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Lou-Ann Elias v. City of New York; Michael Bloomberg

December 30, 2010

LOU-ANN ELIAS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK; MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, POLICE DEPARTMENT CITY OF NEW YORK; RAYMOND KELLY, AS POLICE COMMISSIONER OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND AS CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES POLICE PENSION FUND OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF SAID FUND; DEPUTY INSPECTOR JEFFREY MADDREY, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN CAPACITY OF COMMANDING OFFICER OF 73RD PCT.; LT BATTLE, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN CAPACITY OF PLATOON COMMANDER AT 73RD PCT.; PATROLMAN'S BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION; WORTH, LONGWORTH & LONDON, LLP, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Townes, United States District Judge:

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

On November 19, 2010, plaintiff Lou-Ann Elias filed this pro se action alleging employment discrimination and retaliation based on race, gender, color, and religion against various defendants associated with the City of New York, the New York City Police Department and, in particular, the 73rd Precinct. Plaintiff asserts violations under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a et seq. ("Title II"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986, as well as the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law. The Court grants Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Additionally, as set forth below, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's claims to the extent that they are brought under Title II, and grants Plaintiff permission to file an amended complaint within 45 days of the date of this Memorandum and Order.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff has filed her complaint on a form provided by the court, titled "Complaint under Title VII, ADA or ADEA." See http://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/General_Information/ Court_Forms/court_forms.html (last visted Dec. 7, 2010). The first page of the form, which allows plaintiffs to indicate the statute under which they seek to bring their action, is omitted. In its place, Plaintiff has attached her own caption and asserted claims. Plaintiff notes that she was employed*fn1 at "1470 East New York,"*fn2 (Compl. ¶ 3), when she was allegedly the victim of "termination" and "retaliation," (id. ¶ 4), on the basis of race, gender, color, and religion,*fn3 (id. ¶ 7). The following is Plaintiff's statement of facts in its entirety:

(1) After filing a charge alleging employment discrimination Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff by placing her on modified assignment, suspension & termination.

(2) Defendants subjected Plaintiff to disparate treatment because of her religion, race and gender, by instructing her to go to Lefrak*fn4 and then placing her [on] modified status, suspending her & ultimately terminating Plaintiff.

(Id. ¶ 8). Plaintiff indicates that the alleged acts occurred on November 19 and 20, 2007, and that she filed a charge with the New York State and New York City Human Rights departments on June 22, 2007, and with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) Commission in "June 2007." (Id. ¶¶ 5, 9, 10). She has not attached to her complaint a copy of these charges or an EEOC right to sue letter.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In reviewing Plaintiff's filings, the Court is mindful that "a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). A complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although a complaint need not include "detailed factual allegations," it must do more than put forth "labels and conclusions." Id. at 555. A claim will be considered "plausible on its face . . . 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, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). If the Court determines that an in forma pauperis action is frivolous or fails to state a claim, it may dismiss the complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

DISCUSSION

Title II Claim

Based upon the quite limited facts Plaintiff provides in her complaint -- and the list of defendants in her caption -- it seems unlikely that she means to bring this action pursuant to Title II, which prohibits discrimination in the provision of "goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation," such as a hotel, restaurant, or theater. 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(a)-(b). Indeed, "the overriding purpose of Title II is to remove the daily affront and humiliation involved in discriminatory denials of access to facilities ostensibly open to the general public." Gilmore v. Amityville Union Free School Dist., 305 F. Supp. 2d 271, 278 (E.D.N.Y. 2004) (quoting Daniel v. Paul, 395 U.S. 298, 307-08 (1969)) (internal quotation marks and bracketing omitted). That is not the case here. Plaintiff has failed to plead any facts or name defendants that would suggest discrimination occurred in the public accommodation context. Accordingly, to the extent her claims are brought under Title II, they are dismissed.

Title VII Claim

Construing the complaint liberally, Plaintiff appears instead to assert a claim pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"). As a preliminary matter, a plaintiff must pursue available administrative remedies and file a timely complaint with the EEOC as a "precondition to filing a Title VII claim in federal court." Deravin v. Kerik, 335 F.3d 195, 200 (2d Cir. 2003). To that end, Plaintiff does allege that she filed a charge of ...


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