United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
SYED K. RAFI, PhD., Plaintiff,
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL, and HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
A. O'Toole, Jr. United States District Judge
pro se, the plaintiff, Syed K. Rafi, purports to
allege violations under Title VI and Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. The gist of the plaintiff's grievances
against all defendants seems to be his belief that the
defendants conspired to deny his myriad applications for
employment, and that their failure to hire him was the
consequence of discrimination and/or proscribed retaliation.
The defendants have moved to dismiss the claims pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) and 12(b)(6) (dkt.
nos. 60, 62, 64). The plaintiff has opposed these motions
(dkt. nos. 72, 74, 75) and has renewed his motion for
appointment of pro bono counsel (dkt. no. 80).
case originated as two separate actions, one against Brigham
and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston,
Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School,
and the other against Children's Hospital Boston and
Harvard Medical School. The defendants in both actions moved
to dismiss the plaintiff's claims pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6), and some defendants also moved under Rule 12(e) for
the plaintiff to provide a more definite statement of his
to this Court's March 4, 2016 Order (dkt. no. 48),
because of the similarity of the claims the two actions were
consolidated. That Order also explained the minimal pleading
requirements under Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and notified the plaintiff that his original
pleadings did not satisfy those requirements. He was given
leave to replead his claims in the consolidated case, but he
was admonished to comply with the procedural pleading rules
or risk the dismissal of his action. The plaintiff
subsequently filed a restated complaint (dkt. no. 54).
amended complaint, however, does not comply with the relevant
rules, and therefore does not comply with this Court's
directive. It is fifty-eight pages long, is interspersed with
supporting documentation, and attaches more than 300 pages of
exhibits. Among other things, Rule 8 requires “a
short and plain statement” of the
claims “showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added). The
amended complaint filed by the plaintiff is neither short nor
plain in its allegations. It is verbose and convoluted, and
in places it is difficult to understand.
problem is not just the form of the complaint. Equally or
more important is that it fails to plead factual allegations
that state a plausible claim for relief. From what can be
gleaned, the plaintiff raises two theories of retaliation.
First, the plaintiff alleges that he filed a discrimination
lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health
(“NIH”), and that the defendants might have
become aware of that lawsuit and, knowing of the suit,
declined to hire the plaintiff so that they would not
jeopardize their eligibility for NIH funding. Second, the
plaintiff claims (not all that coherently) that the
defendants failed to hire him as a result of machinations to
assist a particular doctor to obtain re-employment at the
Yale School of Medicine.
the bare bones of these allegations are not fleshed out with
facts to support the essential propositions (1) that the
plaintiff's actions amounted to protected conduct under
Title VI or Title VII, or (2) that any of the defendants'
actions were motivated by the plaintiff's purportedly
protected conduct or by his sex, religion, race, color, or
national origin, as required to make out a claim under Title
VI and Title VII. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d,
2000e-2(a)(1), 2000e-3; 28 C.F.R. § 42.107(e). In short,
the complaint “stops [well] short of the line between
possibility and plausibility, ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 546 (2007)), and thus
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
see Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
plaintiff is acting pro se, and is therefore due
some indulgence in meeting the expected standards for
properly framing and asserting a claim. But he appears to be
a well-educated man, and after the defects of the prior
pleading were explained to him and he was given the
opportunity to recast his complaint, he essentially repeated
the prior errors.
for the failure to comply with the directives contained in
this Court's prior Order (dkt. no. 48), and for the
plaintiff's failure to set forth plausible claims upon
which relief may be granted, Harvard Medical School's
Motion to Dismiss (dkt. no. 60), Children's Hospital
Boston's Motion to Dismiss (dkt. no. 62), and Brigham and
Women's Hospital, Inc. and The General Hospital
Corporation d/b/a Massachusetts General Hospital's Motion
to Dismiss (dkt. no. 64) are all GRANTED.
action is DISMISSED with prejudice.
 The amended complaint also cites Title
IX of the Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981,
1982, and 1983, but without genuine elaboration. Merely
mentioning a statute, without more, is insufficient to ...