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Johnson v. Roberts

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

October 16, 2018

Miyuki Maureen Johnson, Plaintiff,
v.
Russell Roberts and Walter Roland, in their individual and personal capacities, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHIVA V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Miyuki Maureen Johnson (“Plaintiff”) is a postal customer who filed this action pro se against Russell Roberts and Walter Roland (“Defendants”). Defendants are employees of the United States Postal Service (“USPS”). Plaintiff seeks $900, 000 in compensatory and punitive damages arising from the following claims:

1) violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (“FOIA”), against Rowland,
2) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Roberts,
3) violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 (“Title VII”), and
4) violation of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.

         This matter comes before the court on Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and (6) [ECF No. 60] and Plaintiff's motion to file a second amended complaint to add the USPS as a defendant [ECF No. 64]. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Plaintiff of the dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if she failed to respond adequately to Defendants' motion. [ECF No. 61]. Plaintiff having responded to the motion to dismiss [ECF No. 65], it is ripe for disposition.[1]

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) (D.S.C.), this case has been referred to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings. Because the motion to dismiss is dispositive, this report and recommendation is entered for review by the district judge. Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the record in this case, the undersigned recommends the district judge grant Defendants' motion to dismiss and deny Plaintiff's motion to file a second amended complaint.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff states her father was a United States citizen stationed in Japan, where she was born in a Army hospital. [ECF No. 51 at 5]. Plaintiff claims her birth was certified and her birth certificate was issued by the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. Id.

         In her amended complaint, Plaintiff states she went to the post office in Columbia, South Carolina, on October 7, 2016, to apply for a passport. Id. at 2. She claims that she presented her birth certificate to the clerk, who presented it to Roberts at his desk across the room. Id. Plaintiff states Roberts observed that her birth certificate was issued by the American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and “denied her application by announcing in a loud obnoxious voice, ‘You are not an American. You were not born in this country!'” Id. at 2-3 (emphasis in original). Plaintiff alleges there were several dozen people in the post office, and everyone who heard Roberts' comment turned and looked at Plaintiff. Id. at 3. Plaintiff claims Roberts' actions violated her rights under the Due Process clause, § 1983, and Title VII, and caused her emotional distress.

         Plaintiff states that on November 9, 2016, she filed a FOIA request with Postmaster Rowland seeking:

1) Robert's full name and job description;
2) Rules and regulations on how to process passports; and
3) How clerks handle foreign or out of country birth certificates.

Id. at 4. Plaintiff states the certified receipt indicated Rowland received the request on November 16, 2016, but he failed to respond to her FOIA request. Id. Plaintiff states she notified Rowland that he was violating 5 U.S.C. § 552 by failing to respond. Id.

         Plaintiff claims she mailed Rowland a second FOIA request on December 31, 2016, seeking the above-referenced information, plus the following additional information:

1) Roberts' full job description;
2) Roberts' pay grade and salary, date of employment and employment as a passport clerk for the post office;
3) Copy of Roberts' certification of training.

Id. Plaintiff states she received an initial response from Rowland on January 17, 2017, but that he did not provide all the requested information or request ...


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