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Jarrod Mccain and Jeffrey Bethea v. Dimon & Bacorn

July 11, 2011

JARROD MCCAIN AND JEFFREY BETHEA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DIMON & BACORN, A NEW YORK CORPORATION,
MICHAEL SHAFER, LEONARD HAINES, DANIEL DIMON, SR. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas J. McAVOY, Senior United States District Judge

DECISION & ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint alleging employment discrimination and retaliation claims pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"); 42 U.S.C. § 1981 ("Section 1981"); the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law Article 15, ("NYSHRL"); and the New York State common law. See Am. Compl., dkt. # 30. Defendants move pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) to dismiss certain claims. Plaintiffs have opposed the motion. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

a. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1)

A motion brought pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1) challenges the subject matter of the Court to address a case or certain claims in the case. A case is to be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1) when the district court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate it. Makarova v. United States, 201 F. 3d 110, 113 (2d Cir. 2000). A plaintiff asserting subject matter jurisdiction has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that it exists. See Luckett v. Bure, 290 F.3d 493, 497 (2d Cir. 2002); see also Malik v. Meissner, 82 F.3d 560, 562 (2d Cir. 1996). When a defendant moves to dismiss claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), "the movant is deemed to be challenging the factual basis for the court's subject matter jurisdiction." Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. v. Watkins, 11 F.3d 1573, 1583 (Fed. Cir. 1993). For the purposes of such a motion, "the allegations in the complaint are not controlling . . . and only uncontroverted factual allegations are accepted as true." Id.

Both the movant and pleader may use affidavits and other pleading materials to support or oppose a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Makarova, 201 F.3d at 113; Filetech S.A. v. France Telecom, S.A., 157 F.3d 922, 932 (2d Cir. 1998); John Street Leasehold, LLC v. Capital Mgt. Res., L.P., 2001 WL 310629, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. March 29, 2001). Further, "jurisdiction must be shown affirmatively, and that showing is not made by drawing from the pleadings inferences favorable to the party asserting it." Gunst v. Seaga, 2007 WL 1032265, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. March 30, 2007) (quoting Shipping Financial Services Corp. v. Drakos, 140 F.3d 129 (2d Cir. 1998)). "Thus, the standard used to evaluate a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is similar to that used for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56." Lopresti v. Merson, 2001 WL 1132051, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 21, 2001).

b. FED.R.CIV.P. 12(b)(6)

"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007)(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)). "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 1964-65. "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. . . on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact)." Id. at 1965. "'[T]he pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action.'" Id. at 1965 (quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004)). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A complaint does not suffice "if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement." Ashcroft, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. Legal conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.

Iqbal, at 1950. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. at 1949. "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." Id. "Where 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. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. 557) (internal quotations omitted).

III. DISCUSSION

a. NYSHRL Claims

1. McCain's Administrative Filing

Plaintiff McCain first filed an administrative complaint of employment discrimination against Dimon & Bacorn on or about November 25, 2008 with the New York State Division of Human Rights (hereinafter "NYSDHR"). See Sciotti Declaration ("Sciotti Decl.") at Ex. A. The complaint was also filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Id. The NYSDHR investigated the complaint and thereafter issued a Determination and Order After Investigation finding that there was "no probable cause" to support any of McCain's claims. Id. at Ex. C. The NYSDHR ordered the complaint dismissed and the file closed. Id. The EEOC adopted the NYSDHR's findings, closed its file and issued ...


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