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McGee v. District of Columbia

August 21, 2009

SAMUEL MCGEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



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

Re Document No. 18

MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND AND DISMISSING THE PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT SUA SPONTEBASED ON RES JUDICATA

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the court on the plaintiff's motion for leave to amend the complaint. The plaintiff seeks to supplement the Title VII claims asserted in his original complaint with claims for violation of the D.C. Whistleblower Act, D.C. Code §§ 1-615.51 et seq., breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"). The plaintiff also seeks to supplement the Title VII claims asserted in his original complaint with additional allegations of discrimination and retaliation.

The defendant asserts that leave to amend should be denied because the claims that the plaintiff seeks to add have no possibility of success. The court agrees. Accordingly, the court denies the plaintiff's motion for leave to amend the complaint to assert the Whistleblower, breach of contract and IIED claims.

As for the plaintiff's Title VII claims, the plaintiff previously asserted identical claims in a complaint brought before another court in this district. Because that court dismissed the complaint, this court denies leave to amend with respect to the plaintiff's Title VII claims and dismisses his original complaint sua sponte on res judicata grounds.*fn1

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, an African American male, is a detective with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD"). Pl.'s Mot. at 1; Pl.'s Reply at 1. He alleges that on or about January 25, 2005, he assisted police officers who had participated in an employment discrimination lawsuit filed against the District of Columbia in January 2005.*fn2 Am. Compl. ¶ 5. The EEOC action was settled via mediation on May 10, 2005, pursuant to an agreement that forbade the defendant from retaliating against the plaintiff. Id.

The plaintiff asserts that after he participated in the EEOC action, the defendant "commenced a continuing pattern of retaliation" against him. Id. ¶ 6.The alleged acts of retaliation include failing to promote the plaintiff to the rank of Sergeant even though he had passed the Sergeant's Test and had been selected for promotion, lodging unwarranted allegations of misconduct against him and reassigning him to another position in violation of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.*fn3 Id. ¶¶ 6, 7(a)-(g). The plaintiff alleges that as a result of his negative experiences at work, he has received counseling and therapy and has been diagnosed with depression anxiety. Id. ¶ 7(f).

The plaintiff filed a complaint in this district on April 19, 2006, alleging unlawful race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII, docketed as Civil Action No. 06-0705. Compl., McGee v. District of Columbia, 2006 WL 2598264 (D.D.C. Sept. 11, 2006) (No. 06-0705). On September 11, 2006, that complaint was dismissed by Judge Richard J. Leon on the grounds that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. McGee, 2006 WL 2598264, at *1-2.

On December 21, 2007, the plaintiff commenced this action by filing a complaint identical to the one dismissed by Judge Leon, still without the required letter from the EEOC. Compl. Because the plaintiff failed to indicate to the Clerk of the Court that his complaint was related to a previous action in the district, the complaint came before this court, which was not alerted to the existence and previous dismissal of Civil Action No. 06-0705. See Compl., Attach. 1 (Civil Cover Sheet).

The defendant answered the complaint on February 21, 2008. After obtaining new counsel in October 2008, see Pl.'s Reply at 2, on October 24, 2008, the plaintiff notified Mayor Adrian Fenty by letter of his grievances against the District of Columbia, see Pl.'s Reply, Ex. B ("Fenty Letter") at 4. The letter expressed the plaintiff's intention to amend his complaint if the matter could not be resolved within 30 days. Id. The mayor did not respond, and the plaintiff filed a motion for leave to amend the complaint on December 8, 2008. Pl.'s Reply at 2. After the motion was stricken for failing to comply with Local Civil Rule 7(i),*fn4 the plaintiff filed the instant motion for leave to amend on December 15, 2008.

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Court Denies the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to ...


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