United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
plaintiff, Tonya Riley, proceeding pro se, brings
this employment discrimination action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. This matter is before the court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)
(D.S.C.). Having reviewed the Complaint in accordance with
applicable law, the court concludes Defendant Clarissa Lyles
should be summarily dismissed without prejudice and issuance
and service of process.
Factual and Procedural Background
indicates she was formerly employed at a local Hardee’s
restaurant. (Compl., ECF No. 1 at 2.) Plaintiff claims the
manager of that restaurant, Clarissa Lyles, made a Facebook
post outing Plaintiff as a homosexual and calling Plaintiff a
liar and a thief. (Id. at 2, 5.) Plaintiff also
claims Lyles fired her, but the Complaint is unclear as to
whether she was fired before or after the Facebook post.
(Id. at 4-5.) Plaintiff further claims Lyles engaged
in “gay bashing” at the restaurant. (Id.
at 6.) Plaintiff filed this employment discrimination action
pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e
et seq., claiming she was terminated, treated
unequally, and retaliated against based on her sexual
orientation and national origin. (Id. at 4-5.)
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se
Complaint. The Complaint has been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915, which permits an indigent litigant to commence
an action in federal court without prepaying the
administrative costs of proceeding with the lawsuit. This
statute allows a district court to dismiss the case upon a
finding that the action “is frivolous or
malicious,” “fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted,” or “seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
order to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the
plaintiff must do more than make mere conclusory statements.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009);
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). Rather, the complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim that is plausible
on its face. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. The reviewing court need
only accept as true the complaint’s factual
allegations, not its legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
court is required to liberally construe pro se
complaints, which are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys. Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007); King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d
206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016). Nonetheless, the requirement of
liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore
a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set
forth a claim cognizable in a federal district court. See
Weller v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th
Cir. 1990); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 684 (2009) (outlining pleading requirements under Rule 8
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for “all civil
indicates she brings this action pursuant to Title VII.
However, Title VII does not provide for individual liability
in causes of action brought against employers. See Lissau
v. S. Food Serv., Inc, 159 F.3d 177, 180 (4th Cir.1998)
(holding that there is no individual liability under Title
VII); see also Jones v. Sternheimer, 387 F.
App’x 366 (4th Cir. 2010) (holding that Title VII, the
ADA, and the ADEA do not provide for causes of action against
individuals). Because Clarissa Lyles is not an
“employer” under Title VII, Lyles should be
dismissed from this action for Plaintiffs failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted against her.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(2).
the court recommends that Clarissa Lyles be summarily
dismissed from this action without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process.
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