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Lagrande v. Bakery

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 17, 2015

QUENTIN LAGRANDE, Plaintiff,
v.
BIMBO BAKERIES USA; BAKERY, CONFECTIONARY, TOBACCO WORKERS & GRAIN MILLERS INTERNATIONAL, AFL-CIO LOCAL 53, Defendants.

QUENTIN LAGRANDE Albany, New York, Plaintiff Pro Se.

REPORT-RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER

CHRISTIAN F. HUMMEL, Magistrate Judge.

On December 8, 2014, the Court received for filing from plaintiff Quentin LaGrange a pro se complaint pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl."). Plaintiff alleges that he was discriminated against by his employer, defendant Bimbo Bakeries, on the basis of his race and disability in that he was subject to unequal terms and conditions of employment, retaliation, and termination of employment. Id. at 1. He seeks reinstatement of his employment as well as punitive and compensatory relief. Id. at 5.

Pursuant to a prior order of this Court enjoining plaintiff from filing "any document" in the Northern District of New York without prior approval of the Chief Judge (Dkt. No. 1-2, at 4), plaintiff requested leave to file this action, which was granted. Dkt. No. 1-3. In filing his complaint, plaintiff failed to pay the filing fee or submit an In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") application. The Court directed the Clerk to administratively close the case with opportunity to comply with the filing fee requirement. Dkt. No. 3. On March 16, 2015, plaintiff submitted an IFP application (Dkt. No. 4) and a letter requesting an "extension" until April 17, 2015 to submit an amended complaint "due to the fact that [he] ha[s] both a labor and employment matter that both transpired from the same action of discrimination" (Dkt. No. 5).

I. IFP

Turning to plaintiff's IFP application, after reviewing the information provided therein, the Court finds that plaintiff may properly proceed with this matter IFP.[1]

II. Initial Review

Section 1915(e) of Title 28 of the United States Code directs that, when a plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, "the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that... the action or appeal (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(e)(2)(B). Thus, it is a court's responsibility to determine that a plaintiff may properly maintain his complaint before permitting him to proceed with his action.

Here, plaintiff's complaint provides that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race or color and disability. Compl. at 2-4. He further provides that the action involves termination, unequal terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation. Id . However, plaintiff provides no factual background or specific allegations about these claims. Plaintiff attaches to his complaint two forms from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") dismissing his complaint. Id. at 4-5. Even though the EEOC dismissal may be incorporated into the complaint by reference, these forms - which provide no factual background and merely provide that the EEOC "has adopted the findings of the state or local fair employment practices agency that investigated this charge" - are insufficient to satisfy the pleading requirements and state a cause of action. Id. at 6-7.

Pleading guidelines are set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, Rule 8 provides that a pleading which sets forth a clam for relief shall contain, inter alia, "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." See FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). "The purpose... is to give fair notice of the claim being asserted so as to permit the adverse party the opportunity to file a responsive answer, prepare an adequate defense and determine whether the doctrine of res judicata is applicable." Flores v. Graphtex, 189 F.R.D. 54, 54 (N.D.N.Y. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Rule 8 also requires the pleading to include:

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction...;
(2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) a demand for the relief sought....

FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a). Although "[n]o technical form is required, " the Federal Rules make clear that each allegation contained in the pleading "must be ...


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