United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
CYNTHIA L. MOMPOINT, Plaintiff,
DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Casper United States District Judge.
reasons set forth below, the Court denies without prejudice
(1) Plaintiff's motion for counsel and (2)
Defendants' motion to dismiss. If Plaintiff wishes to
proceed in this matter, the Court grants her time to file an
Mompoint, proceeding pro se, commenced this action
against her former employer, the Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (“Mass DOE”),
and the Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief of Staff (the
“individual Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges a
Title VII employment discrimination claim and also alleges
defamation and libel. D. 1. Plaintiff has also moved for
appointment of counsel. D. 7.
filed a motion to dismiss. D. 14. Defendants argue that the
complaint fails to provide any facts that would give rise to
a plausible claim for relief for any claim. D. 15. The
individual Defendants contend that the Title VII claim is
subject to dismissal because there is no individual liability
under Title VII and that the defamation claim is subject to
dismissal because the complaint fails to identify any false
statement published by either of the individual Defendants.
Id. The Mass. DOE contends that the Eleventh
Amendment prevents this Court from exercising juridical
authority and that the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act
prohibits the defamation claim against the Mass. DOE.
November 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed her pro se
opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss. D. 17.
Standard of Review
complaint must contain only “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “To survive a
motion to dismiss, 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) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The
allegations must be sufficient to identify the manner by
which the defendants subjected the plaintiff to harm and the
harm alleged must be one for which the law affords a remedy.
assessing the sufficiency of the complaint, “an
inquiring court must first separate wheat from chaff; that
is, the court must separate the complaint's factual
allegations (which must be accepted as true) from its
conclusory legal allegations (which need not be
credited).” Guadalupe-Baez v. Pesquera, 819
F.3d 509, 514 (1st Cir. 2016) (citing Morales-Cruz v.
Univ. of P.R., 676 F.3d 220, 224 (1st Cir. 2012)). The
Court must then determine “whether the well-pleaded
facts, taken in their entirety, permit ‘the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.'” Id. (citations omitted).
The Original Complaint Fails to State any Plausible
pro se pleadings are liberally construed, the burden
is on Mompoint to set forth plausible claims upon which
relief may be granted and to provide sufficient notice of her
claims to the Defendants. Ateek v. Massachusetts,
No. 11-11566-DPW, 2011 WL 4529393, at *3 (D. Mass. Sept. 27,
2011) (citing to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
makes the conclusory assertions that the defendants engaged
in racially discriminatory actions and that she “was a
victim of libel, racist, unfair derogatory statements and
evaluations.” There are no allegations concerning the
defendants' actions that are sufficient to give
“the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is
and the ground upon which it rests.” See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
extent Plaintiff alleges defamation, she has not alleged that
either of the individual Defendants are at fault for the
publication of a false statement regarding the plaintiff,
capable of damaging the plaintiff's reputation in the
community, which either caused economic loss or is actionable
without proof of economic loss. See White v. Blue Cross
and Blue Shield of Mass., Inc., 442 Mass. 64, 66 ...