United States District Court, District of Columbia
JAMES H. TYLER, Plaintiff,
WASHINGTON, D.C. CORRECTION, Defendant.
JOHN D. BATES United States District Judge
This matter is before the Court on defendant’s Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 6]. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.
Plaintiff identifies himself as “a 74 year old African American who applied for employment with [the District of Columbia Department of Corrections] as a Correctional Officer in 2007.” Compl. at 1. Although he claims to have completed a “background investigation, physical agility testing, and all other [required] testing, ” he alleges that he was not offered employment. Id. He brings this action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), see 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and among other relief, he demands monetary damages of $950 million. Compl. at 2.
According to defendant, plaintiff filed an administrative charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), and the EEOC issued a right to sue notice on August 28, 2008. See Mem. of P. & A. in Support of Mot. to Dismiss Pl.’s Compl. (“Def.’s Mem.”), Ex. C (Dismissal and Notice of Rights). The notice advised plaintiff of his right to “file a lawsuit against the [District of Columbia] under federal law based on this charge in federal or state court . . . within 90 days of [his] receipt of this notice.” Id., Ex. C (emphasis removed).
Plaintiff filed a civil action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in November 2008, and his claim arose from the District’s decision to deny him employment with its Department of Corrections in 2007. See id., Ex. A (Complaint, Tyler v. District of Columbia Dep’t of Corr., Civ. No. 8003-08 (D.C. Super. Ct. filed Nov. 12, 2008)); Compl. at 2. The Superior Court dismissed the complaint, see generally Def.’s Mem., Ex. B (Order Denying Plaintiff’s Plea to Vacate Judgment, Tyler v. District of Columbia, Civ. No. 2008 CA 8003 (D.C. Super. Ct. April 6, 2010)), and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals dismissed his appeal, see Compl. at 2.
Initially plaintiff filed his complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on August 3, 2015. The matter was transferred to this Court on August 18, 2015.
Defendant moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground that plaintiff’s claim is barred both by the applicable statute of limitations and under the doctrine of res judicata. The Court addresses each argument in turn.
A. Statute of Limitations
Based on the language of the right to sue notice, defendant argues that plaintiff’s complaint should have been filed within 90 days of receipt of the notice, which was mailed on August 28, 2008. Def.’s Mem. at 5. When plaintiff filed his complaint in the District of Maryland on August 3, 2015, defendant asserts, he missed his deadline “by almost seven years, ” and therefore the complaint should be dismissed as untimely. Id.
“Plaintiff believe[s] that he is protected [by] the 1986 (Civil Rights Acts) [which] contain no statute of limitations.” Pl.’s Resp. to Def.’s Mot. to Dismiss and Argument [ECF No. 9] (“Pl.’s Opp’n”) at 1. The Court presumes that plaintiff is referring to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, under which he might bring a constitutional claim against the District of Columbia. His argument is unavailing for two reasons. First, the basis for plaintiff’s claim is the ADEA, see Compl. at 1, and the complaint nowhere alleges the violation of a constitutional right. Second, in any event a claim under § 1983 must be brought within three years, see, e.g., Proctor v. District of Columbia, 74 F.Supp. 3d 436, 457 (D.D.C. 2014) (“Since Section 1983 does not have a built-in statute of limitations, the general three-year statute of limitations imposed by District of Columbia law on claims for personal injury, see D.C. Code § 12-301(8), applies.”), and since plaintiff’s cause of action arose in 2007, the limitations period would have expired in 2010, nearly six years ago.
Plaintiff’s claims, then, are under the ADEA, and must be dismissed because he failed to file his complaint ...