United States District Court, D. New Jersey
EUGENE C. GAMBRELL and DORIS M. GAMBRELL, Plaintiffs,
SOUTH BRUNSWICK BOARD OF EDUCATION, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant South Brunswick
Board of Education's ("Defendant") Motion to
Dismiss the Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 17). For the reasons
stated herein, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted
se Plaintiffs Eugene C. Gambrell and Doris M. Gambrell
(together, "Plaintiffs") filed this action against
Defendant on November 20, 2018. (ECF No. 1). The gravamen of
Plaintiffs' initial complaint was that Defendant
"allowed others ... to carry out all types of illegal
practices on both Plaintiffs." (Complaint at 4, ECF No.
1). On March 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint,
which is substantially similar to their initial Complaint.
(Cf Amended Complaint, ECF No. 16 with
Complaint, ECF No. 1).
to the Amended Complaint, this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this matter because of the alleged causes
of action arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the
Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 42 U.S.C.
§§1983, 1985, and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g).
(See Amended Compl. at 3).
Eugene Gambrell is a "Black American Male of the age of
seventy seven." (Id. at 11). Plaintiff Doris
Gambrell is a "Black American Female of the age of
seventy one." (Id.) Plaintiffs were employed as
school bus drivers by First Student, Inc. ("First
Student"). Plaintiffs were drivers assigned to the South
Brunswick School District for twelve years. (Id.).
Amended Complaint is not clearly stated. Plaintiffs seems to
allege that Defendants, as well as other unidentified
parties, engaged in conduct that constituted a "Breach
of Contract, Deliberate Negligences, Conspiracy to Commit
Legal Fraud to Band and throw both [Plaintiffs] out of South
Brunswick District without any form of Legal Authority or
Means, but by their own means of Discrimination, Favoritism,
Unfair and Illegal Practices and Procedures, and
Discrimination of Religion and Harrass[ment]."
(Id. at 4-5). The Amended Complaint also makes
scattered references to other state law causes of actions,
including slander, defamation of character, and
discrimination under state law. (Id. at 3, 5).
Plaintiffs allege that as a result of Defendant's
actions, including Defendant's purported "black
balling," Plaintiffs were deprived of work opportunities
in the State of New Jersey. (Id. at 5, 10).
in their most serious allegations, Plaintiffs allege that
they were discriminated against based on their "age,
color and religion." (Id. at 7, 10-11).
Although these allegations are difficult to understand, from
the best the Court can tell, Plaintiffs appear to allege that
Defendant failed to properly oversee students who were riding
the bus, as well as permitted the "Bullying of ... both
Plaintiffs." (Id. at 6). As to the former,
Defendant purportedly allowed students "to open the back
Emergency Door and jump out of the bus . . . each and every
year." (Id.). Rather than remedy these
problems, Defendant allegedly "use[d] illegal means to
Injure and Destroy [Plaintiffs] by further discrimination
based on their age, color, and religion." (Id.
Amended Complaint also repeats Plaintiffs' allegation in
the initial Complaint that they are whistleblowers because of
their knowledge that Defendant failed "to Administrate
Correct Education and Disciplinary Actions."
(Id. at 6). No. other allegations in the Amended
Complaint purport to relate to their whistleblower status or
that Plaintiffs suffered an adverse employment action due to
being whistleblowers. However, on October 2, 2019, Plaintiffs
stated on the record that they were "banned" from
driving school busses in South Brunswick after making
complaints to Defendant regarding, inter alia,
students jumping off the back of their busses. After being
"banned" from South Brunswick, Plaintiffs stated
that they could not obtain employment as school bus drivers
anywhere else in New Jersey.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC") allegedly issued Plaintiffs Notices of
Right to Sue on September 17, 2018 and September 19, 2018.
(Id. at 4). Plaintiffs' contend that the Notice
evidence wrongdoing and support the viability of their
claims. (See ECF No. 20). The EEOC Notice of Right
to Sue has not been annexed to any of Plaintiffs'
is seeking punitive damages due to Defendants'
intentional, willful, wanton, malicious, and oppressive
conduct. (Amended Compl. at 8). They are also seeking an
order that they "be allowed to Drive in the South
Brunswick District for any Bus Company that has runs in South
Brunswick District." (Id.). Defendant is
seeking dismissal of the Amended Complaint on the grounds
that Plaintiffs again failed to adequately plead a plausible
claim upon which relief can be granted.
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court is required to accept as
true all allegations in the Amended Complaint and all
reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and to
view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. See Jordan v. Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien &
Frankel, 20 F.3d 1250, 1261 (3d Cir. 1994). "To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). While a court will accept well-pleaded allegations
as true for the purposes of the motion, it will not accept
bald assertions, unsupported conclusions, unwarranted
inferences, or sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of
factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79;
see also Morse v. Lower Merion School District, 132
F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). A complaint should be dismissed
only if the well-pleaded alleged facts, taken as true, fail
to state a claim. See In re Warfarin Sodium, 214
F.3d 395, 397-98 (3d Cir. 2000). The question is whether the
claimant can prove any set of facts consistent with his or
her allegations that will entitle him or her to relief, not
whether that person will ultimately prevail. Semerenko v.
Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir. 2001).
"The pleader is required to 'set forth sufficient
information to outline the elements of his claim or to permit
inferences to be drawn that these elements exist.'"
Kost v. Kozakewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993)
(quoting 5A Wright & Miller, Fed. Practice &
Procedure: Civil 2d § 1357, at 340 (2d ed. 1990)).
"While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiffs 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." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
"Factual allegations 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.
as here, the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
Court should read the complaint generously and hold it
"to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, ...