United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
REBECCA RUTHERFORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Bobby Brown, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this civil action asserting claims for
breach of contract, violations of his civil rights, and
violations of the “Fair Work Act.” For the
following reasons, the district court should dismiss
complaint is subject to preliminary screening under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), which states a district court may summarily
dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it
concludes the action is: (1) frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3)
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). To state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, 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), and must plead those
facts with enough specificity “to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level[.]” Id. at
555. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
initial pleading, Plaintiff states he entered an employment
contract with Defendants “Clay Cooley, Augusta McGriff,
and all other similar [sic] situated, ” which
Defendants breached when they terminated his employment. He
also claims Defendants directed their subordinates to falsify
documents to conceal their breach of contract, and Defendants
paid him less money than they owed him. Based on this
conduct, Plaintiff claims Defendants breached an employment
contract, violated his civil rights, and violated the
“Fair Work Act.” He seeks money damages as the
remedy for these alleged violations.
claims Defendants violated his “constitutional and
civil rights, ” including his Fourteenth Amendment
right to due process. To obtain relief for a violation of his
civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must
prove two elements: (1) the deprivation of a right secured by
the Constitution and laws of the United States; and (2) the
deprivation of that right by a defendant acting under color
of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988); Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149,
155 (1978). The color of law requirement “excludes from
its reach merely private conduct, no matter how
discriminatory or wrongful.” Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins.
Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 50 (1999) (internal
quotations omitted). Here, Plaintiff has not claimed that
Defendants are state actors; nor has he alleged any facts
that would suggest state action. Instead, Defendants appear
to be individuals working for a private employer. Plaintiff
has therefore failed to allege facts establishing a
reasonable inference that Defendants acted under color of
state law. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The Court
should dismiss his civil rights claims.
Fair Work Act
cites the “Fair Work Act, ” apparently as a basis
for federal jurisdiction. However, he did not include a
citation for this Act, and the Court has found no federal or
State of Texas “Fair Work Act.” Thus, the Court
should dismiss Plaintiff's Fair Work Act claims.
claims Defendants breached an employment contract. Although
the Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
remaining state law claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, the
Court recommends that the claim be dismissed without
prejudice to Plaintiff raising the claim in state court. This
recommendation is in accord with “[t]he general rule
that a court should decline to exercise jurisdiction over
remaining state-law claims when all the federal-law claims
are eliminated before trial[.]” Brookshire Bros.
Holding, Inc. v. Dayco Prods., Inc., 554 F.3d 595, 602
(5th Cir. 2009); see also Parker & Parsley Petrol.
Co. v. Dresser, 972 F.2d 580, 585 (5th Cir. 1992)
(“Our general rule is to dismiss state claims when the
federal claims to which they are pendent are
dismissed.”). Further, when the federal claims are
dismissed at an early stage of the litigation, the district
court has a “powerful reason to choose not to continue
to exercise jurisdiction.” Enochs v. Lampasas
County, 641 F.3d 155, 161 (5th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Carnegie-Mellon, 484 U.S. 343, 351 (1988)).
The Court therefore recommends dismissal of Plaintiffs state
state law claim should be dismissed without prejudice and his
remaining claims should be dismissed with prejudice ...