CLINTON C. HOGGARD, Plaintiff,
CATCH, INC., Defendant.
ROBERT F. KELLY, Sr., District Judge.
Presently before the Court is the Defendant, Citizens Acting Together Can Help, Inc.'s (CATCH) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); and/or Motion to Strike Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f)(2), and the Responses in opposition filed by Plaintiff, Clinton C. Hoggard. For the reasons set forth below, we grant Defendant's Motion.
Plaintiff, who is a former employee of CATCH, filed a pro se Complaint alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 P.S. § 951 et seq. (See Compl.) Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that he suffered discriminatory treatment by Defendant in regards to a right ankle injury which occurred in May 2011 during his employment with Defendant. (Id. at 2-6.) Specifically, Plaintiff's claims are based on allegations that Defendant improperly terminated his employment; failed to reasonably accommodate his disability; used unequal terms and conditions of his employment; and retaliated against him. (Id. at 3.)
On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filed an Application to Proceed In District Court In Forma Pauperis and completed a pro se Complaint for Employment Discrimination with related documentation. (Doc. No. 1.) On August 27, 2012, Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed In Forma Pauperis, and his request for appointment of counsel was denied. (Doc. Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6.)
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint on January 30, 2013. (Doc. No. 7.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to file a response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on or before March 22, 2013, which Plaintiff filed. (Doc. Nos. 9, 10.) On May 21, 2013, the Court ordered that Plaintiff had until June 4, 2013, to submit relevant materials opposing Defendant's Motion to Dismiss because the dismissal motion included documents beyond the Complaint. (Doc. No. 11.) Specifically, the Order stated:
AND NOW, this 21st day of May, 2013, due to the fact that Defendant has included matters outside of the pleading in its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); and/or Motion to Strike Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f)(2) (Doc. No. 7), the Court is converting Defendant's Motion to a Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(d). See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d) (when the Court considers matters outside the pleadings, a motion to dismiss generally must be converted into a motion for summary judgment and "all parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all material that is pertinent to the motion"). As a result, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff has until June 4, 2013, to submit relevant materials opposing Defendant's Motion.
(Id.) In response, Plaintiff sent the Court a letter with attachments dated June 3, 2013. (Doc. No. 12.) The Court considered all of the documents submitted by both parties in determining that dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint is warranted.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint. Kost v. Kozakiewicz , 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993). Under Rule 12(b)(6), the defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the plaintiff has not stated a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); see also Hedges v. United States , 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005). In Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, the Supreme Court of the United States stated that "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
Following Twombly, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ("Third Circuit") has explained that the factual allegations in the complaint may not be "so undeveloped that it does not provide a defendant the type of notice which is contemplated by Rule 8." Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny , 515 F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008). Moreover, "it is no longer sufficient to allege mere elements of a cause of action; instead a complaint must allege facts suggestive of [the proscribed] conduct.'" Id . (alteration in original) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563 n.8). Furthermore, the complaint's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 234 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "This does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage, ' but instead simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary element.'" Id . (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the Supreme Court applied the Twombly standard, stating that "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Supreme Court explained that deciding whether a "complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id . "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." Id.
After Iqbal, a two-part analysis is required when a district court evaluates a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside , 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). The Third Circuit has set forth this two-part analysis as follows:
First, the factual and legal elements of a claim should be separated. The District Court must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions. Second, a District Court must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a plausible claim for relief. In other words, a complaint must do more than ...