United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
HARRIS TOLIVER MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
to Special Order 3 and 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B)&(C), Defendants' motions to dismiss,
Doc. 10; Doc. 19; Doc. 29, are before the Court for findings
of fact and recommendations regarding the dispositions. As
explained below, the motions should be
2017, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint against his
former employer and several of its officers and employees
(collectively, "Defendants"). He contends that he
worked for Defendant Blue Sky Sports as an indoor soccer
referee from April 2015 until he was terminated in July 2015.
Doc. 3 at 1-2; Doc. 3 at 6. Plaintiff alleges that he was (1)
discriminated against and terminated based on his gender and
national origin; and (2) retaliated against after (a)
complaining that he had wrongfully been accused of gender
discrimination by Defendants Dawna and Lauren Trautman (the
"Trautman Defendants") and (b) because he stated
that he might sue his employer. Doc. 3 at 1-2; Doc. 3 at
11-14. Plaintiff avers in his complaint that his "former
employer operated in multiple locations within the State of
Texas and[, ] collectively, it employed more than 15
employees." Doc. 3 at 1. Defendants now move to dismiss
Plaintiffs complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 10; Doc. 19; Doc. 29.
plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief under Rule
12(b)(6) when the complaint does not contain "enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007). A plaintiffs complaint should "contain
either direct allegations on every material point necessary
to sustain a recovery ... or contain allegations from which
an inference fairly may be drawn that evidence on these
material points will be introduced at trial."
Campbell v. City of San Antonio, 43 F.3d 973, 975
(5th Cir. 1995) (quotation omitted). A court ruling on a Rule
12(b)(6) motion may rely on the complaint, documents properly
attached to the complaint or incorporated into the complaint
by reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial
notice. Randall D. Wolcott, M.D., P. A. v. Sebelius,
635 F.3d 757, 763 (5th Cir. 2011).
VII makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against
individuals with respect to their "compensation, terms,
conditions, or privileges of employment, because of [their]
race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42
U.S.C. § 2OOOe-2(a)(1). The provisions of Title VII
apply only to employers who employ at least 15 persons. 42
U.S.C. § 2OOOe(b).
Parties' Arguments and Analysis
Peter Brody and Jane Naumann
named Brody and Naumann as Defendants in the caption of his
complaint, asserting that Brody is "CEO" and
Naumann is "COO/President" of an unspecified
entity. Doc. 3 at 1. Brody and Naumann argue that Plaintiff
has pled no facts suggesting that either of them was
personally involved in the conduct at issue, and Title VII
does not impose liability on individuals who are not
employers. Doc. 10 at 4. As such, Brody and Naumann assert
that they are entitled to dismissal of the suit against them.
Doc. 10 at 4. Plaintiff did not respond to this argument.
See generally Doc. 15.
initial matter, Plaintiff has abandoned his claims against
Brody and Naumann because he failed to respond to the
arguments they raised in their motion to dismiss. See
Matter of Dallas Roadster, Ltd., 846 F.3d 112, 126 (5th
Cir. 2017) (finding that plaintiffs failure to respond to
defendant's argument in a motion to dismiss constituted
abandonment). Additionally, as Defendants correctly argue, a
Title VII suit against an employee is, in effect, a suit
against the corporate entity. Indest v. Freeman Dec,
Inc., 164 F.3d 258, 262 (5th Cir. 1999). As such,
employees may not be sued for damages in their individual
capacities. Id. Brody and Naumann's motion to
dismiss thus should be GRANTED, and
Plaintiffs claims against them should be dismissed with
prejudice. Id.; see also Ackel v. Nat 7
Commc 'ns, Inc., 339 F.3d 376, 382 n. 1 (5th
Cir. 2003) (holding that individuals cannot be held liable
under Title VII in either their individual or official
The Trautman Defendants
Brody and Naumann, the Trautman Defendants argue that
Plaintiffs Title VII discrimination claim is viable only
against his employer. Doc. 19 at 3-4; Doc. 29 at 3-4. The
Trautman Defendants also argue that any purported claim
against them for defamation based on their allegedly calling
Plaintiff a misogynist is insufficiently pleaded, and
amendment is not warranted because no plausible defamation
claim is viable. Doc. 19 at 4-6; Doc. 29 at 4-6.
responds that he is not raising a Title VII claim against the
Trautman Defendants, but is instead invoking supplemental
jurisdiction to pursue a defamation claim against them. Doc.
28 at 2 n.5; Doc. 28 at 4-5; Doc. 31 at 2 n.6; Doc. 31 at
3-5. He also requests leave to amend his complaint if the
Court grants the Trautman Defendants' motion to dismiss.
Doc. 28 at 5; Doc. 31 at 5. Because Plaintiff concedes that
he is not suing the Trautman ...