United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND, DENYING MOTION TO
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE.
lawsuit stems from Plaintiff Kristen Casey's allegations
that she was subjected to sexual harassment, gender
discrimination, and race discrimination while working at
Defendant Orbital ATK, Inc.'s (“Orbital”)
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Plaintiff was placed at the
plant by a temporary employment agency, Defendant Business
Personnel Services, Inc. (“BPS”).
before the Court is Orbital's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 3)
and Casey's Motion to Amend Complaint (Doc. 12). Holding
that Plaintiff's Title VII claims in the amended
complaint relate back to her original complaint, the motion
to amend is GRANTED and the motion to dismiss is DENIED AS
relevant procedural history is as follows. On July 15, 2016,
Plaintiff filed charges of employment discrimination with the
Missouri Commission on Human Rights (“MCHR”) and
the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) asserting identical claims of
discrimination and retaliation against Orbital and BPS. At
Plaintiff's request, the MCHR terminated its proceedings
with respect to BPS on August 17, 2017, and issued a notice
of right to sue with regard to BPS that same day. Shortly
thereafter, on August 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed suit in
Jackson County Circuit Court-four days before significant
revisions to the Missouri Human Rights Act became effective.
Plaintiff did not include in her petition any Title VII
September 21, 2017, the EEOC issued a dismissal and notice of
rights letter to Plaintiff, advising her that she had 90 days
to file suit under Title VII.
November 7, 2017, the MCHR issued a right to sue letter with
regard to Orbital. Plaintiff subsequently served Orbital with
the lawsuit on December 19, 2017.
removed the lawsuit to federal court on January 17, 2018, by
invoking the Court's “federal enclave”
jurisdiction. On January 18, 2018, Orbital filed the pending
motion to dismiss, noting the ammunition plant was a federal
enclave and the MHRA does not apply to federal
2, 2018, Plaintiff filed her response opposing the motion to
dismiss (Doc. 11). She did not address Orbital's argument
that the MHRA does not apply to federal enclaves. Instead,
she argued the motion should be denied because she was a
victim of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, that
she should be allowed to amend her complaint to bring her
Title VII claims, and that these claims relate back to her
original complaint because they stem from the same common
core of operative facts alleged in the original complaint. At
the same time, Plaintiff filed the pending motion to amend
the complaint to include her Title VII claims.
April 30, 2018, Orbital filed its brief opposing the motion
to amend, arguing Plaintiff made a strategic decision to
abandon her Title VII claims when she filed suit, and that
she should not be permitted to assert these claims now since
they are time-barred and do not relate back to her original
complaint may also be dismissed if it fails “to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). To avoid dismissal, a complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “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). The
Plaintiff need not demonstrate the claim is probable, only
that it is more than just possible. Id. In reviewing
the complaint, the court construes it liberally and draws all
reasonable inferences from the facts in the Plaintiff's
favor. Monson v. Drug Enforcement Admin., 589 F.3d
952, 961 (8th Cir. 2009).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also provide that twenty-one
days after a 12(b)(6) motion has been filed, “a party
may amend its pleadings only with the opposing party's
written consent or the court's leave. The Court should
freely give leave when justice so requires.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). While “leave to amend shall be
freely given when justice so requires, plaintiffs do not have
an absolute or automatic right to amend.” United
States v. Fairview Health Sys., 413 F.3d 748, 749 (8th
Cir. 2005) (citations omitted). “Leave is properly
denied when there has been undue delay, bad faith, or
dilatory motive on the part of the ...