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Angelina v. University of Mississippi Medical Center

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

January 30, 2015

ADLA D.H. ANGELINA, Plaintiff,


DANIEL P. JORDAN, III, District Judge.

This Title VII case is before the Court on Defendant University of Mississippi Medical Center's ("UMMC") Motion to Dismiss [8]. Because Plaintiff failed to timely file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, Defendant's motion is granted.

I. Facts and Procedural History

Plaintiff Adla Angelina, a Brazilian-Palestinian female, signed a one-year employment contract with UMMC on August 6, 2012. On March 20, 2013, Angelina's supervisor notified her that UMMC would not renew her contract after June 30, 2013, and immediately placed her on paid administrative leave until that date. Believing that her religion and national origin motivated the decision, Angelina filed a formal Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, asserting discrimination under Title VII. She filed this suit after receiving a standard right-to-sue notice.

UMMC has now moved to dismiss [8], asserting that Angelina's Charge of Discrimination was untimely and that she therefore failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Angelina filed a short Response [14] to which UMMC replied [16]. The Court has personal and subject-matter jurisdiction and is prepared to rule.

II. Standard

In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the "court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.'" Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dall. Area Rapid Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting Jones v. Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 324 (5th Cir. 1999) (per curiam)). To overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, Plaintiff must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "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. at 555 (citations and footnote omitted). "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) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

Ordinarily, a court should limit its Rule 12(b)(6) review to the contents of the pleadings, including "documents either attached to or incorporated in the complaint." Wilson v. Birnberg, 667 F.3d 591, 600 (5th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). But the Court "may also consider matters of which [it] may take judicial notice." Lovelace v. Software Spectrum Inc., 78 F.3d 1015, 1017-18 (5th Cir. 1996). The EEOC documents [14-5] attached to Plaintiff's response are matters of public record, so the Court will take judicial notice of them when considering UMMC's motion.[1] Prewitt v. Cont.'l Auto., 927 F.Supp.2d 435, 447 (W.D. Tex. 2013) (collecting cases).

Finally, in this case, UMMC asserts that dismissal is proper because Angelina's claims are time-barred. "A statute of limitations may support dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) where it is evident from the plaintiff's pleadings that the action is barred and the pleadings fail to raise some basis for tolling or the like." Jones v. Alcoa, Inc., 339 F.3d 359, 366 (5th Cir. 2003).

III. Analysis

To bring a Title VII claim, a plaintiff alleging discrimination in employment must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC "within one hundred and eighty days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1). "Generally, when an employment discrimination charge is untimely filed with the EEOC..., a suit based upon the untimely charge should be dismissed." Kirkland v. Big Lots Store, Inc., 547 F.Appx. 570, 573 (5th Cir. 2013) (per curiam).

In this case, the parties agree that the 180-day period began the day Angelina learned UMMC had terminated her employment-March 20, 2013. See Hartz v. Adm'rs of the Tulane Educ. Fund, 275 F.Appx. 281, 287 (5th Cir. 2008) (per curiam) ("[T]he operative date from which the limitations period begins to run is the date of notice of the adverse action, not the date that the adverse action takes effect."). So Angelina had 180 days from March 20, 2013-or until September 16, 2013-to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.

In her Complaint, Angelina states that she "timely filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, a true and correct copy of the EEOC charge is attached hereto as Exhibit A.'" Compl. [1] ¶ 5. But the charge attached to the Complaint is dated October 15, 2013-nearly one month after the 180-day period expired. Therefore, the Complaint, as currently drafted, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

This finding does not, however, end the inquiry, because a court granting dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) "should not do so without granting leave to amend, unless the defect is simply incurable." Hart v. Bayer Corp., 199 F.3d 239, 247 n.6 (5th Cir. 2000). Here, Angelina offers two arguments for avoiding ultimate dismissal. First, she now claims that another "charge" preceded her October 15, 2013 ...

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