United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. COLLINS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Missouri Home
Therapy, LLC and Missouri In Home Services, LLC's Motion
to Dismiss (Doc. 23) and Plaintiff Latonia Mann's Motion
to Conduct Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) (Doc. 25). The
Motions are fully briefed and ready for disposition. The
parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c) (Doc. 10). For the following reasons,
Defendants' Motion will be GRANTED, in
part and DENIED, in part and
Plaintiff's Motion will be DENIED.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) provides for a motion to dismiss based on the
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” To survive a motion to dismiss a complaint
must show “‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice” to defeat a
motion to dismiss. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for
relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“The plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. (citation
omitted). The pleading standard of Rule 8 “does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). “When ruling on a defendant's
motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). All
reasonable references from the complaint must be drawn in
favor of the nonmoving party. Schaaf v. Residential
Funding Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 1999).
17, 2018, Plaintiff Latonia Mann (“Plaintiff”)
filed an amended complaint against Missouri Home Therapy, LLC
and Missouri In Home Services, LLC for employment
discrimination pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et
seq. (the “ADA”) (Doc. 3). The facts, in the
light most favorable to Plaintiff, are as follows. Plaintiff
was in a supervised rehabilitation program under a
doctor's care with a prescription for methadone when she
was instructed to get a drug test (Id. at ¶14).
On September 25, 2014, Plaintiff had a meeting with
“the owners of the company, ” Ms. Dionneshae
Forland-Neal and Mr. Forland-Neal (Id. at ¶19).
They informed Plaintiff that she tested positive for opiates
(Id.). Plaintiff explained to them that methadone
was prescribed to her by her doctor in her treatment program
(Id.). During the meeting, Ms. Forland-Neal did not
claim that Plaintiff's work performance was
unsatisfactory in any way (Id. at ¶23). On that
same day, Plaintiff was terminated (Id. at
¶16). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, “an
employer within the meaning of the ADA, ” discharged
her because of her participation in a supervised
rehabilitation program, and their perception of her as
disabled as a result of that participation (Id. at
January 15, 2015, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) against respondents Missouri Home
Therapy, LLC and Dionneshae Forland-Neal for disability
discrimination (Doc. 3 at ¶6). See also Doc.
25-4 (Charge of Discrimination). The charge identified Ms.
Forland-Neal and Mr. Forland-Neal as the two persons who
discharged Plaintiff (Doc. 25-4). A copy of the charge was
sent to Ms. Forland-Neal at the address of Missouri Home
Therapy, LLC, listed as Plaintiff's employer on her claim
(Id.). On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff received a
“Notice of Right to Sue” from the EEOC (Doc. 3 at
¶7). The Notice was also sent to Ms. Forland-Neal at the
address of the employer Plaintiff listed on her charge
(Id.). Relevant to the current motion, Ms.
Forland-Neal is listed as the registered agent for both
Missouri In Home Services, LLC and Missouri Home Therapy LLC
(Docs. 25-2, 25-3). Additionally, both Defendants have the
same address and that address is the same one that Plaintiff
listed on her Charge of Discrimination under Missouri Home
Therapy LLC (Docs. 25-2, 25-3, 25-4).
November 9, 2018, Defendants filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 23). In their Motion, Defendant allege that Plaintiff
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as
she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies for her
correct employers which Defendants allege were Kenneth Green
and Brenda Mann, the consumers that hired Plaintiff to serve
as their personal care attendant. In support of their Motion
to Dismiss, Defendants provide Plaintiff's one-page
“Employment Application for Personal Care
Attendant” (Doc. 24-1). Defendant Missouri In Home
Services, LCC is listed at the top of the application
filed a Motion for Continuance to Conduct Discovery Pursuant
to Rule 56(d) (Doc. 25). Plaintiff asserts that Defendants
rely on materials outside the pleadings that are unavailable
to Plaintiff (Id.). Therefore, Plaintiff requests
that the Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(d), continue Defendants' Motion to Dismiss until
discovery can be conducted (Id.). Alternatively,
Plaintiff responds to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and
asserts that Plaintiff has an actionable claim under the ADA
and satisfied the exhaustion standard (Id.).
November 19, 2018, after a Rule 16 Conference, the Court
entered a Case Management Order setting the discovery
schedule in the case (Doc. 27).
Matters Outside the Pleadings
preliminary matter, the Court must determine whether
Plaintiff's employment application, attached as an
exhibit to Defendants' memorandum in support of its
motion, may be properly considered in resolving this motion
to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In
reviewing a motion to dismiss, courts must generally ignore
materials outside the pleadings, Porous Media Corp. v.
Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999), but may
consider “the pleadings themselves, materials embraced
by the pleadings, exhibits attached to the pleadings, and
matters of public record.” Illig, 652 F.3d at
976 (quoted case omitted). “Matters outside the
pleadings” include any written evidence “in
support of or in opposition to the pleading that provide[s]
some substantiation for and does not merely reiterate what is
said in the pleadings.” McAuley v. Federal Ins.
Co., 500 F.3d 784, 787 (8th Cir. 2007) (quoted case
omitted). The Court finds Plaintiff's employment
application submitted in support of Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss is a “matter outside the pleading, ” as
Defendants concede (See Doc. 30 at 1-2). When a
“matter outside the pleading” is presented to the
Court in support of a motion to dismiss, the Court may
convert the motion to a motion for summary judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 or it may exclude the
matter and address the motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
Cf. Zean v. Fairview Health Servs., 858 F.3d 520,
526 (8th Cir. 2017) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d)) (“If
matters outside the pleadings ‘are presented to and not
excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for
summary judgment under Rule 56.'”). The Court finds
that it can address many of Defendants' arguments while
excluding Plaintiff's employment application from its
analysis and will, therefore, decline to convert the motion
into a motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, as Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 will not apply to the current
motion, Plaintiff's request to conduct discovery under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) will be denied.