United States District Court, D. Nevada
ANDRE M. INGRAM, Plaintiff,
CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.
M. Navarro, Chief United States District Judge.
before the Court are the Motions to Dismiss, (ECF Nos. 16,
17), filed by Defendant Clark County School District
(“CCSD”) and Defendants Kris Patrick
(“Patrick”), Aida Rivera (“Rivera”),
and Joann V. Laeken (“Laeken”) (collectively
“Individual Defendants”). Also pending before the
Court is Plaintiff Andre Ingram's
(“Plaintiffs”) Motion for Preliminary Injunction,
(ECF No. 28), to which CCSD filed a Response, (ECF No. 31),
and Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 35). For the reasons
stated below, CCSD's Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 16), is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in
part; the Individual Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, (ECF No. 17), is GRANTED; and
Plaintiffs Motion for Preliminary Injunction, (ECF No. 28),
case arises from Plaintiff's allegations of workplace
discrimination, harassment, and retaliation while he was
employed with CCSD as a food service worker. (First Am.
Compl. (“FAC”) 5:13, 6:2-24, ECF No. 9);
(CCSD's Mot. Dismiss (“MTD”) 2:3-4, ECF No.
16). Individual Defendants Patrick, Rivera, and Laeken are
either Plaintiffs co-workers or supervisors in CCSD's
Food Service Department. (FAC 2:8-16). Plaintiff contends
that these Individual Defendants and CCSD used illegal
workplace practices, such as: obstructing Plaintiffs efforts
to fairly compete for a supervisor position; harassing
Plaintiff with derogatory or sexist statements and conduct;
and subjecting certain kitchen staff to intolerable work
conditions when compared to a “white counterpart
kitchen staff at Arbor View High School.” (Id.
filed a charge of discrimination against CCSD with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on
June 20, 2018, and the EEOC closed the case and issued a
right-to-sue letter on July 10, 2018. Plaintiff, proceeding
pro se, then filed his Complaint with the Court on
October 9, 2018, which he amended on November 28, 2018.
(Compl. at 1, ECF No. 8); (FAC at 1). That First Amended
Complaint (“Amended Complaint”) asserts various
claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.: (1)
discrimination based on race and sex; (2) retaliation based
on race and sex; and (3) sexual harassment. (FAC 6:2-24).
December 18, 2018, CCSD and the Individual Defendants moved
to dismiss the Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 16, 17).
Plaintiff did not file a response; instead, he filed a Motion
for Preliminary Injunction on January 14, 2019. (Mot. Prelim.
Inj. at 1, ECF No. 28); (Reply 3:15-18, ECF No. 35).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) mandates that a court
dismiss a cause of action that fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. See North Star Int l v.
Ariz. Corp. Comm 'n, 720 F.2d 578, 581 (9th Cir.
1983). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, dismissal is
appropriate only when the complaint does not give the
defendant fair notice of a legally cognizable claim and the
grounds on which it rests. See Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In considering
whether the complaint is sufficient to state a claim, the
Court will take all material allegations as true and construe
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See NL
Indus., Inc. v. Kaplan, 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir.
Court, however, is not required to accept as true allegations
that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact,
or unreasonable inferences. See Sprewell v. Golden State
Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). A formulaic
recitation of a cause of action with conclusory allegations
is not sufficient; a plaintiff must plead facts showing that
a violation is plausible, not just possible.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In order to survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, 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
a district court may not consider any material beyond the
pleadings in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion . . . .
However, material which is properly submitted as part of the
complaint may be considered on a motion to dismiss.”
Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co.,
896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n.19 (9th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted).
Similarly, “documents whose contents are alleged in a
complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but
which are not physically attached to the pleading, may be
considered in ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss” without converting the motion to dismiss into
a motion for summary judgment. Branch v. Tunnell, 14
F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994). Otherwise, if the district
court considers materials outside of the pleadings, the
motion to dismiss is converted into a motion for summary
judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d); Arpin v.
Santa Clara Valley Transp. Agency, 261 F.3d 912, 925
(9th Cir. 2001).
court grants a motion to dismiss, it must then decide whether
to grant leave to amend. Pursuant to Rule 15(a), the court
should “freely” give leave to amend “when
justice so requires, ” and in the absence of a reason
such as “undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on
the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment,
futility of the amendment, etc.” Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Generally, leave to
amend is only denied when it is clear that the deficiencies
of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. See DeSoto
v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th
Plaintiff is appearing pro se in this case, the
Court liberally construes his pleadings and subjects them to
“less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007) (citation omitted). Indeed, pro se
plaintiffs in civil rights cases must be afforded “the
benefit of any doubt.” Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles
Police Dep 't, 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988).
Individual Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Individual Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs claims
against them because Title VII imposes liability on
employers, not individual employees. (Individual Defs.'
MTD 2:8-9, ECF No. 17). The Ninth Circuit has “long
held that Title VII does not provide a separate cause of
action against supervisors or co-workers.” Craig v.
M & O Agencies, Inc., 496 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir.
2007) (citations omitted). The Court therefore dismisses
Plaintiffs claims against the Individual Defendants with
prejudice because those claims are not legally cognizable.
CCSD's Motion to Dismiss
moves to dismiss Plaintiffs claims because the supporting
allegations “are insufficient to raise a plausible
Title VII claim.” (CCSD's MTD 6:21-22, ECF No. 16).
Alternatively, CCSD seeks dismissal because Plaintiff's
service of the Complaint failed to comply with Federal Rule