United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE
J. SCHWAB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 21, 2018, Defendant, CulinArt, Inc., removed this
case from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County,
where it was originally filed by Plaintiff Rikea Farrow,
pro se, on January 30, 2018. Doc. No. 1.
CulinArt then quickly moved to dismiss the Complaint under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure
to state claims of discrimination and retaliation pursuant to
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq, arguing that Plaintiff
failed to exhaust her administrative remedies, and also moved
to dismiss Plaintiff's breach of contract claim, arguing
that Plaintiff failed to identify the existence of a contract
between Plaintiff and Defendant. Doc. No. 5 and
Doc. No. 6. In response, Plaintiff submitted a
Motion to Amend her Complaint. Doc. No. 7.
Court has carefully reviewed Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss and brief in support, doc. no. 5 and
doc. no. 6, and Plaintiff's original Complaint,
doc. no. 1-2, and her proposed Amended Complaint,
doc. no. 7. The Court has also reviewed
Defendant's Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion
to Amend, doc. no. 9. For the following reasons, the
Court will deny all pending motions as moot and remand this
case to state court.
reviewing Plaintiffs filings, the Court has liberally
construed them to determine the claims set forth therein
because pro se pleadings, “however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erikson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation
omitted); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). In addition, the court should
“‘apply the applicable law, irrespective of
whether a pro se litigant has mentioned it by
name.'” Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683,
688 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Holley v. Dep't of
Veterans Affairs, 165 F.3d 244, 247-48 (3d Cir. 1999)).
12(h)(3) commands “[i]f the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). The
party asserting jurisdiction, in this case the Defendant,
bears the burden of showing at all stages of the litigation
that the case is properly before the federal court.
Samuel-Bassett v. KIA Motors America, Inc., 357 F.3d
392, 396 (3d Cir. 2004). The obligation of a federal court to
examine its jurisdiction over an action is appropriate in
cases that have been removed from state court, even if the
plaintiff has not challenged the removal. U.S. Express
Lines Ltd. v. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 389 (3d Cir. 2002).
Notice of Removal, Defendant CulinArt asserts that the
Plaintiffs claims “appear to arise under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964[.]” Doc. No. 1.
However, the Court's review of the Complaint Plaintiff
originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny
County, doc. no. 1-2, revealed the following basic
• that Plaintiff was complaining about the late payment
and underpayment of her wages;
• that Plaintiff asserts that a union contract set her
• that Plaintiff was retaliated against and removed from
the work schedule after complaining about the late payment of
her wages; and
• that CulinArt is a “joint employer” based
upon the definition set forth in cases construing that term
under Title VII.
Doc. No. 1-2.
proposed amended complaint, filed at doc. no. 7 in
conjunction with her motion for leave to amend her complaint,
added additional defendants, set forth the same claims in
greater detail, and added information to assert a contract
right to a one-year term of employment and allegations of
intentional infliction of ...