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RANN v. CHAO

August 20, 2001

ROBERT RANN, PLAINTIFF,
V.
ELAINE CHAO, SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Alternatively, the defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).*fn1 The plaintiff, Robert Rann ("the plaintiff" or "Mr. Rann"), brings this suit for damages under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., claiming that his employer, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL"), discriminated against him on the basis of his age. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that his employer denied him a promotion because of his age and gave the promotion instead to a 38-year-old employee. See Compl. ¶ 22. The defendant, Elaine Chao, is the Secretary of Labor ("the defendant"), named in her official capacity.

The defendant moves to dismiss this action under Rule 12(b)(1) on the ground that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. See Renewed Mot. for Summ. J. ("Mot. for Summ. J.") at 2. The defendant notes that the plaintiff himself concedes that he failed to provide the DOL's Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") office with the documentation needed to complete a formal investigation. See id.; Pl.'s Opp'n to Renewed Mot. for Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 9-12. The plaintiff counters by asserting that because the EEOC had already obtained all necessary information through a previous informal investigation, this documentation was unnecessary and redundant. See Pl.'s Opp'n at 9.

For the reasons that follow, the court holds that because the plaintiff failed to comply with the EEOC's formal complaint process, he has failed to fully exhaust his administrative remedies before filing suit in this court. Accordingly, the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this matter and will grant the defendant's renewed motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

Robert Rann, now age 66, is employed as a GS-13 Manpower Analyst in the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. See Compl. ¶ 5. He has been employed by the DOL since 1970. See id. In November 1997, the DOL advertised a GS-14 Manpower Analyst position, and Mr. Rann submitted an application. He interviewed for the position and was notified that he had not been selected on March 16, 1998. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 2. At the time, Mr. Rann was 64 years old. See Compl. ¶ 5. The selectee, Jonathan Messenger, was 38 years old. See id. ¶ 22.

The DOL's Civil Rights Center accepted this formal complaint for investigation in October 1998. Over the next six months, the EEO office sent Mr. Rann multiple requests for an affidavit, an initial step in the formal investigation. Mr. Rann never provided the EEO investigator with this information. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 46; Pl.'s Opp'n at 10-12. On June 7, 1999, the DOL's Civil Rights Office dismissed Mr. Rann's complaint for failure to prosecute. See Pl.'s Opp'n at 12. Three months later, Mr. Rann filed a complaint in this court.

In January 2000, the defendant made an initial motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust. This court denied that motion, allowing the plaintiff to seek relevant discovery in response to the defendant's non-cooperation allegation. See Mem. Op. dated July 26, 2000. The defendant now renews its motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the defendant's motion to dismiss.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard

On a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that the court has jurisdiction. See District of Columbia Retirement Bd. v. United States, 657 F. Supp. 428, 431 (D.C. 1987). In reviewing a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), the court must accept all the complaint's well-pled factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs favor. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974); Pitney Bowes v. United States Postal Serv., 27 F. Supp.2d 15, 19 (D.C. 1998) (Urbina, J.). The court is not required, however, to ...


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