United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motions to dismiss
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint filed by each of the
seven defendants in this case (Docs. 13, 14, 25, 36, &
40); Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint to add an
eighth defendant, Carpenter's Union Local #97, to the
case (Doc. 49); and the motion filed by two of the defendants
to strike to strike Plaintiff's motion to amend (Doc.
50). The motions have been fully briefed, and the parties
have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636.
(Doc. 33.) For the reasons stated below, the defendants'
motions to dismiss will be granted, Plaintiff's motion to
amend will be denied, and this case will be dismissed.
April 25, 2017, Plaintiff Tab Quentin Evans, acting pro
se, filed his original Complaint in this action. (Doc.
1). On the same date, he filed another complaint in a second
case, Evans v. St. Louis Carpenters District Council, et
al., No. 4:17-CV-1390-SPM. On August 3, 2017, the Court
identified several deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint
and ordered him to file an amended complaint addressing those
deficiencies. (Doc. 5). On August 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed
an Amended Complaint in the instant action. (Doc. 7). On
September 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed identical amended
complaints in the two cases; in the instant case, that
complaint was the Second Amended Complaint. On October 2,
2017, after finding that the two cases involved common
questions of law and fact, the Court entered an order
consolidating the second case into the instant case pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42. (Doc. 10).
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 34) is at
is, or has been during several years prior to the filing this
lawsuit, an apprentice carpenter and a member of the Union.
He is also a Jehovah's Witness. He brings this action
against one of his employers, Blanton Construction Co.
(“Blanton”); his apprenticeship program, St.
Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program
(“CJAP”); his union, St. Louis-Kansas City
Carpenters Regional Council (“the Union”),
identified in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint as St.
Louis Carpenters District Council; an international labor
organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America (“UBC”), identified in
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint as
U.B.C.-International; the Department of Labor, Bureau of
Apprenticeship and Training (“DOL-BAT”); the
Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
(“DOL-OA”); and the Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration
Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff appears to allege
generally that the defendants have engaged in, allowed,
and/or covered up discrimination against him and others. In
2007, Plaintiff filed a grievance letter that all of the
defendants are aware of (the “2007 Grievance”),
complaining of discrimination and/or harassment by his
employers and coworkers based on his religion and on a
perception that he was gay, as well as complaining that he
had been unable to get jobs and that the Union had given him
poor references. The 2007 Grievance is attached as an exhibit
to Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff alleges
that UBC conducted an investigation over a period of more
than a year, but instead of giving the results of the
investigation to Plaintiff, concealed its findings and
referred Plaintiff to its lawyers. Plaintiff also alleges
that at the outset of the investigation, he was told that
they thought they “solved that problem” in St.
Louis. Plaintiff asserts that UBC may be covering up its
findings of a local affiliate breaking laws and procedures
also alleges that records from his F.O.I.A. request will show
that CJAP and the Union “confer[red] with their
Counsel, and decide[d] ‘this could make us look bad as
a ‘Parens Patriae' civil case and neglect[ed] their
responsibility toward the apprentice.” It is unclear
what “this” is, but it may be the 2007 Grievance.
Plaintiff also alleges that the Union chose to look out for
its Union contractors, provided no Union representation for
him, and did not “look into the 15 years of
‘promiscuous hiring and firings' to see if it's
discrimination or not.”
further alleges that records show that Union staff admit to
telling Union contractors in advance that he was a
Jehovah's Witness, which resulted in Union carpenter
employees threatening him that if he was a Jehovah's
Witness, they would take actions that could maim, paralyze,
or kill Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that this occurred
within one to two minutes of his starting a new job, without
his having said anything. In the body of his Second Amended
Complaint, Plaintiff does not state where or when this
alleged incident took place. However, a review of the 2007
Grievance attached as an exhibit to his Second Amended
Complaint shows that it occurred when he was working for
McBride Builders in October of 2003. See 2007
Grievance, Doc. 34-1, at p. 13.
alleges that although the Union's Apprenticeship
Standards Agreement and various laws and rules require the
Union to help him secure work, the Union told D.O.L. that it
was not required to supply work. He also alleges that the
Union has continued “to discriminately lie to
particular individuals, to whom they chose, and NOT place
them on jobs.”
also alleges that since his 2007 Grievance, the Union has
changed its Collective Bargaining Agreement so that an
individual only has ten days to file a grievance, which makes
it easier to discriminate against individuals. He alleges
that the Union tells employees that they are allowed to be
fired under the contract, which permits employers to point to
nondiscriminatory reasons for firing employees. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that Blanton Construction Co. sent a letter
to Plaintiff in which they attributed his firing to the fact
that “employees all refuse to work with
[Plaintiff].” Plaintiff asserts that the Union's
failure to look into the matter permits discrimination to
occur. Plaintiff also suggests that “the
employer” (presumably Blanton) was following the
Union's lead in “wrongfully and discriminatorily
firing the plaintiff.”
also appears to allege that the Union and/or CJAP have failed
to meet their “Affirmative Action Plan
prerequisites.” He suggests generally that
“discrimination against the plaintiff and
discrimination against fellow St. Louis minorities, against
whomsoever they choose to discriminate against, for their
race, for their religion, for their gender, for their
personal choices, whomsoever they dislike, is discrimination
against the rest of society.” Plaintiff seeks damages in
the amount of $50, 000, 000.
defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the claims against it
for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court must
accept as true all of the factual allegations in the
complaint, but it need not accept legal conclusions.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“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.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim satisfies
the plausibility standard “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556).
applying these principles, the court must construe
Plaintiff's pro se Second Amended Complaint
liberally. Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th
Cir. 2004). Thus, “if the essence of an allegation is
discernible, even though it is not pleaded with legal nicety,
then the district court should construe the complaint in a
way that permits the layperson's claim to be considered
within the proper legal framework.” Jackson v.
Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 544 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Stone, 364 F.3d at 915). However, a pro se
complaint “still must allege sufficient facts to
support the claims advanced.” Stone, 364 F.3d
is well-established that an amended complaint supercedes an
original complaint and renders the original complaint without
legal effect.” In re Wireless Telephone Fed. Cost
Recovery Fees Litig., 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005).
Thus, the Court considers only the allegations in
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint and not those in
earlier pleadings. The Court will also consider the 2007
Grievance, which is attached as an exhibit to the Second
Amended Complaint. See Abels v. Farmers Commodities
Corp., 259 F.3d 910, 921 (7th Cir. 2001)
(“[A]court ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) may consider material attached to the
preliminary matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff's
Second Amended Complaint does not make clear what specific
claims Plaintiff is alleging against any of the defendants.
The defendants appear to treat Plaintiff's allegations as
raising possible claims of discrimination arising under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title
VII”). In his response in opposition to Defendants'
motions, Plaintiff does not appear to dispute this
characterization and does not identify any other statutes
under which his claims may arise. The Court will liberally
construe Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint to include
claims that the defendants violated Title VII by
discriminating against him based on race, religion, sex,
and/or perceived sexual orientation, as well as allegations
that the defendants retaliated against him after he
participated in protected activities. The Court will consider
separately the each of the motions to dismiss filed by the
Blanton's Motion ...