United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Tachica Callahan has filed a discrimination complaint against
defendant Gateway Community College. I will grant
Gateway's motion to dismiss on grounds that Callahan has
failed to allege facts that give rise to plausible grounds
April 13, 2017, Callahan filed a pro se and in
forma pauperis complaint against Gateway. Doc. #1. On
November 7, 2017, I entered an order sua sponte
dismissing the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Doc. #13. I described how the complaint
“states almost no facts as distinct from legal
conclusions that defendant violated the law.”
Id. at 2. “Because the complaint is so bare of
facts-as distinct from conclusory allegations of violations
of the law- defendant could not possibly file a meaningful
answer or response to plaintiff's claims.”
Ibid. Accordingly, I dismissed the complaint without
prejudice to Callahan's filing of an amended complaint
that contained a proper amount of factual detail to give
Gateway fair notice of the basis for her claims:
Plaintiff is advised that any amended complaint should allege
specific facts and approximate dates of any alleged
misconduct by defendant. It is not sufficient for plaintiff
simply to allege that defendant has violated the law without
alleging the specific acts of misconduct engaged in by
defendant that amounts to a violation of a specific law. For
example, if plaintiff believes that she was subject to
retaliation or discrimination, then she should allege facts
describing precisely who engaged in specific acts on specific
or approximate dates that amounted to retaliation or
discrimination and on what basis she believes she was subject
to retaliation or discrimination (e.g., race,
gender, etc.). Although plaintiff may refer to and attach
documents to her complaint if she wishes, such attached
documents are not a substitute for plaintiff alleging
specific facts and legal claims that must be made stated in
the body of the complaint itself.
Doc. #13 at 3.
December 7, 2017, plaintiff filed an amended complaint. Doc.
#15. The amended complaint purports to state the following
four causes of action arising from Gateway's alleged
mistreatment of plaintiff and termination of her employment:
(1) a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, (2) a violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (3) a violation of
the Equal Pay Act of 1964, and (4) a violation of “the
Connecticut State Human Rights Law.” Id. at 1.
Gateway has now moved to dismiss.
evaluating a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all
factual matters alleged in a complaint, although a complaint
may not survive unless its factual recitations state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face. See, e.g.,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009);
Mastafa v. Chevron Corp., 770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir.
2014). It is well-established that “pro se
complaints ‘must be construed liberally and interpreted
to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest.'” Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d
399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau
of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see
also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir.
2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
recent years, the Supreme Court has set forth a threshold
“plausibility” pleading standard for courts to
evaluate the adequacy of federal court complaints. A
complaint must allege enough facts-as distinct from legal
conclusions-that give rise to plausible grounds for relief.
See, e.g., Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Notwithstanding the rule of liberal interpretation of a
pro se complaint, a pro se complaint may
not survive dismissal if its factual allegations do not meet
the basic plausibility standard. See, e.g.,
Fowlkes v. Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387
(2d Cir. 2015).
Callahan's initial complaint, the amended complaint
contains very little factual detail. It alleges that Callahan
worked for Gateway at its Department of Educational
Technology for two years and seven months from September 2012
to May 2015. Doc. #15 at 2 (¶ 2), 7 (¶ 19), 8
(¶ 22). The amended complaint further alleges that
Callahan “was discriminated against and terminated on
or about 7/10/15 according to [the] official termination
letter.” Id. at 8 (¶ 22).
throughout the amended complaint are conclusory allegations
that Callahan was the subject of discrimination or
retaliation by Gateway:
• That Gateway “repeatedly subjected Plaintiff to
unlawful discrimination because of her race/color, and sex,
as well as to unlawful retaliation” (id. at 2
• That Gateway “overlooked the Plaintiff's
application for promotion through the college's mandated
competitive application process, ” instead using
“Nepotism and Cronyism” leading to preferences
for “Caucasian male counterparts, Asian female
counterparts, and Hispanic female counterparts, ...