United States District Court, District of Columbia
B. WALTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
21, 2018, the defendant filed its Motion to Dismiss, ECF No.
6. On June 22, 2018, the Court issued an Order, ECF No. 7,
advising the plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, of
his obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and the Local Civil Rules of this Court. Specifically, the
Order advised the plaintiff that, if he failed to file an
opposition or otherwise respond to the defendant's motion
by July 23, 2018, the Court would rule on the motion without
the benefit of the plaintiff's position. The Clerk of the
Court mailed a copy of the Order to the plaintiff at his
address of record. To date, the plaintiff has neither filed
an opposition nor requested more time to do so. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court grants the defendant's
Committe, who was born in 1952, Complaint
(“Compl.”) ¶ 4, “applied for an
accounting faculty position at Georgetown University in
response to a solicitation for applications for the position,
” id. ¶ 2. According to the plaintiff,
Georgetown refused to hire him because of his age. See
id. ¶¶ 3, 6-8. As a result, the plaintiff
contends that he “has suffered loss of all of the
benefits . . . he would have received had [Georgetown] hired
him.” Id. ¶ 9; see id. ¶ 10
(listing benefits allegedly lost). The plaintiff has brought
this action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-34 (2012),
and demands a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief,
monetary damages, attorney's fees and costs. See
Compl. at 4.
moves to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), on the ground that the complaint fails to
state a prima facie case of age discrimination. See
Memorandum in Support of Defendant Georgetown
University's Motion to Dismiss at 3.
Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the legal sufficiency of a
complaint[.]” Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d
235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). Under Rule 8, a
plaintiff in his complaint need only provide a “short
and plain statement of [his] claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), that
“give[s] the defendant fair notice of what the . . .
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curiam) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). In other words, a
plaintiff must “plead factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Patton Boggs
LLP v. Chevron Corp., 683 F.3d 397, 403 (D.C. Cir. 2012)
(alteration in original) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678)). Although a complaint filed by a pro se
plaintiff is “to be liberally construed, ”
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (quoting Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (2007)), it, too, must set
forth factual allegations that “raise a right to relief
above the speculative level, ” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555.
establish a prima facie case under the ADEA, for a claim
involving a failure to hire, the plaintiff must demonstrate
that (1) he is a member of the protected class
(i.e., over 40 years of age); (2) he was qualified
for the position for which [he] applied; (3) he was not
hired; and (4) he was disadvantaged in favor of a younger
person.” Teneyck v. Omni Shoreham Hotel, 365
F.3d 1139, 1155 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). The
Court is mindful that a plaintiff need not plead each element
of a prima facie case to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
See Jones v. Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Int'l,
642 F.3d 1100, 1104 (D.C. Cir. 2011). However, “he must
. . . plead sufficient facts to show a plausible entitlement
to relief.” Fennell v. AARP, 770 F.Supp.2d
118, 127 (D.D.C. 2011).
plaintiff alleges that he is a person over 40 years of age,
see Compl. ¶ 4, that he applied for a position
with Georgetown, see id. ¶ 2, and that
Georgetown did not hire him because of his age, see
id. ¶ 3. Missing from the complaint, however, are
any factual allegations demonstrating that ‘“the
inferences of discrimination drawn by the plaintiff' -
i.e., that age was a factor in the challenged
decision - ‘are reasonable and plausibly
supported.”' Lawson v. Sessions, 271
F.Supp.3d 119, 134 (D.D.C. 2017) (quoting Townsend v.
United States, 236 F.Supp.3d 280, 298 (D.D.C. 2017)).
Specifically, the plaintiff has not alleged that he was
qualified for the position or that Georgetown hired a younger
applicant instead. His mere speculation that Georgetown
“will have hired a much younger person less, or no
more, qualified” than him, Compl. ¶ 7, is nothing
more than conjecture and does not advance his claim
“across the line from conceivable to plausible.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; see also Lurensky v.
Wellinghoff, 167 F.Supp.3d 1, 15 (D.D.C. 2016)
(dismissing age discrimination claim where plaintiff merely
alleged “that she is 64-years-old, and that there is
reason to believe her age must have been a factor in the
foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that the
plaintiff's complaint fails to state an ADEA claim upon
which relief may be granted and, therefore, ...