2005) (A “federal court may
raise subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte.”)
considering a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction, “a court may evaluate (1)
the complaint alone, (2) the complaint supplemented by
undisputed facts evidenced in the record, or (3) the
complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Den
Norske Stats Oljeselskap As v. HeereMac Vof, 241 F.3d
420, 424 (5th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). Thus, unlike a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the district court is entitled to consider disputed facts as
well as undisputed facts in the record and make findings of
fact related to the jurisdictional issue. Clark v.
Tarrant Cnty., 798 F.2d 736, 741 (5th Cir. 1986). All
factual allegations of the complaint, however, must be
accepted as true. Den Norske Stats Oljeselskap As,
241 F.3d at 424.
Failure to State a Claim
defeat a motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Reliable
Consultants, Inc. v. Earle, 517 F.3d 738, 742 (5th Cir.
2008); Guidry v. American Pub. Life Ins. Co., 512
F.3d 177, 180 (5th Cir. 2007). A claim meets the plausibility
test “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal citations omitted). While a complaint need not
contain detailed factual allegations, it must set forth
“more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation
omitted). The “[f]actual allegations of [a complaint]
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level . . . on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact).” Id. (quotation marks, citations, and
footnote omitted). When the allegations of the pleading do
not allow the court to infer more than the mere possibility
of wrongdoing, they fall short of showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must accept all
well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true and view them in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Sonnier v.
State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co.,509 F.3d 673, 675 (5th
Cir. 2007); Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dallas Area
Rapid Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004);
Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996).
In ruling on such a motion, the court cannot look beyond the
pleadings. Id.; Spivey v. Robertson, 197
F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999). The pleadings include the
complaint and any documents attached to it. Collins v.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 498-99 (5th
Cir. 2000). Likewise, “‘[d]ocuments that a
defendant attaches to a motion to dismiss are considered part
of the pleadings if they are referred to in the
plaintiff's complaint and are central to [the
plaintiff's] claims.'” Id. (quoting
Venture Assocs. Corp. v. Zenith Data Sys. Corp., 987
F.2d 429, 431 (7th Cir. 1993)). In this regard, a document
that is part of the record but not referred to in a
plaintiff's complaint and not attached to a
motion to dismiss may not be considered by the court in
ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion. Gines v. D.R. Horton,
Inc., 699 F.3d 812, 820 & n.9 (5th Cir. 2012)
(citation omitted). Further, it is well-established ...