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Gibson-Michaels v. Securiguard

May 4, 2007

YOLANDA C. GIBSON-MICHAELS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SECURIGUARD, INCORPORATED ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Documents Nos. 5, 6, 13, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 & 26

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS'MOTIONS TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiff, appearing pro se, brings this action alleging that an employee of defendants Securiguard, Incorporated and USEC Corporation intercepted her oral communication by use of a tape recorder in violation of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq. She also asserts claims for defamation and negligence, and for the defendants' alleged negligent hiring of the employee, Douglas R. Fahey. The case is currently before the court on the defendants' motions to dismiss. Because the plaintiff has failed to state a claim against the defendants, the court grants the defendants' motions to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff is a former employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"). Compl. at 2. The defendants provide contract security services at the FDIC's office in Washington, DC. Id. According to the complaint, on April 14, 2004, Jenekia Johnson, an intern at the FDIC, informed the plaintiff that she had been the victim of a theft on FDIC property. Id. at 5. The plaintiff and Johnson had a conversation in a closed door office where the plaintiff alleges that she gave Johnson "words of wisdom, examples of her life, advice and quoted a few Bible scriptures as examples." Id.

Following this conversation, Johnson informed James T. Lantelme, the FDIC's Assistant General Counsel, that the plaintiff had made threatening comments to her. Id. at 6, 23. Lantelme then initiated an investigation pursuant to FDIC policies for addressing workplace violence issues. Id.. The investigation was conducted by Douglas R. Fahey, a contract investigator employed by the Securiguard Corporation. Id. at 2. At Fahey's suggestion, Johnson agreed to place an electronic tape recorder in her purse during her next conversation with the plaintiff. Id. at 5, 28.

After the recorded conversation, the plaintiff received an e-mail from Fahey requesting an interview regarding her alleged threat against Johnson. Id. at 5. The plaintiff's supervisor informed her that failure to cooperate in the investigation could result in disciplinary action against her. Id. at 6, 10. Instead of meeting with Fahey, the plaintiff sent an e-mail to the supervisor denying she threatened Johnson. Id. at 7. Thereafter, the plaintiff's supervisor suspended her for five days without pay. Id.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

In ruling on motion to dismiss, the court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Taylor v. FDIC., 132 F.3d 753, 761 (D.C. Cir. 1997). "[A] complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of [her] claim which would entitle [her] to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); Kowal v. MCI Communications Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1994). "'Indeed it may appear on the face of the pleadings that a recovery is very remote and unlikely but that is not the test."' Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 515 (2002) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)).

B. The Court Grants the Defendants' ...


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