United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
this Court Defendants Steven Harris (“Harris”),
Scott Janora (“Janora”), and State of New Jersey
Department of the Treasury's (individually, the
“Treasury”; collectively with Harris and Janora,
“Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 17)
pro se Plaintiff Sarah Freeman's
(“Plaintiff”) Complaint (ECF No. 1), pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff opposes
the Motion. (ECF No. 19.) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 78(b), the Court did not hear oral argument. For
the reasons set forth herein, Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED, and Plaintiffs'
Complaint (ECF No. 1) is DISMISSED.
purposes of this Motion to Dismiss, the Court accepts the
factual allegations in the Amended Complaint as true.
Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d
Cir. 2008). Plaintiff, who is an employee of the Treasury,
asserts a claim pursuant to the Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.
(“Title VII”), alleging she was discriminated
against and denied promotions because of her race. (ECF No. 1
at 5.) Plaintiff summarizes the allegedly discriminatory
conduct as follows:
I passed the Civil Service Exam Ranking #2 and everyone on
the list received the promotion except for me.
promoted someone (Judy Felchak) provisional while there was
a[n] existing list. When I met with Mr. Harris to ask why
I'm not being considered he said he's not interested
in promoting me.
(Id. at 7.)
additional details are specifically alleged, but Plaintiff
supported her Complaint with documents she submitted to the
EEOC, including a May 18, 2015 letter she sent to Karen
McDonough, an EEOC enforcement manager, as well as a
personnel list of employees eligible for promotion. (ECF No.
3 at 1-2.) Plaintiff was ranked second on the list of
eligible employees. (Id. at 2.) The list was issued
on December 27, 2007, and promulgated on January 3, 2008.
(Id.) Plaintiff also supported her Complaint with
letters from the Treasury dated March 14, 2008, and November
28, 2011, informing her she did not receive a promotion and
that another eligible employee had. (Id. at 3-4.) On
January 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed a charge with the EEOC (the
“EEOC Charge”) regarding the allegedly
discriminatory failure to promote. (ECF No. 1 at 7.) On
January 29, 2016, the EEOC issued Plaintiff a Notice of Right
to Sue letter. (Id.)
January 26, 2016, the EEOC sent Plaintiff a letter explaining
she filed her EEOC complaint “outside the 300-day time
limit for the EEOC's jurisdiction.” (ECF No. 2 at
1.) Further, the EEOC explained Plaintiff's eligibility
for promotion, which she achieved in 2007, had expired by the
time she applied for the second promotion 2011.
(Id.) On April 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed the
Complaint. (ECF No. 1.)
Motion to Dismiss
deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a district court is “required
to accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint
and draw all inferences in the facts alleged in the light
most favorable to the [plaintiff].” Phillips,
515 F.3d at 228. “[A] complaint attacked by a . . .
motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). However, the Plaintiff's
“obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his
‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do.” Id. (citing
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). A
court is “not bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Papasan, 478 U.S. at 286. Instead, assuming the
factual allegations in the complaint are true, those
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for misconduct alleged.” Id. This
“plausibility standard” requires the complaint
allege “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully, ” but it “is not akin to a
‘probability requirement.'” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “Detailed
factual allegations” are not required, but “more
than ‘an unadorned, the defendant-harmed-me
accusation” must be pled; it must include
“factual enhancements” and not just conclusory
statements or a recitation of the elements of a cause of
action. Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. at
679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).