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Peppers v. St. Clair County

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 8, 2017

ROSHANDA PEPPERS, Plaintiff,
v.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY, DEBRA MOORE, And FRANK BERGMANN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON, District Judge

         I. Introduction

         Now before the Court is defendants St. Clair County, Debra Moore, and Frank Bergman's June 29, 2017, motion to strike plaintiff's complaint as untimely or, in the alternative, to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim (Doc. 31). As of today's date, plaintiff has not filed a response to the motion. For the reasons explained below, the Court GRANTS defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc 31).

         II. Background

         On December 19, 2016, Plaintiff Roshanda Peppers, a former employee of St. Clair County, initially filed a complaint against St. Clair County and two St. Clair County employees-Debra Moore and Frank Bergmann-claiming “Antidiscrimination et al., whistleblower et al., ADA et al., any and all federal and state law and Right to Sue.” (Doc. 1, pg. 4). Based the lack of specificity in plaintiff's claims against each named defendant, the defendants filed a motion for a more definite statement (Doc. 18), and on August 9, 2017, the Court ordered plaintiff to file an amended complaint on or before August 24, 2017, that specifically identified plaintiff's claims against each defendant and the facts upon which those claims are based (Doc. 27). On August 25, 2017-one day after the Court's deadline-plaintiff filed her first amended complaint. In the amended complaint plaintiff asserts more than 20 different claims against some, or all, of the defendants. Not only did she fail to amend her complaint in a timely fashion, but she also failed to comply with the Court's directives as to the substance of her complaint. As a result, defendants moved to strike plaintiff's complaint as untimely or, in the alternative, dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim (Doc. 31). Plaintiff has not responded to the pending motion.

         III. Motion to Dismiss

         Rule 12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). The Supreme Court explained in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), that Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is warranted if the complaint fails to set forth “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”

         Although federal pleading standards were retooled by Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), notice pleading remains all that is required in a complaint. “A plaintiff still must provide only ‘enough detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and, through his allegations, show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative, that he is entitled to relief.'” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted).

         The Seventh Circuit offers further guidance on what a complaint must do to withstand 12(b)(6) dismissal. The Court in Pugh v. Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008), reiterated the standard: “surviving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion requires more than labels and conclusions;” the complaint's allegations must “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” A plaintiff's claim “must be plausible on its face, ” that is, “the complaint must establish a non-negligible probability that the claim is valid.” Smith v. Medical Benefit Administrators Group, Inc., 639 F.3d 277, 281 (7th Cir.2011). With this in mind, the Court turns to plaintiff's complaint

         IV. Analysis

         As of today's date, plaintiff has not responded to the motion to dismiss. Local Rule 7.1(c) provides in part that: “Failure to timely file a response to a motion may, in the Court's discretion, be considered an admission of the merits of the motion.” Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(c), the Court considers plaintiff's failure to respond as an admission of the merits of the motion to dismiss. Accordingly, the Court grants defendant's motion to dismiss.

         Additionally, the Court finds that dismissal is appropriate, given that plaintiff failed comply with the Court's August 9, 2017 Order (Doc. 27).

         Specifically, plaintiff failed to comply with the Court-ordered deadline in which to amend her complaint, and she also failed to identify her claims and the facts supporting those claims in a way that would withstand 12(b)(6) dismissal, as the August 9, 2017 Order ...


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