United States District Court, S.D. Georgia
RAYFIELD L. BARNEMAN, Plaintiff,
INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMAN ASSOCIATION, LOCAL 1423; SSA COOPER, LLC; MARINE TERMINAL CORPORATION-EAST; ATLANTIC RO-RO STEVEDORING, LLC; APS STEVEDORING LLC; and GEORGIA STEVEDORING ASSOCIATION, Defendants.
LISA GODBEY WOOD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Matter comes before the Court on the renewed Motion to
Dismiss of Defendants APS Stevedoring, LLC ("APS"),
Atlantic Ro-Ro Stevedoring, LLC ("Atlantic Ro-Ro"),
Georgia Stevedoring Association ("GSA"), and Marine
Terminal Corporation-East ("Marine Terminal"). Dkt.
Nos. 17, 54. For the following reasons, this Motion is
filed a pro se complaint in this Court on May 3, 2017 against
International Longshoreman Association Local 1423
("ILA"). He retained counsel and amended his
complaint on May 22, 2017, adding the other Defendants.
Because his EEOC charges had only named ILA and GSA as
Defendants, the remaining Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss, arguing, among other things, that Plaintiff had
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to
them. Dkt. No. 17. On February 1, 2018, this Court gave the
parties 14 days to submit additional briefing on that
question. Dkt. No. 53. They have now done so. Dkt. Nos. 53,
54, 55. The Court also ordered that Plaintiff serve GSA,
Marine Terminals, Atlantic Ro-Ro, and APS or risk dismissal.
Dkt. No. 53.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a plaintiff's
complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). In order to state a claim for relief, a
plaintiff's complaint must include "enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The Court accepts the allegations
in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences
in favor of the plaintiff. Ray v. Spirit Airlines,
Inc., 836 F.3d 1340, 1347 (11th Cir. 2016). However, the
Court does not accept as true threadbare recitations of the
elements of the claim and disregards legal conclusions
unsupported by factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678-79. At a minimum, a complaint should "contain
either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the
material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some
viable legal theory." Fin. Sec. Assurance, Inc. v.
Stephens, Inc., 500 F.3d 1276, 1282-83 (11th Cir. 2007)
(per curiam) (quoting Roe v. Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice,
Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683 (11th Cir. 2001)).
document filed pro se isAto be liberally
construed, [and] a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)); see
also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(f) ("All pleadings shall be so
construed as to do substantial justice.").
of administrative remedies is a matter that should be raised
in a motion to dismiss. Basel v. Sec'y of Def.,
507 Fed.Appx. 873, 874 (11th Cir. 2013) (per curiam).
"[I]t is permissible for a district court to consider
facts outside of the pleadings and resolve factual disputes
so long as the factual disputes do not decide the merits and
the parties are given sufficient opportunity to develop a
record." Id. at 874-75.
order addresses the limited issue of whether Plaintiff
exhausted his administrative remedies against GSA, Marine
Terminals, Atlantic Ro-Ro, and APS by filing an EEOC charge
(thereby satisfactorily exhausting his administrative
remedies) against ILA. To answer this question, this Court
previously ordered the parties to clarify their positions on
the following factors: (1) the similarity of the interest
between the named party and the unnamed party; (2) whether
the plaintiff could have ascertained the identity of the
unnamed party at the time the EEOC charge was filed; (3)
whether the unnamed parties received adequate notice of the
charges; (4) whether the unnamed parties have an adequate
opportunity to participate in the reconciliation process; and
(5) whether the unnamed parties suffered actual prejudice by
its exclusion from the EEOC proceedings. Dkt. No. 53 (citing
DiGiro v. Pall Corp., 993 F.Supp. 1474, 1474 (M, D.
the parties provided some additional information.
of interests. The record shows that the port
employers-Marine Terminals, Atlantic Ro-Ro, and APS-are board
members for GSA and that GSA acts for the signatory parties.
Dkt. No. 54-1. Plaintiff asserts that GSA protected the
interests of those port employers during the grievance
process and that the grievance process in which the port
employers did participate involved the same issues as those
of the EEOC charge filed against GSA. Dkt. No. 17.
ability to ascertain identities. The record shows that
Plaintiff sent letters addressed to each of the port
employers, demonstrating his knowledge of their identity.
Dkt. No. 5. It also shows that each had its own
representative at his grievance hearing and that his
paychecks indicated which entity employed him. Dkt. No. 24.
to unnamed parties. The record shows that the port
employers had actual notice of Barneman's EEOC charge
against GSA which resulted in the present ...