United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ORDER AND OPINION
E. Shadid, Chief United States District Judge
matter now before the Court is the Defendant, Help at Home,
Inc.'s, Motion to Dismiss . Defendant has filed a
Memorandum  of law in support of its Motion to Dismiss,
and Plaintiff has filed a Response . For the reasons set
forth below, Defendant's Motion  is GRANTED.
Plaintiff may amend her Complaint within 14 days.
Help at Home, Inc. is a national home healthcare provider.
Plaintiff Bell is a former employee of Help at Home. On July
6, 2016, Plaintiff Bell filed a pro se Complaint
against Defendant Help at Home, Inc., alleging that the
Defendant retaliated against the Plaintiff and discriminated
against her on the basis of race and national origin.
Plaintiff stated that during her orientation the director of
the Pekin office of Help at Home, Inc. said, “I know
we're not suppose [sic] to discriminate, but I'm here
to tell you we do. Pekin is a very prejudice [sic] town and
we do this to protect the client and the employer.”
Doc. 1, p. 4. Bell also stated in her Complaint that she
filed a charge with the EEOC and the EEOC investigated the
matter, although there is little information provided to the
court about the EEOC investigation. Plaintiff included a
Notice of Right to Sue letter from the EEOC with her original
Complaint. As relief, Plaintiff asked that the Court direct
the Defendant to issue a written apology and write a letter
of recommendation for Plaintiff, as well as any other damages
the Court finds fair under the law.
11, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. In her
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff did not allege any basis for
jurisdiction and did not assert any factual allegations.
Plaintiff also did not sign her Amended Complaint. Plaintiff
stated that she believed that the Amended Complaint and the
original Complaint would be taken together and viewed as one
complete document. This order follows.
have traditionally held that a complaint should not be
dismissed unless it appears from the pleadings that the
plaintiff could prove no set of facts in support of her claim
which would entitle her to relief. See Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957); Gould v. Artisoft,
Inc., 1 F.3d 544, 548 (7th Cir. 1993). Rather, a
complaint should be construed broadly and liberally in
conformity with the mandate in the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 8(e). More recently, the Supreme Court has phrased
this standard as requiring a showing sufficient “to
raise a right to relief beyond a speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1965
(2007). The claim for relief must be “plausible on its
face.” Id.; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 1953 (2009). For purposes of a motion to dismiss,
the complaint is construed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff; its well-pleaded factual allegations are taken as
true. See Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268
(1994); Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69
(1984); Lanigan v. Village of East Hazel Crest, 110
F.3d 467 (7th Cir. 1997); M.C.M. Partners, Inc. v.
Andrews-Bartlett & Assoc., Inc., 62 F.3d 967, 969
(7th Cir. 1995); Early v. Bankers Life & Cas.
Co., 959 F.2d 75 (7th Cir. 1992).
Defendant Help at Home, Inc.'s Motion is Dismiss,
Defendant argues that Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, failed to sign the Amended
Complaint, and does not allege a basis for jurisdiction.
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Section
1331 confers upon district courts subject matter jurisdiction
to hear claims based on federal law: “The district
courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions
arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff's
original Complaint alleged federal subject matter
jurisdiction based on her federal cause of action under Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e. However, in her Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
did not allege any basis for jurisdiction. Bell's Amended
Complaint does not indicate which jurisdictional statute or
constitutional provision she relies on to establish federal
question jurisdiction. She did not check any of the boxes on
the form she was provided.
Amended Complaint also fails to state a claim on which relief
can be granted. In the Amended Complaint, Bell states,
“I Linda Sue Bell am an American, my case should be
just as important as anyone else in this country, ” but
the Amended Complaint makes no substantive factual
allegations, nor is there any reference to any authority,
statute, or case law. Doc. 4, p. 3. Plaintiff concludes that
the decision to terminate her employment was unjust, unfair,
and not equal, but provides no further explanation. Motions
to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted are decided under the Iqbal-Twombly
standard. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). A complaint only meets this standard if it alleges
nonconclusory facts that, taken as true, state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Allegations must be
sufficiently detailed to apprise the Defendant of the claims
against him. Id. In Bell's Amended Complaint,
she alleges no facts that would state a plausible claim to
relief, even if taken as true. Even under the more lenient
pro se standard, her Amended Complaint is
Court may grant leave to amend defective allegations of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1653. See also, Leaf v. Supreme Court of State of
Wis., 979 F.2d 589, 595 (7th Cir. 1992) (“leave to
amend defective allegations of subject matter jurisdiction
should be freely given”) (citations omitted).
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Plaintiff file an
Amended Complaint not later than fourteen (14) days from the
date of entry of this Order. In the Amended Complaint, the
Plaintiff shall properly allege the basis for this
Court's jurisdiction and comply with the pleading
standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Plaintiff
should also sign her Second Amended Complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. Should the Plaintiff
choose to file a Second Amended Complaint, she should know
that the Court will only look to the new Complaint. It will
not be combined with her previous Complaints. The Second
Amended Complaint should state all of the facts and
allegations Plaintiff alleges entitle her to relief.
reasons stated above, Defendant Help at Home, Inc.'s
Motion  to Dismiss is GRANTED. Plaintiff may amend her