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 review of plaintiff John L.
Wesley's amended complaint. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court will direct the Clerk of Court to issue
process on defendant Megan J. Brennan.
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, 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
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).
September 19, 2018, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint
alleging employment discrimination against defendant Megan J.
Brennan, Postmaster General of the United States Postal
Service. (Docket No. 1). The complaint was on a
Court-provided form and indicated that plaintiff was bringing
his lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA). (Docket No. 1 at 1-2).
complaint, plaintiff stated that he was employed by the
United States Postal Service (USPS) as a city carrier in the
Gateway District, Saint Louis, Missouri. (Docket No. 1 at 5).
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 stated that
the agency did not arrive at a final decision until sometime
between April and August 2017. Plaintiff claimed that he has
suffered losses due to his use of the FMLA. He sought 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 original complaint was a decision from the United
States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
(Docket No. 1-2). The decision indicated that plaintiff had
appealed a Final Agency Decision concerning his EEO
complaint, in which he alleged employment discrimination in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
(Docket No. 1-2 at 1). The EEOC affirmed the Final Agency
Decision, noting that plaintiff had not established facts
giving rise to an inference of discrimination. (Docket No.
1-2 at 3-4). It also included a right to sue provision, which
was dated June 28, 2018, giving plaintiff ninety days to file
a lawsuit. Plaintiff timely filed his original complaint on
September 19, 2018, approximately eighty-three days after the
February 15, 2019, the Court issued an order that dismissed
plaintiffs ADA claim, because plaintiff, as a former federal
employee, was not allowed to recover separately under the
ADA. (Docket No. 4 at 5). Rather, the Court noted that
plaintiffs federal remedy for disability-based discrimination
was the RA.
Court further directed plaintiff to file an amended
complaint. (Docket No. 1 at 7). In doing so, the Court
explained that plaintiff had failed to state a claim under
the RA, and had also failed to demonstrate exhaustion of his
duly complied with the Court's order by filing an amended
complaint on March 7, 2019. (Docket No. 6). He later
supplemented the amended complaint by filing a document
titled "Memorandum for Clerk," which contains the
administrative remedies that he attempted (Docket No. 7). He
has also filed a supplement containing letters from the
Department of Veterans Affairs, showing that he separated
from active duty ...