Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Coulibaly v. Pompeo

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 17, 2018

TIEMOKO COULIBALY, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE POMPEO,[1] U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          RUDOLPH CONTRERAS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This is one case in a series of actions filed by pro se Plaintiff Dr. Tiemoko Coulibaly related to his employment with and termination from the U.S. Department of State (“State Department”). Dr. Coulibaly asserts eleven counts against the Secretary of State, the State Department's Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”), and twenty-one current or former employees of the State Department. Specifically, Dr. Coulibaly brings claims pursuant to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983; and tort law. In some of the counts, Dr. Coulibaly asks this Court to consider claims that he previously attempted to bring in a rejected proposed amended complaint filed in an earlier suit. Defendants move to dismiss Dr. Coulibaly's complaint, arguing that it is barred by the rule against claim-splitting and that, in any event, Dr. Coulibaly has failed to state claims upon which relief may be granted. For the reasons explained below, this Court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         This Court presumes familiarity with its prior Opinions in Dr. Coulibaly's related litigation in Coulibaly v. Kerry, 14-cv-189 (D.D.C.) (“Coulibaly I”), and the Court takes judicial notice of the docket in that case. Dr. Coulibaly is an African American originally from Ivory Coast. See Coulibaly v. Kerry, 213 F.Supp.3d 93, 105 (D.D.C. 2016). In 1999, he was contracted as a French language instructor at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute (“FSI”). Id. In June 2011, FSI hired him as an employee for a two-year term. Id. at 108-09. From his time as a contractor to his termination in 2012, Dr. Coulibaly was involved in numerous conflicts with his supervisors, some of which led him to file Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) complaints alleging discrimination and retaliation. See Id. at 106-19. In the months after filing these complaints, Dr. Coulibaly's relationship with his supervisors deteriorated even further. See Id. at 115-19. Dr. Coulibaly alleged that workplace discrimination had caused him to become ill. Id. at 119. At the direction of his doctor, Dr. Coulibaly took leave from work between mid-February and late March 2012. Id.

         After his leave of absence, Dr. Coulibaly returned to work only briefly. See Id. In April 2012, FSI terminated him. Id. The termination letter cited Dr. Coulibaly's “inappropriate interactions with [his] supervisors, and [his] failure to follow established procedures for requesting leave.” Id. at 119; Letter from Catherine Russell to Tiemoko Coulibaly (Apr. 2, 2012), Pl.'s Resp. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 6, at 25, No. 14-cv-189 (D.D.C.), ECF No. 36-2.

         Dr. Coulibaly subsequently filed two actions in this Court against the Secretary of State and other State Department-affiliated individuals in connection with the aforementioned events. See generally Coulibaly I, 14-cv-189 (D.D.C.); Coulibaly v. Kerry, 14-cv-712 (D.D.C.). Most relevant to the present action is Coulibaly I, in which Dr. Coulibaly pursued claims against the United States, the Secretary of State, and other current or former employees of the State Department, the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for alleged discrimination and retaliation; and violations of the First Amendment, tort law, contract law, and various federal and District of Columbia statutes. See Coulibaly, 213 F.Supp.3d at 121-22, 132-33, 152, 154, 158. Dr. Coulibaly also requested leave to file a fourth amended complaint to incorporate additional counts, including claims of violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983; and civil conspiracy. See Id. at 160; Proposed Fourth Am. Compl. ¶¶ 375-94, 541-42, 14-cv-189 (D.D.C), ECF No. 36-1. In a lengthy opinion, this Court dismissed or granted summary judgment on most of Dr. Coulibaly's claims.[2] See Coulibaly, 213 F.Supp.3d at 104.

         This Court also denied Dr. Coulibaly's motion for leave to amend the complaint, explaining that “many counts of Dr. Coulibaly's proposed amended complaint duplicate counts in the current complaint that the Court deems cannot proceed.” Id. at 160. Furthermore, this Court noted that many of the proposed amendments would be futile, that some of Dr. Coulibaly's proposed claims appeared to be based on entirely unrelated facts and on distinct legal theories, and that Dr. Coulibaly's action had already been pending for two years at the time that the Court had issued its opinion and permitting amendment would further delay the litigation. See id.

         Dr. Coulibaly then initiated the present action in February 2017. See generally Compl., ECF No. 1. Here, Dr. Coulibaly alleges that Defendants intentionally mishandled and sabotaged three of his EEO complaints. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 7, 23. He also alleges that Defendants violated Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983; and tort law. Compl. ¶¶ 39-101. Similar to Coulibaly I, Dr. Coulibaly sues the Secretary of State, the State Department's OIG, and current or former employees of the State Department's FSI and Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”). Compare Compl. at 1-5, with Compl., No. 14-cv-189 (D.D.C.), ¶¶ 5-6, ECF No. 1. Dr. Coulibaly asserts eleven counts against the Secretary of State, in his official capacity, and against all other defendants, in their official and individual capacities, Compl. ¶¶ 20-22, alleging: (1) “Mishandling of Each of the Three EEO Complaints Before this Court, ” Compl. ¶¶ 39-40; (2) retaliation, Compl. ¶ 44; (3) hostile work environment, Compl. ¶¶ 48-49; (4) disability discrimination, Compl. ¶ 53; (5) discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, Compl. ¶ 57; (6) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Compl. ¶ 64; (7) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Compl. ¶ 70; (8) violation of § 1982, Compl. ¶ 84; (9) retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Compl. at p. 28; see also Compl. ¶ 70; (10) violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Compl. ¶¶ 95-96; and (11) civil conspiracy, Compl. ¶¶ 100-01. Counts 6-10 appear to restate claims that Dr. Coulibaly attempted to add in the rejected proposed fourth amended complaint in Coulibaly I. See Compl. ¶¶ 60 (“Plaintiff previously presented this claim in his fourth Amended Complaint filed with this honorable Court in the case 14-0189 (RC) and respectfully asks the Court to consider it here.”), 68 (same), 78 (same), 90 (same), 94 (same); see also Coulibaly, 213 F.Supp.3d at 160.

         Defendants move to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, asserting that Dr. Coulibaly has engaged in impermissible claim-splitting and that, in any event, his complaint fails to state claims upon which relief can be granted. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Compl. & Mem. L (“Defs.' MTD”) at 3-14, ECF No. 8. Defendants' motion is now ripe for decision.

         III. ANALYSIS

         Defendants move to dismiss Dr. Coulibaly's complaint, arguing that it asserts the same or similar claims as those that he previously attempted to bring in a rejected proposed fourth amended complaint in Coulibaly I. Defs.' MTD at 3-6. Alternatively, Defendants argue that the claims should be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state claims upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Defs.' MTD at 6-13. As explained below, this Court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint because, though the rule against claim-splitting does not bar Dr. Coulibaly from bringing these claims, he has failed to state any claims upon which relief can be granted.

         A. The Rule Against Claim-Splitting Does Not Bar Dr. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.