United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN R. CLARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on review of plaintiff's
motions to proceed in forma pauperis. After review of
plaintiff's financial information, the Court will grant
plaintiff's motions to proceed as a pauper in this
action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915. However, after
review of the complaint for frivolousness, maliciousness and
for failure to state a claim, the Court finds that
plaintiff's claims for discrimination based on color, as
well as his claims for retaliation and for hostile work
environment/harassment, are subject to dismissal, as these
claims are not like or reasonably related to the claims
outlined in plaintiff's charge of discrimination.
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
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 plaintiff's 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 (8thCir.
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).
filed a pro se employment discrimination complaint against
defendant the Boeing Company on July 29, 2019. At the time of
filing his complaint, plaintiff filed a partially completed
motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. #2], as well as a
motion for appointment of counsel [Doc. #3]. On August 8,
2019, the Court ordered plaintiff to supplement his complaint
by submitting to the Court a copy of his charge of
discrimination such that the Court could determine whether
plaintiff's claims in his complaint were like or
reasonably related to his claims outlined in his charge.
[Doc. #4]. Plaintiff was simultaneously ordered to submit a
fully completed motion to proceed in forma pauperis or pay
the full $400 filing fee. [Doc. #5]. On August 12, 2019,
plaintiff submitted a copy of his charge of discrimination
filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights
brings this action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et
seq., for employment discrimination in the terms and
conditions of his employment based on race and color.
Plaintiff also alleges that he was retaliated against and
subjected to a hostile work environment by his employer, the
Boeing Company. Additionally, plaintiff alleges that
defendant unlawfully failed to promote him based on his race
and color and terminated his employment for illegal reasons.
charge of discrimination, plaintiff checked the box for race
discrimination, but he failed to indicate that he believed he
had been subjected to retaliation or discrimination based on
his color. Although plaintiff described in his charge how he
believed he had been discriminated in his employment based on
his race, as well as unlawfully terminated, he did not
indicate that he had been subjected to a hostile work
environment at the Boeing Company.
plaintiff's claims in court must be like or reasonably
related to the claims outlined in his administrative charge
or they will be subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. See, e.g., Duncan v. Delta
Consolidated Indus., Inc., 371 F.3d 1020, 1024 (8th Cir.
2004). To allow “a complaint to encompass
allegations outside the ambit of the predicate EEOC charge
would circumscribe the EEOC's investigatory and
conciliatory role, as well as deprive the charged party of
notice of the charge, as surely as would an initial failure
to file a timely EEOC charge.” Williams v. Little
Rock Mun. Water Works, 21 F.3d 218, 223 (8th Cir. 1994).
Therefore, a plaintiff's claims of employment
discrimination in his or her complaint “may be as broad
as the scope of the EEOC investigation which reasonably could
be expected to result from the administrative charge.”
Parisi v. Boeing Co., 400 F.3d 583, 585 (8th Cir.
noted above, in plaintiff's charge of discrimination,
plaintiff marked the box for race discrimination only.
Plaintiff did not mark the boxes for discrimination based on
his color. And his failure to do so means that he failed to
exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to this
claim. See Duncan, 371 F.3d at 1025; Cruesoe v.
MERS/Missouri Goodwill Indus., 2006 WL 2917363, at *10
(E.D.Mo. Oct. 11, 2006); Mathews v. St. Louis
University, 2006 WL 269992, No. 4:05CV1488 JCH (E.D. Mo.
February 1, 2006).
plaintiff's failure to include a hostile work
environment/harassment claim in his narrative in his charge
of discrimination is fatal to his claim in his complaint. A
hostile work environment claim is not like or reasonably
related to a race discrimination claim, and it is subject to
dismissal for failure to exhaust. Plaintiff has not used the
terms harassment or hostile work environment in his
narrative, he has not described a ...