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Yu v. Knighted, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 9, 2018

SIJI YU, Plaintiff,
KNIGHTED, LLC, an Intelligrated Company, Defendant.

          Siji Yu Hopewell Junction, NY Pro Se Plaintiff

          David A. Skidmore, Jr., Esq. Jennifer Ann Rulon, Esq. Frost Brown Todd LLC Cincinnati, OH Counsel for Defendant

          Sharon Sara Cohen, Esq. Shira Franco, Esq. Davis & Gilbert LLP New York, NY Counsel for Defendant

          OPINION & ORDER


         Pro se Plaintiff Siji Yu (“Plaintiff”) filed an Amended Complaint (“Amended Complaint”) pursuant to § 1983 against his former employer, Knighted, LLC (“Defendant”), alleging that that it discriminated and retaliated against him and failed to pay him for the overtime hours he worked. (See Am. Compl. (Dkt. No. 38).) Before the Court is Defendant's partial Motion To Dismiss the Complaint Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (See Notice of Def.'s Mot. To Dismiss (Dkt. No. 52); Mem. of Law in Support of Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (“Def.'s Mem.”) (Dkt. No. 54).)[1] Defendant argues that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims that the Court already dismissed with prejudice, and that the Complaint fails to state a § 1983 claim or a § 1983 conspiracy claim. (Defs.' Mem.) For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion is granted.

         I. Background

         The Court assumes the Parties' familiarity with the facts and the procedural history of this case, as described in Yu v. Knighted LLC, No. 15-CV-9340, 2017 WL 666118 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 16, 2017), and in the Court's Order denying Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration, (Order (Dkt. No. 69)). The Court will therefore recount only the background information necessary to resolve the instant Motion.

         A. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, and the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), New York State Executive Law §§ 290-297. (Compl. (Dkt. No. 1).) After Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss, (Dkt. Nos. 22-24), the Court issued an Opinion and Order (“Opinion”) dismissing Plaintiff's Title VII, ADEA, NYSHRL, § 1981 and even potential § 1985 claims with prejudice on collateral estoppel grounds that could not be cured, (Opinion & Order (“Opinion”) 26 & n.10 (Dkt. No. 34)). However, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's § 1983 and § 1983 conspiracy claims without prejudice, giving Plaintiff 30 days to file an Amended Complaint “addressing the deficiencies outlined in [the] Opinion”-namely, that Plaintiff failed to plead state action. (Opinion 22-26.) The Court also declined to dismiss Plaintiff's FLSA claim. (Opinion 22.)

         Plaintiff filed a Motion to Reconsider the Court's collateral estoppel decision, (Notice of Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No. 36); Motion of Reconsideration of Collateral Estoppel (Dkt. No. 37)), which the Court denied, (Dkt. No. 69). Plaintiff also filed an Amended Complaint raising the same claims as the initial Complaint. (Am. Compl.) Defendant filed a partial Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint on June 5, 2017, arguing that Plaintiff is barred from bringing the discrimination and retaliation claims that were dismissed with prejudice and that the Amended Complaint still fails to state a § 1983 claim or a § 1983 conspiracy claim. (Notice of Def.'s Mot. To Dismiss; Def.'s Mem.) Plaintiff opposed the Motion on July 5, 2017, (Pl.'s Mot. of Opp. (“Pl.'s Opp.”) (Dkt. No. 61)), and Defendant filed its Reply on July 19, 2017, (Def.'s Reply Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (“Def.'s Reply”) (Dkt. No. 65)).

         B. Factual Background

         The Amended Complaint is almost identical to the original Complaint, except that it adds some new allegations. (Compare Compl. with Am. Compl.) However, most of these new allegations are not relevant to deciding the Motion to Dismiss. The new allegations fall into four categories: (1) descriptions of or quotes from the Court's previous Opinion, (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 39, 110); (2) additional facts relating to Plaintiff's job duties and performance while employed by Defendant, (id. ¶¶ 23, 24, 38); (3) quotes from the Administrative Law Judge's (“ALJ”) decision finding Plaintiff entitled to unemployment benefits and descriptions of that proceeding, (id. ¶¶ 58, 60, 69, 75, 77, 78, 79, 90, 92, 98, 109, 119, 130, 131, 134, 135, 136, 149);[2] and (4) allegations that the New York State Division of Human Rights (“NYSDHR”) ignored the ALJ's decision when evaluating Plaintiff's discrimination complaint, therefore violating Plaintiff's constitutional rights, and Defendant conspired with NYSDHR to do so, (id. ¶¶ 108, 142-48, 169, 172).

         The Court will not consider the allegations relating to Plaintiff's Title VII, ADEA, NYSHRL, § 1981, and § 1985 claims, because those claims were dismissed with prejudice and are thus no longer in this Action. (See Order (Dkt. No. 69).) See Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 60 (2d Cir. 1986) (“A dismissal with prejudice has the effect of a final adjudication on the merits favorable to defendant and bars future suits brought by plaintiff upon the same cause of action.”). Therefore, the Court will recount here only the new allegations that are relevant to deciding the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's § 1983 and § 1983 conspiracy claims-the fourth category above-and not those relating to Plaintiff's discrimination and retaliation claims or those relating to Plaintiff's FLSA claim, which has already overcome a motion to dismiss. (See Opinion 17, 22.)

         In addition to repeating allegations from the original Complaint that Defendant “illegally conspired to deprive Plaintiff of his constitutional, civil rights” and that Defendant was “gross[ly][ negligent” in said deprivations, (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 99, 100), the Amended Complaint adds the following allegations in an attempt to cure the deficiencies with Plaintiffs § 1983 and § 1983 conspiracy claims:

• “So far, up to today, there is no written so-called investigation from [Defendant at all.” (Id. ¶ 108.)
• The NYSDHR, “as one of the State agencies, had willfully been one-sided with [Defendant, [and] deprived [P]lainitff s constitutional, federal ...

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