United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
F. SAPORITO, JR., United States Magistrate Judge
a pro se employment discrimination case. The
plaintiff, Marilyn Marie Smith, claims that the defendants
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq. Smith has been granted leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons set
forth below, we recommend that the matter be dismissed for
failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
complaint itself in this case is vague and incoherent. (Doc.
1). Taken together with two subsequent letters submitted by
the plaintiff, Smith appears to assert Title VII employment
discrimination claims related to her employment at Harrisburg
State Hospital between 1999 and 2006. (Doc. 6; Doc. 7). Neither
the complaint nor her supplemental letter submissions allege
that she has exhausted administrative remedies.
plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis is subject to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides that a court
“shall dismiss the case at any time if the court
determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim
on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). “The legal standard for dismissing a
complaint for failure to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2) is the same as that for dismissing a complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).” Brodzki v.
Tribune Co., 481 Fed. App'x 705, 706 (3d Cir. 2012)
(per curiam). Rule 12(b)(6), in turn, authorizes a defendant
to move to dismiss for “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
“Under Rule 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss may be
granted only if, accepting all well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, a court finds the plaintiff's
claims lack facial plausibility.” Warren
Gen. Hosp. v. Amgen, Inc., 643 F.3d 77, 84 (3d Cir.
2011) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007)). Although the Court must accept the
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, it is not
compelled to accept “unsupported conclusions and
unwarranted inferences, or a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation.” Morrow v. Balaski, 719
F.3d 160, 165 (3d Cir. 2013) (quoting Baraka v.
McGreevey, 481 F.3d 187, 195 (3d Cir. 2007)). In
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court may consider the
facts alleged on the face of the complaint, as well as
“documents incorporated into the complaint by
reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial
notice.” Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues &
Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007).
plaintiff has failed to allege that she satisfied the
precondition to suit under Title VII-prior submission of her
employment discrimination claim to the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or the
Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (“PHRC”),
nor has she alleged that she has received a “right to
sue” letter from either agency. See generally
Hornsby v. U.S. Postal Serv., 787 F.2d 87, 90 (3d Cir.
1986) (“A complaint does not state a claim upon which
relief may be granted unless it asserts the satisfaction of
the precondition to suit specified by Title VII: prior
submission of the claim to the EEOC (or a state conciliation
agency) for conciliation or resolution.”)
under Title VII requires both consultation with an agency
counselor and filing a formal EEOC complaint within the
required time. Robinson v. Dalton, 107 F.3d 1018,
1021 (3d Cir. 1977); see also Ebbert v. DaimlerChrysler
Corp., 319 F.3d 103, 115 n.14 (3d Cir. 2003). The
aggrieved person is not permitted to bypass the
administrative process. Ostapowicz v. Johnson Bronze
Co., 541 F.2d 394, 398 (3d Cir. 1976). The
jurisdictional prerequisites to the filing of a suit under
Title VII are the filing of charges with the EEOC and the
receipt of the notice of the right to sue letter.
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 798-
99 (1973); Ostapowicz, 541 F.2d at 398; Tlush v.
Mfrs. Res. Ctr., 315 F.Supp.2d 650, 655 (E.D. Pa. 2002)
(attainment of a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC is a
condition precedent to filing Title VII suits).
the complaint does not allege the exhaustion of
administrative remedies before the EEOC or PHRC, we recommend
that the action be dismissed with leave to amend. See
Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 108 (3d
foregoing reasons, it is recommended that:
plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1; see also Doc. 6;
Doc. 7) be DISMISSED for failure to state a