The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
Granting Unopposed Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint; Granting
the Superior Court Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
This Title VII discrimination and retaliation case comes before
the court upon the plaintiff's unopposed motion for leave to
amend the complaint and the two original defendants' motion to
dismiss. The two parties named as defendants in the original
complaint, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the
Joint Committee on Judicial Administration (collectively "the
Superior Court" or "the Superior Court defendants"), filed a
joint motion to dismiss on the ground that they are non sui
juris (not suable entities). The plaintiff filed an opposition
to the motion to dismiss, but the defendants did not file a
reply. The plaintiff also filed a motion for leave to amend the
complaint to add the District of Columbia as a defendant. The
Superior Court defendants filed their written consent to the
For the reasons set forth below, the court will grant the
plaintiff leave to amend her complaint and will grant the
Superior Court defendants' motion to dismiss.
The plaintiff, Barbara M. Kundrat, is a white woman who was
employed as Deputy Clerk of the D.C. Superior Court from January
1993 until her resignation in August 1998. See Am.Compl. ¶¶ 9,
21. Ms. Kundrat has a law degree and a Master's degree in
management from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of
Management. Id. ¶ 10. When Ms. Kundrat began her tenure as
Deputy Clerk, she supervised nearly 600 Superior Court employees.
Id. ¶ 11. As Deputy Clerk, she was first supervised by and
reported to the Clerk of the Superior Court ("the Clerk"), Fred
At some unspecified time in 1994, Mr. Beane was succeeded as
Clerk by Duane Delaney, an African-American man. Ms. Kundrat
alleges that once Mr. Delaney assumed the Clerk's position, he
discriminated against her by taking away portions of her duties,
excluding her from meetings
she had previously attended, removing support staff from her
supervision, forbidding her from using support staff in the
performance of her duties and denying her training opportunities.
See Am.Compl. ¶¶ 12, 15. Beginning in 1996, Ms. Kundrat
alleges, Mr. Delaney began to "reclassify" the position of her
subordinates and award them pay increases without affording her
any input. Id. ¶ 13. Specifically, in October 1996, Mr. Delaney
hired an African-American man, Louis Kelly, as Operations
Management Specialist and reassigned "the majority" of her job
duties to him. Id. ¶ 14.
In 1997, Ms. Kundrat filed an internal equal employment
opportunity grievance complaining of racially discriminatory
treatment by Mr. Delaney and sexual harassment by other
employees.*fn2 See Am. Compl. ¶ 16. She alleges that when Mr.
Delaney found out about her internal grievance, he stopped
speaking to her and retaliated by requiring her to submit a daily
time log which was not required of other employees. Id. ¶ 17.
In January 1998, Ms. Kundrat filed a charge of discrimination
and retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC"). See Am.Compl. ¶ 18. The following month, she followed
up with a memorandum to the Superior Court's EEO officer and
Personnel Director which described the alleged hostile
environment and sexual harassment. Id. ¶ 19. Ms. Kundrat
alleges that in retaliation for her grievances, Mr. Delaney
deprived her of all non-clerical duties, as well as the authority
to act in his absence, which he delegated to other employees who
had been her subordinates. See Am. Compl. ¶ 20.
Finally, on August 4, 1998, Mr. Delaney issued a notice of
proposed suspension to Ms. Kundrat. Id. ¶ 20. Ms. Kundrat was
so distraught by the suspension notice that she left the building
immediately and resigned her position as Deputy Clerk the
following day, August 5, 1998. Id. ¶ 21. She essentially
characterizes her resignation as a constructive discharge which
became necessary because Mr. Delaney had made her "work situation
so intolerable that she could not continue in her position
without injury to her mental health." Id. ¶ 21.
On April 30, 1999, the EEOC sent Ms. Kundrat a "Dismissal and
Notice of Rights" which informed her that it was "unable to
conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of
the statutes" and that she had the right to bring suit in federal
or state court within 90 days of receiving the Notice. On August
4, 1999, Ms. Kundrat filed a three-count pro se*fn3 complaint
in this court, alleging gender discrimination, racial
discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
("Title VII"). She seeks reinstatement to the position of Deputy
Clerk of the Superior Court, backpay and benefits, compensatory
damages for emotional distress and loss of personal and
professional reputation ("esteem"), and attorneys' fees and
costs. See Am.Compl., Prayer for Relief ¶¶ 2-5. On September
10, 1999 the Superior Court and Joint Committee filed an answer.
A. The Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Leave to Amend ...