United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JOHN L. WESLEY, Plaintiff,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion of plaintiff John
L. Wesley for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket No.
2). Upon review of the motion and the financial information
submitted in support, the Court finds that plaintiffs motion
should be granted. Additionally, for the reasons discussed
below, plaintiffs claim under the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 (ADA) will be dismissed because plaintiffs sole
remedy for disability discrimination is under the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RA). Finally, plaintiff will be
directed to file an amended complaint.
Standard on Initial Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to dismiss
a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief,
which is more than a "mere possibility of
misconduct." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
679 (2009). "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." Id. at 678.
Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for
relief is a context- specific task that requires the
reviewing court to draw upon judicial experience and common
sense. Id. at 679. The court must "accept as
true the facts alleged, but not legal conclusions or
threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action,
supported by mere conclusory statements." Barton v.
Taber, 820 F.3d 958, 964 (8th Cir. 2016).
See also Brown v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, 820 F.3d
371, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2016) (stating that court
must accept factual allegations in complaint as true, but is
not required to "accept as true any legal conclusion
couched as a factual allegation").
reviewing a pro se complaint under § 1915(e)(2), the
Court must give it the benefit of a liberal construction.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A
"liberal construction" means that if the essence of
an allegation is discernible, the district court should
construe the plaintiffs complaint in a way that permits his
or her claim to be considered within the proper legal
framework. Solomon v. Petray, 795 F.3d 777, 787
(8th Cir. 2015). However, even pro se complaints
are required to allege facts which, if true, state a claim
for relief as a matter of law. Martin v. Aubuchon,
623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980). See also
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th
Cir. 2004) (stating that federal courts are not required to
"assume facts that are not alleged, just because an
additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger
complaint"). In addition, affording a pro se complaint
the benefit of a liberal construction does not mean that
procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation must be
interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed
without counsel. See McNeil v. United States, 508
U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
has filed a pro se employment discrimination complaint
against defendant Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General of the
United States Postal Service. The complaint is on a
Court-provided form. Plaintiff has checked the boxes
indicating that he is bringing his lawsuit pursuant to the
ADA and the RA. (Docket No. 1 at 1-2). He alleges that he was
discriminated against on the basis of a disability. (Docket
No. 1 at 5).
states that he was employed by the United States Postal
Service as a city carrier in the Gateway District, Saint
Louis, Missouri. In January 2015, he submitted an
"eReassign" request to transfer to the Midwest
District, Kansas City, Missouri. Along with submitting the
eReassign, he informed his supervisor and the manager of his
delivery unit in Saint Louis of his intent to transfer.
monitored the eReassign system online to follow the status of
his transfer request. When he saw that his "request was
developing and there [were] no problems," he proceeded
to move to the Midwest District. Upon arriving in Kansas
City, plaintiff was advised that two individuals were on the
list ahead of him. After hearing nothing from the eReassign
coordinator for several weeks, he filed an
"EEO/REDRESS" complaint, which was scheduled for a
hearing in May 2015. At the hearing, plaintiff discovered
that he was not selected for reassignment because of his
attendance issues in the Gateway District. Plaintiff asserts
that those attendance issues were due to his use of the
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
filed a formal EEO complaint in August 2015. He states that
the agency did not arrive at a final decision until sometime
between April and August 2017. Plaintiff claims that he has
suffered losses due to his use of the FMLA. He is seeking
back wages, lost wages, court costs, attorney fees, recoup of
his thrift savings plan, personal expenses associated with
his move, and restoration of pay level. (Docket No. 1 at 7).
to the complaint is a decision from the United States Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (Docket No. 1-2).
The decision is an appeal from a Final Agency Decision
concerning plaintiffs EEO complaint, in which plaintiff
alleged employment discrimination in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). (Docket No. 1-2
at 1). The decision affirms the Final Agency Decision.
(Docket No. 1-2 at 4). It also includes a right to sue
provision, which is dated June 28, 2018, giving plaintiff
ninety days to file a lawsuit. Plaintiff filed his complaint
on September 19, 2018, approximately eighty-three days after
the EEOC decision.
claims that defendant denied his transfer request based on
his past usage of the FMLA. He brings this action under both
the ADA and the RA. For the reasons discussed below,
plaintiffs ADA claim must be dismissed. Furthermore, as his
complaint is deficient, he will be directed to file an
amended complaint in accordance with the instructions set
forth in this order.