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Meadows v. City of Crowley

United States District Court, N.D. Texas

June 9, 2017

CID C. MEADOWS, Plaintiff
v.
CITY OF CROWLEY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN McBRYDE United States District Judge.

         Came on for consideration the second motion of defendant, City of Crowley, to dismiss. The court, having considered the motion, the response of plaintiff, Cid. C. Meadows, the reply, the record, and applicable authorities, finds that the motion should be granted.

         I.

         Plaintiff's Claims

         Plaintiff's operative pleading is her first amended complaint filed April 19, 2017. Doc.[1] 17. In it, she asserts a number of causes of action arising out of her employment by defendant as a police officer. Plaintiff says she began her employment with defendant in or around August 2010. The events about which she complains began in or around April 2013. Plaintiff says she filed her first EEOC charge on or about February 19, 2015; she tendered her resignation on or about July 28, 2015; and, plaintiff filed a second EEOC charge on or about September 22, 2015. She filed her original complaint on January 31, 2017. Doc. 1.

         II.

         Grounds of the Motion

         Defendant maintains that plaintiff has not stated a plausible claim upon which relief can be granted.

         III.

         Applicable Legal Principles

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in a general way, the applicable standard of pleading. It requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), "in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, " Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotation marks and ellipsis omitted). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, the "showing" contemplated by Rule 8 requires the plaintiff to do more than simply allege legal conclusions or recite the elements of a cause of action. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 & n.3. Thus, while a court must accept all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, it need not credit bare legal conclusions that are unsupported by any factual underpinnings. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) ("While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.").

         Moreover, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the facts pleaded must allow the court to infer that the plaintiff's right to relief is plausible. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. To allege a plausible right to relief, the facts pleaded must suggest liability; allegations that are merely consistent with unlawful conduct are insufficient. Id. In other words, where the facts pleaded do no more than permit the court to infer the possibility of misconduct, the complaint has not shown that the pleader is entitled to relief. Id. at 679. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

         As the Fifth Circuit has explained: "Where the complaint is devoid of facts that would put the defendant on notice as to what conduct supports the claims, the complaint fails to satisfy the requirement of notice pleading." Anderson v. U.S. Dep't of Housing & Urban Dev.. 554 F.3d 525, 528 (5th Cir. 2008). In sum, "a complaint must do more than name laws that may have been violated by the defendant; it must also allege facts regarding what conduct violated those laws. In other words, a complaint must put the defendant on notice as to what conduct is being called for defense in a court of law." Id. at 528-29.

         In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court may consider documents attached to the motion if they are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and are central to the plaintiff's claims. Scanlan v. Tex. A&M Univ., 343 F.3d 533, 536 (5th Cir. 2003) . The court may also refer to matters of public record. Davis v. Bayless, 70 F.3d 367, 372 n.3 (5th Cir. 1995); Cinel v. Connick, 15 F.3d 1338, 1343 n.6 (5th Cir. 1994). This includes taking notice of pending judicial proceedings. Patterson v. Mobil Oil Corp., 335 F.3d 476, 481 n.l (5th Cir. 2 0 03). And, it includes taking ...


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