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Jackson v. MC Express, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

June 27, 2018

Kendall A. Jackson, Plaintiff,
v.
MC Express, Inc., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          MICHKEL L. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Non-Final Report and Recommendation (“R&R”). (Dkt. 28). The R&R recommends that the Court grant Defendant Radiant Logistics' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 4), deny Defendant MC Express's Motion to Dismiss, Alternatively Motion to Prohibit Use of Pleadings (Dkt. 23), and grant Defendant MC Express's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Dkt. 26).

         When reviewing a Magistrate Judge's R&R, the district court “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “Parties filing objections to a magistrate's report and recommendation must specifically identify those findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections need not be considered by the district court.” United States v. Shultz, 565 F.3d 1353, 1361 (11th Cir. 2009). Absent proper objections, the Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         I. Background

         On January 29, 2018, Plaintiff Kendall Jackson filed his complaint, alleging that his employer, Defendant MC Express, discriminated against him based on race. See Dkt. 1. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant MC Express retaliated against him when he filed an EEOC charge, and that Defendant MC Express wrongfully terminated his employment. Id. Plaintiff claims that Defendant MC Express's conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. Id. Plaintiff also names Radiant Logistics as a defendant, asserting that Defendant Radiant is the “parent company” of Defendant MC Express. Dkt. 1 at 9.

         On March 6, 2018, Defendant Radiant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against it, arguing that Plaintiff fails to state a claim against it and Plaintiff fails to allege sufficient facts to support a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction over it. (Dkt. 4). The next day, Defendant MC Express filed its answer to the complaint. (Dkt. 5). Because of some uncertainty over whether Defendants properly served their responses to the complaint on Plaintiff via U.S. Mail, the Magistrate Judge entered an order directing Defendants to mail Plaintiff a copy of every pleading and motion that Defendants file - via U.S. Mail and email. (Dkt. 8). And the Court allowed Plaintiff additional time to respond to Defendant Radiant's motion to dismiss. Id.

         On May 4, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, without Defendants' consent and without leave of court. (Dkt. 20). On May 11, 2018, Defendant MC Express filed a motion to dismiss, alternatively, motion to prohibit use of pleadings. (Dkt. 24). In that motion, Defendant MC Express sought dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint because Plaintiff failed to comply with certain filing deadlines set forth in the federal and local rules.[1] (Dkt. 23). Defendant MC Express further argued that if the Court did not dismiss the entire complaint, it should prohibit the use of Plaintiff's untimely filings. Id. Plaintiff responded to Defendant's motion on May 14, 2018. (Dkt. 25).

         On May 15, 2018, Defendant MC Express filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's amended complaint because Plaintiff could not amend as of right, and Plaintiff failed to obtain either the Court's leave to amend or Defendants' consent to file the amended complaint. (Dkt. 26).

         On May 31, 2018, that Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court grant Defendant Radiant's motion to dismiss (Dkt. 4), deny Defendant MC Express's motion to dismiss, alternatively motion to prohibit use of pleadings (Dkt. 23), and grant Defendant MC Express's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's amended complaint (Dkt. 26). (Dkt 28). On June 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed objections to the R&R. (Dkt. 33). In his objections, Plaintiff challenges the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that Defendant MC Express and Defendant Radiant did not act as joint employers. Id. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's R&R.

         II. Analysis

         i. Defendant Radiant's Motion to Dismiss

         Defendant Radiant moved to dismiss the claims against it, under Rule 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1), for failure to state a claim and for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Dkt. 4). In its motion, Defendant Radiant argues that because the complaint contains little-to-no factual allegations against it, Plaintiff has failed to plausibly state a claim for relief. Dkt. 4-1 at 2-5. Further, Defendant Radiant contends that Plaintiff's complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to support personal jurisdiction over it. Id. at 5-6.

         In the R&R, the Magistrate Judge noted - correctly - that the complaint does not contain any “factual allegations whatsoever concerning discriminatory or retaliatory conduct by Radiant or its employees, nor does it allege that any unlawful conduct occurred on Radiant property.” Dkt. 28 at 13. Further, the Magistrate Judge recognized that “Plaintiff does not allege that he had any contact with Radiant regarding his employment or any other matter while he was still employed with MC Express.” Id. Plaintiff only alleges that Defendant Radiant is Defendant MC Express's parent company. Id. (citing Dkt. 1 at 9).

         In the light of Plaintiff's failure to plead any facts to suggest that Radiant employed Plaintiff - or acted as a joint employer with Defendant MC Express - the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissing Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Radiant for failure to “allege a plausible claim that Radiant was his employer.” Dkt. 28 at 15. In his objections, Plaintiff argues that Defendant Radiant was, in fact, his joint employer with Defendant MC Express. See Dkt. 33. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Radiant Logistics performs human-resources services, as well as technical and training services, for Defendant MC Express. Id. Although the facts identified in Plaintiff's objections may be relevant to the joint-employer analysis if pled in the complaint, they are not. And, as it stands, Plaintiff's complaint does ...


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