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Jackson v. Ferguson-Florissant School District

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 9, 2018

KERI JACKSON, Plaintiff,



         This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss (#23), plaintiff's motion to clarify (#45), and plaintiff's motion to disqualify counsel (#50). Plaintiff Keri Jackson filed her complaint against her former employer, the Ferguson-Florissant School District, for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (“ADA”).

         The docket sheet in this case is convoluted. To summarize, defendant moved to dismiss and filed a memorandum in support on September 26, 2017. Plaintiff received an extension of time in which to respond and filed her response brief on October 20. Defendant filed its reply on October 25. Then, plaintiff filed what she titled “Memorandum of Pro Se Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim” (#30) on November 2. This document, however, appears to be a Second Amended Complaint, however, not a response memorandum. Defendant filed a “Reply” (#31) on November 9. Plaintiff then, on November 17, filed a motion for leave to file a supplemental memorandum (#32) in opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss, and on November 20, she filed a motion requesting that the Court accept corrected exhibits to the November 17 motion (#33). Defendants opposed those motions, but the Court granted Document #32 on November 22. The supplemental memorandum was filed as Document #36. Defendant then sought and was granted leave to file a surreply, which was filed on November 30 as Document #39.

         On December 15, plaintiff moved for leave to respond to the surreply (#40); defendants moved to strike (#41) that motion because plaintiff accused defendant of various misdeeds including “straight out” lying to the Court by stating that plaintiff failed to state a claim for discrimination in her complaint. The Court granted the plaintiff's motion for leave (#42) but then granted defendant's motion to strike (which was filed just five minutes before this Court granted the plaintiff's motion for leave), struck the plaintiff's motion and the supplemental response (which had been docketed as Document No. 43), and stated no further responses would be allowed (#44).

         On January 22, 2018, the plaintiff moved to clarify (#45) this Court's Docket Entry #44, which granted the motion to strike. Plaintiff repeated her statements regarding the “falsified statements” that she believed defendants had presented to the Court. She urged the Court to review her supplemental briefing because it addressed the substance of defendant's surreply. She also expressed confusion regarding the timing of the various docket entries.

         Finally, on April 16, plaintiff filed a motion seeking to disqualify counsel who had newly filed appearances in this case on behalf of defendant. No response has been filed.

         I. Motion to Accept Corrected Exhibits (#33)

         The Court will grant plaintiff's motion to correct exhibit numbers for exhibits apparently filed in support of her memoranda in opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss. However, the Court also acknowledges that it is unable to consider matters outside the pleadings at the motion to dismiss stage.

         II. Motion to Clarify (#45)

         This Court granted defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's motion for leave to respond in opposition to defendant's surreply for the reasons stated in the defendant's motion. The Court initially granted plaintiff's motion for leave, so the plaintiff's opposition to defendant's surreply was initially docketed as Document Number 43. Just five minutes before the clerk filed the order granting the plaintiff's motion, the defendant filed the motion to strike. The motion to strike was filed on December 18. Three weeks later, plaintiff had not filed a response to the motion to strike. It appears that plaintiff may have thought the motion to strike was moot on account of the fact that her motion for leave (the motion defendant sought to be stricken) was granted, but the fact remains that plaintiff did not respond to the motion to strike. The Court found the defendant's motion to be well-taken for the reasons stated in the defendant's motion and granted the motion. Thus, Document No. 43 was stricken from the docket sheet.

         III. Motion to Dismiss (#23)

         This is the defendant's second motion to dismiss. The Court granted the defendant's first motion to dismiss, then granted plaintiff's motion to reconsider under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) in light of plaintiff's documented trouble receiving mail, and then instructed plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint. Plaintiff filed that amended complaint, defendant filed the instant motion (#23). Plaintiff filed a response memorandum (#28) to which defendant replied (#29). As explained above, the parties exchanged several other memoranda after defendant filed its reply brief.

         To summarize, plaintiff alleges that she was employed as a teacher with the defendant. She believes she was repeatedly reassigned, harassed, and ultimately discharged because of her disability and in retaliation for reporting the discrimination, bullying, and harassment she endured. (#21[1] at 29.) She alleges she suffers from epilepsy, which is well controlled with medication, but that she experiences seizures when stressed, tired, or in other circumstances. She filed her Charge of Discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights on April 17, 2015. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sent to plaintiff her Right to Sue letter on May 25, 2016. She received the letter on June 3, 2016 and filed her complaint on September 1, 2016. The Right to Sue letter states that she may file a lawsuit against the defendant and that it “must be filed WITHIN 90 DAYS of your receipt of this notice.” (#1-1 at 1 (emphasis in original).)

         Defendant has moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is to test the legal sufficiency of a complaint so as to eliminate those actions “which are fatally flawed in their legal premises and deigned to fail, thereby sparing litigants the burden of unnecessary pretrial and trial activity.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989)). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a claim must be facially plausible, meaning that the ‘factual content. . . allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'“ Cole v. Homier Dist. Co., Inc., 599 F.3d 856, 861 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). The Court must “accept the allegations contained in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor ...

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