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Adamson v. Republic Services of Silver State

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 5, 2017

ALVIN E. ADAMSON II, Plaintiffs,
v.
REPUBLIC SERVICES OF SILVER STATE, Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Republic Silver State Disposal Service, Inc.'s ("RSSD") motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff Alvin E. Adamson II filed a response (ECF No. 10), and defendant filed a reply (ECF No. 12).

         I. Introduction

         Alvin E. Adamson II alleged in his January 27, 2017, complaint that his employer, RSSD had repeatedly denied Adamson his ten-minute break, subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment, harassed him, retaliated against him, and humiliated him in violation of "[s]tate and [f]ederal employment laws along with [c]ivil [r]ights laws." [1] (ECF No. 1 at 0035). The action was filed in state court, and the defendant timely removed it to the United States District Court, District of Nevada pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446.

         RSSD filed its motion to dismiss plaintiffs complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on February 28, 2017. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff alleges he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission ("NERC"). (ECF No. 1). The complaint, spanning only two substantive pages and constituting only one paragraph, failed to address the result of the EEOC filing. (Id.). NERC attempted to seek mediation on or about October 20, 2015; "the defendants did not respond." (Id. at 6).

         II. Legal Standard

         The court may dismiss a plaintiffs complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it does require more than labels and conclusions. Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Furthermore, a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not suffice. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009) (citation omitted). Rule 8 does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. Id. at 678-79.

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. 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. When a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, and shows only a mere possibility of entitlement, the complaint does not meet the requirements to show plausibility of entitlement to relief. Id.

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering a motion to dismiss. Id. First, the court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint. However, this requirement is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Id. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678. Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has "alleged - but not shown - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Id. at 679. When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, plaintiffs claim must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         The Ninth Circuit addressed post-Iqbal pleading standards in Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The Starr court held:

First, to be entitled to the presumption of truth, allegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively. Second, the factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation.

Id.

         III. Discussion

         Plaintiff fails to include sufficient details to sustain a claim upon which relief can be granted. See (ECF No. 1). Indeed, plaintiff admits he intended to amend this filing to include relevant details. (Id.). There may be a conceivable violation alleged in the complaint, but the harassment, humiliation, retaliation, and cruel and unusual punishment allegations are predicated on conclusory statements of law. (Id.). Without additional information the pleading itself does not present a plausible claim. The court cannot draw a reasonable inference that RSSD is liable. Without "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face" the complaint is insufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         For example, there is no mention of the specific basis for plaintiffs cause of action. (ECF No. 1). Instead, plaintiff merely refers to unidentified state and federal laws. (Id.). Furthermore, there is no allegation of the defendant's specific violations under "[s]tate and ...


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