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Taylor v. Clark County School District

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 6, 2019

SHAUN TAYLOR, Plaintiff,



         Presently before the Court for consideration is defendants Clark County School District's (“CCSD”) and Keith France's (“France”) Joint Motion to Dismiss (#15). Plaintiff Shaun Taylor (“Taylor”) filed a response in opposition (#20) to which defendants replied (#21).

         I. Facts

         Plaintiff, Shaun Taylor, is black/African American and was an employee of CCSD. Compl. 2, ECF No. 1. She was an employee at the school where France was the principal. Id. On April 26, 2017, despite her taking a sick day, France wrote Taylor up because she did not proctor an exam. Id. About a month later, on May 22, 2017, Taylor reported to her supervisor, Ms. McIntyre, that France had discriminated against her on the basis of her race. Id. Taylor states that she cried during that report. Id.

         On May 30, 2017, Taylor's union representative informed she and France that Taylor was approved for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) because of her stress and anxiety. Id. at 3. The union representative advised Taylor that she could only be on school property during her FMLA release time if it was for activities related to her son who attended the school. Id. On June 1, 2017, while picking her son up from school, Taylor had a panic attack, and because she felt dizzy, Taylor “reached out and held onto” Ms. McIntyre. Id. According to Taylor, France later made statements that Taylor grabbed and shook Ms. McIntyre during this event. Id. While the paramedics tended to Taylor, a security officer attempted to read her a trespass warning; however, the security officer stopped upon noticing that the panic attack had rendered her incoherent. Id. at 3. Taylor was hospitalized for that panic attack. Id. at 5. The following day, France sent an email to Taylor with a trespass notice, but Taylor claims that she did not check her email that contained the notice until July 27, 2017. Id.

         On the evening of June 3, 2017, Taylor entered the school to retrieve her personal belongings. Id. In response, France filed a police report against Taylor for trespass, however the charges were eventually dismissed. Id. at 4. Taylor requested and was granted a transfer to a different school because of France's alleged harassment. Id. After her transfer, France sent a representative to serve Taylor with disciplinary documents at her new school. Id. According to Taylor, France also alluded to her lack of fitness to teach. Id. at 7.

         On August 24, 2017, Taylor filed her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Employment Discrimination Complaint and requested a Right to Sue letter. Id. at 4. The Right to Sue letter was mailed on April 3, 2018, but was returned to the post office on April 10, 2018, for non-delivery. Id. According to Taylor, she received the Right to Sue letter on April 12, 2018, and then commenced this action on July 11, 2018. Id. at 8.

         II. Legal Standard

         A court may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pleaded 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); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands more than mere “labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, “[to] survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, a district court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions or mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 678. Second, a district court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678.

         Further, where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has “alleged-but it has not show[n]-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, when the claims in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. Moreover, “[a]ll allegations of material fact in the complaint are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” In re Stac Elecs. Sec. Litig., 89 F.3d 1399, 1403 (9th Cir. 1996).

         III. Analysis

         Taylor brings six total causes of action before the Court. Her claims divide into two groups: claims against both CCSD and France and claims against France individually. Taylor first alleges Title VII Racial Discrimination, Title VII Retaliation, and FMLA Discrimination against CCSD and France. She then alleges abuse of process, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) against France alone. The parties agree that Taylor's FMLA claim is not the subject of this motion, and the Court will not discuss it at this time. That leaves Taylor's Title VII claims, her abuse of process claim, her defamation claim, and her IIED claim for this analysis.

         A. Title VII ...

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