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Faber-Womack v. Town of Riverhead Police Dep't

September 10, 2009

KAREN J. FABER-WOMACK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TOWN OF RIVERHEAD POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

On June 12, 2008, Plaintiff Karen J. Faber-Womack ("Plaintiff") commenced this action against the Town of Riverhead Police Department ("Defendant") alleging that Defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1985, and "any related claims under New York Law."

Pending before the Court is Defendant's unopposed motion to dismiss.*fn1

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff began employment with the Town of Riverhead Police Department in 1984 as a part-time police officer. At some point, Plaintiff became a full-time parking meter officer. Plaintiff maintains that her time, attendance, and work performance has at all times been satisfactory.

In 2002, an individual to whom Plaintiff was issuing a parking ticket ran over Plaintiff's foot. In October of 2004, Plaintiff's foot injury worsened. On October 14, 2004, Plaintiff underwent surgery for her injury and went out on Worker's Compensation leave.*fn2 Plaintiff maintains that she was allowed to be out on Worker's Compensation leave for one year.

In December of 2004, Plaintiff received a letter from David J. Hegermiller, Police Chief, stating that Plaintiff's position was being eliminated for the 2005 year. Plaintiff alleges that her position was not eliminated, but rather was renamed as Traffic Control Officer/Traffic Control Specialist. Defendant later offered Plaintiff a part-time seasonal position as Traffic Control Officer/Traffic Control Specialist. While not stated in her Complaint, it appears that Plaintiff accepted this part-time position.

On March 27, 2007, Defendant informed Plaintiff that she was not in compliance with the Detention Attendance Policy and asked Plaintiff to resign.

Plaintiff filed an administrative complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights ("NYSDHR") on August 27, 2007, and filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") at around the same time. On February 28, 2008, the EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue and dismissal adopting the NYSDHR's findings.

On June 12, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Complaint with this Court. Plaintiff maintains that she was unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of her disability, race, color, and gender. Plaintiff also states that she has been retaliated against since filing her administrative complaint.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must put forth enough factual allegations to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965, 167 L.Ed. 2d 929 (2007). "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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, __ L.Ed. 2d. __ (2009). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Thus, "[w]here a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief." Id. (internal citations and quotations omitted). "But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct," a complaint fails to state a claim. Id. The plaintiff's factual allegations, in short, must show that the plaintiff's claim is "plausible," not merely "conceivable." Id. at 1951.

When considering a motion to dismiss, a court can first identify pleadings that are not entitled to the assumption of truth because they are mere conclusions unsupported by factual allegations. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950, 173 L.Ed. 2d 868 (2009). After locating the well-pleaded factual allegations, the court should assume their truthfulness and "then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. at 1950.

The Court recognizes that pro se plaintiffs are entitled to a more liberal pleading standard. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197; 167 L.Ed. 2d 1081 (2007) ("a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers") (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 292, 50 L.Ed. 2d 25 (1976)) (internal quotation marks omitted); Boykin v. KeyCorp, 521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008). Nonetheless, pro se plaintiffs must still comport with the ...


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