The opinion of the court was delivered by: MICHAEL MUKASEY, Chief Judge, District
Plaintiff Kevin Sleigh sues Charlex, Inc. and several of its
current and former employees*fn1 alleging discrimination on
the basis of race, color, sex, and religion, in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e §
2000e-17 (2000). Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint
on the ground that plaintiff's claims are time-barred. Defendant
also urges dismissal due to improper service under Rule 4 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Finally, defendant moves for
dismissal and on the grounds that plaintiff's complaint is
factually frivolous, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), and not
a short and plain statement of his claim, in violation of Rule
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant's
motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed with prejudice,
as the court finds that plaintiff's claim is factually frivolous,
and not a short and plain statement of his claim, in violation of
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2),
The facts in plaintiff's pro se complaint are as follows:
Kevin Sleigh, a self-described Caribbean-American male, began
working for Charlex, Inc. in May, 1989, and remained at the
company until June 1995. Compl. ¶ 5.*fn2 During his time
at Charlex, plaintiff claims that other Charlex employees and
supervisors discriminated against and spread false information
about him on a frequent basis, both during his time at the
company and after he departed, up until April 2000. Compl. ¶ 6.
Plaintiff alleges that Charlex and its employees discriminated
against him on the basis of race, sexuality, and religion.
Plaintiff's allegations of discriminatory and objectionable
treatment at Charlex, spanning more than 50 typewritten
pages,*fn3 are too numerous to recount here in significant
detail. In general, plaintiff claims that his Charlex co-workers and supervisors insulted and distrusted him,
monitored and followed him, framed him for misdeeds he did not
commit, and spread malicious and false rumors about him
throughout New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Maryland,
and Virginia.*fn4 He also alleges that Charlex paid him a
lower salary than it paid other employees at his skill level, and
denied him promotions that he deserved and earned. In his
complaint, plaintiff provides specific examples of dozens of
discriminatory and defamatory acts that Charlex employees
committed against him both during his time at Charlex and after
Plaintiff also describes numerous instances of discrimination
and mistreatment at the hands of various individuals and entities
unrelated to defendant. The court will not consider these
allegations, as they are unconnected to the present lawsuit,
except to the extent that they are evidence of the frivolous and
prolix nature of plaintiff's complaint.
This court must decide the motion to dismiss based on the facts
alleged in the complaint, and these facts must be viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, here the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974),
overturned on other grounds by Harlow v. Fitzgerald,
457 U.S. 800 (1982); LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d
Cir. 1991). Dismissal is not warranted "unless it appears beyond
doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also Sheppard v.
Berman, 18 F.3d 147, 150 (2d Cir. 1994). "This rule applies
with particular force where the plaintiff alleges civil rights
violations or where the complaint is submitted pro se."
Chance v. Armstrong, 143 F.3d 698, 701 (2d Cir. 1998).
Plaintiff's pro se complaint is entitled to a close and
sympathetic reading by this court, and the court need not hold
plaintiff to the same technical standard that might be
appropriate for a lawyer. See Haines v. Kerner,
404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Riddle v. Claiborne, No. 00-1374, 2001 WL
1352456, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 2, 2001). In ruling whether or not
to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, the pro se pleadings "must be
read liberally and should be interpreted to `raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.'" Graham v. Henderson,
89 F.3d 75, 79 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Burgos v. Hopkins,
14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994). Though the standard for acceptable pro
se pleading is lenient, "bald assertions and conclusions of law
will not suffice" to defeat a motion for dismissal. Leeds v.
Meltz, 85 F.3d 51, 53 (2d. Cir. 1996). As explained below, even the most
charitable reading of plaintiff's complaint cannot justify
sustaining this action.
Defendant first claims that plaintiff's action is time-barred
under any applicable statute of limitations. Defendant is correct
in arguing that the statutes of limitation for Title VII actions
and any common law intentional tort actions have expired.
However, plaintiff also has the option of proceeding under
42 U.S.C. § 1981 and New York Human Rights Law, and his claims are
within the applicable statute of limitations for those statutes.
A. Title VII and Intentional Tort Claims
Plaintiff brings his action in federal court under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e § 2000e-17.
Title VII mandates that a plaintiff must file his claim with the
EEOC within 180 days "after the alleged unlawful employment
practice occurred," or within 300 days after the alleged actions
occurred if the plaintiff has already brought a claim with a
state or local employment agency. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(1). These
timing requirements function as a statute of limitations, and
"discriminatory incidents not timely charged before the EEOC will
be time-barred upon the plaintiff's suit in district court." Quinn v. Green Tree Credit Corp.,
159 F.3d 759, 765 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Van Zant v. KLM Royal
Dutch Airlines, 80 F.3d 708, 712 (2d Cir. 1996).
In this case, plaintiff filed his claim with the EEOC on
October 22, 2002, seven years after his resignation from Charlex,
Inc. Even were the court to consider plaintiff's unsubstantiated
claim that Charlex employees continued to slander him for five
years after his departure from the company, plaintiff states in
his complaint that these actions ceased in April of 2000, a year
and a half before plaintiff filed with the EEOC. In either
situation, plaintiff's claim was filed far more than 180 days
after the alleged violations. Additionally, plaintiff must file
his action in federal or state court within 90 days of receiving
his "right-to-sue" letter from the EEOC.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1); see Nielsen v. Flower Hosp.,
639 F.Supp. 738, 740 (S.D.N.Y. 1986). Plaintiff's Title VII suit is
time-barred on these grounds as well, as his complaint was filed