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Leskovec v. Circuit Works Corp.

December 15, 2008

THOMAS LESKOVEC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CIRCUIT WORKS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter comes before the court on the motion of Defendant Circuit Works Corporation ("CWC") to dismiss part of Plaintiff Thomas Leskovec ("Leskovec")'s complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). As to the remaining allegation, CWC also requests that Leskovec provide a more definite statement pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

BACKGROUND

According to the allegations of Leskovec's complaint, which we must accept as true for the purposes of this motion, CWC terminated him on February 23, 2007, in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. On March 7, 2007, Leskovec filed a retaliation charge against CWC with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"); he cross filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") on March 17, 2007.

On February 11, 2004, Leskovec filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC against his former employer Game Works. In his EEOC claim against CWC, he identified several instances in which CWC allegedly retaliated against him for opposing unlawful discrimination at Game Works. He perceived that Game Works and CWC share a business relationship, and that Game Works notified CWC of the 2004 filing. Perceiving that CWC had notice of his 2004 filing, Leskovec asserted that CWC's discrimination towards him was in retaliation for the original complaint he filed against Game Works. Aside from the retaliation claim, Leskovec's EEOC charge does not allege any other form of discrimination.

On July 9, 2008, the EEOC dismissed the CWC charge and notified Leskovec of his right to sue in federal court. He filed the instant lawsuit on August 25, 2008, alleging that CWC retaliated against him for engaging in protected activity. However, Leskovec now complains that CWC discriminated against him on the basis of race, sex, and national origin pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2. Furthermore, he alleges age discrimination under 29 U.S.C. § 623. He brings the age, national origin, race, and sex discrimination allegations for the first time. CWC responded to Leskovec's complaint by filing the instant motion to dismiss the new claims under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim and moves for a more definite statement as to the retaliation claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e).

LEGAL STANDARD

I. Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State Claim

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) evaluates the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint.

Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff, construe all allegations of a complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and accept as true all well-pleaded facts and allegations in the complaint. Bontkowski v. First Nat'l Bank of Cicero, 998 F.2d 459, 461 (7th Cir. 1993); Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991). To be cognizable, the factual allegations contained within a complaint must raise a claim for relief "above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,-, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). However, a pleading need only convey enough information to allow the defendant to understand the gravamen of the complaint. Payton v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Med. Ctr., 184 F.3d 623, 627 (7th Cir. 1999). Claims should not be dismissed unless "it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations." Hefferman v. Bass, 467 F.3d 596, 598 (7th Cir. 2006), quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 104 S.Ct. 2229, 2232 (1984).

II. Motion for a More Definite Statement

If a pleading to which a responsive pleading is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, then the party may move for a more definite statement before serving a responsive pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e). The motion for a more definite statement should be denied if the underlying pleading satisfied the notice pleading requirements of Rule 8. Teradyne v. Clear Communications Corp., 707 F. Supp. 353, 354 (N.D. Ill. 1989). When a pro se litigant is involved, the Federal Rules' "relaxed and formal" pleading standards are to be interpreted "ultraliberally." Murrey v. United States, 73 F.3d 1448, 1452 (7th Cir. 1996).

DISCUSSION

I. Failure to Exhaust ...


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