United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RANDOLPH D. MOSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss. Dkt. 7. Plaintiff, Drayfield Kary-Klame Shipman,
proceeding pro se, initiated this action against his
former employer, Amtrak, by filing a four-page, hand-written
complaint that read as follows:
Plaintiff was awarded Disability Retirement from his previous
Employer Amtrak three years ago. Amtrak has continued
discriminatory behavior against Plaintiff, asserting on his
Personnel Record that Plaintiff was forcibly relieved of his
duties, instead of the aforementioned.
Plaintiff is seeking reinstatement of his travel privileges
as well as compensation for all travel related expenses for
rail travel since having his travel privileges suspended due
to being out of work due to stress related issues incurred at
work. Plaintiff is also seeking damages for slander on record
with Human Resources.
Plaintiff was hired as a Statistical Clerk while being an
Honorable Discharged veteran, 40% disabled. Plaintiff
obtained a 60% disability rating during employment with
Amtrak. Plaintiff was eventually taken out of work by his
current physicians at Veteran's Administration due to
stress and health related issues.
Plaintiff is entitled as other[s] who left on disability to
enjoy privileges of travel. Plaintiff is asking Court to
appoint Counsel since Plaintiff is pending 100% disability
which is being hindered by current Administration. Plaintiff
is in protected class African-American male 61 year[s] old
and Disabled American Veteran. Plaintiff feels entitled to
100, 000.00 in damages
Dkt. 1 (Compl.).
April 15, 2019, Amtrak moved to dismiss this action pursuant
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) and 12(b)(6).
Dkt. 7. In its memorandum in support of that motion, Amtrak
argues that the complaint should be dismissed “because
it fails to provide Amtrak with ‘fair notice' of
the . . . claim(s)” Shipman is asserting. Dkt. 7-1 at
5. It also contends that Shipman has failed to “allege
sufficient facts to state a plausible claim for relief under
any relevant law.” Id. at 8. For the reasons
explained below, the Court agrees. The Court will dismiss the
complaint without prejudice, however, and allow
Plaintiff the opportunity to refile the complaint within 30
days of this order in a manner that complies with the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
pleadings by pro se litigants such as Shipman are
held to “less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers, ” Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972), they must still comply with the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, see Jarrell v. Tisch, 656
F.Supp. 237, 239 (D.D.C. 1987). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint contain a short and
plain statement of the grounds upon which the Court's
jurisdiction depends, a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a
demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The Rule is designed to
“give the defendant notice of what the . . . claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
complaint fails to comply with Rule 8. In all essential
respects, the complaint is conclusory and fails to provide
Amtrak or the Court with a description of the essential
facts. Most notably, the complaint merely asserts that Amtrak
engaged in “discriminatory behavior.” Dkt. 1 at 1
(Compl.) This unexplained assertion is insufficient to
satisfy Rule 8's requirement that a plaintiff provide a
statement “showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Indeed, the only discriminatory behavior even
alluded to in Plaintiff's complaint is that he appears to
believe that Amtrak mistakenly categorized him as
“forcibly relieved of his duties” in his
“Personnel Record.” Dkt. 1 at 1 (Compl.). Even
construed liberally, Plaintiff's allegations leave the
Court and Amtrak to guess what claim or claims Plaintiff
intends to pursue. Plaintiff has not alleged that Amtrak
discriminated against him on the basis of age, race, sex,
disability, or some other trait or factor. Nor has Plaintiff
alleged any factual circumstances that led to his termination
or the revocation of his “travel privileges.” Put
simply, Plaintiff has failed to provide Amtrak or the Court
with notice of the claims he intends to assert or the grounds
on which those claims rest.
it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's
motion to dismiss, Dkt. 7, is GRANTED.
Plaintiff's complaint, Dkt. 1, is
DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff may
file an amended complaint consistent with Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure on or before November 3, 2019. The clerk is
directed to mail a copy of this order to Plaintiff at his
address of record.