United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
YVONNE L. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
Yvonne L. Young (“Young”), proceeding pro
se, filed a complaint in this matter and a motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket #1, #2).
In order to allow a plaintiff to proceed without paying the
$400 filing fee, the Court must first decide whether the
plaintiff has the ability to pay the filing fee and, if not,
whether the lawsuit states a claim for relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(a), (e)(2)(B).
question of indigence, although Young need not show that she
is totally destitute, Zaun v. Dobbin, 628 F.2d 990,
992 (7th Cir. 1980), it must be remembered that the privilege
of proceeding in forma pauperis “is reserved
to the many truly impoverished litigants who, within the
District Court's sound discretion, would remain without
legal remedy if such privilege were not afforded to them,
” Brewster v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 461 F.2d
649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972). Young's motion states that she
is unemployed, unmarried, and has two dependent children.
(Docket #2 at 1). Her income includes about $1, 480 per month
in unemployment benefits and about $390 per month for child
support. Id. at 2. Her monthly expenses total $1,
300. Id. at 2-3. Her assets include a car worth
approximately $9, 000 and a bank account holding $60.
Id. at 3. In light of these representations, the
Court finds that Young is indigent for purpose of prepaying
the filing fee. She will be granted leave to proceed in
notwithstanding the payment of any filing fee, the Court must
dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if it has raised
claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious,
” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). To
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, a plaintiff is required to provide a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that [she] is entitled
to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary
for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and her statement
need only “give the defendant fair notice of what
the…claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). However, a complaint that offers
“labels and conclusions” or “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on
its face.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570).
alleges that she was employed by MilliporeSigma in Wisconsin
from 2012 through 2017. (Docket #1 at 4). In July 2017, she
notified the human resources department that she was
experiencing workplace harassment. Id. at 2-3.
Specifically, she complained that her supervisor, Andrea
Braelick (“Braelick”), had emotionally abused her
and it caused her to require medical care. Id. at 2.
She also complained that she had been discriminated against
based on her disability (though she does not describe the
disability). Id. at 2, 4. Then, on August 30, 2017,
Young alleges that MilliporeSigma fired her in retaliation
for having complained to human resources. Id. at 4.
As a result of her termination, Young claims she has suffered
lost wages, depression, and humiliation. Id.
allegations do not state any viable claims for relief. She
does not state under which statute or law she believes her
claim arises but, based on her charges of retaliation and
disability discrimination, she may believe her claim arises
under either Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(“Title VII”) or the Americans with Disabilities
VII forbids an employer from discriminating against an
individual “because of [his or her] race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin[.]” 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-2(a)(1). Title VII also forbids an employer from
punishing an employee for complaining about discriminatory
treatment in the workplace. Id. § 2000e-3(a).
To plead a retaliation claim under Title VII, a plaintiff
must allege that an adverse employment action was taken
against her because she complained about an act that she
“believed in good faith . . . violated Title
VII.” Firestine v. Parkview Health Sys., Inc.,
388 F.3d 229, 234 (7th Cir. 2004) (quotation omitted);
see also Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d
1014, 1029 (7th Cir. 2013).
clear from Young's allegations that she suffered an
adverse employment action by being discharged, and that she
believes her discharge was due to her having reported her
supervisor's harassment to MilliporeSigma. But Young does
not allege that the harassment she reported had anything to
do with her race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Young alleges only that Braelick treated her badly. She
therefore states no claim under Title VII.
forbids an employer from firing an employee because she is
disabled and from failing to reasonably accommodate an
employee's known physical limitations. 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12112(a), (b)(5)(A). The ADA defines
“disability” as “a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
activities, ” “a record of such an impairment,
” or “being regarded as having such an
impairment.” 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1). To state a
claim under the ADA, a plaintiff must allege that she is
disabled within the meaning of the ADA, she is nevertheless
qualified to perform the essential functions of the job
either with or without reasonable accommodation, and she has
suffered an adverse employment action because of her
disability. Tate v. SCR Med. Transp., 809 F.3d 343,
345 (7th Cir. 2015). A plaintiff must allege her
“specific disability” because “the
defendant in a disability discrimination suit does not have
fair notice when the plaintiff fails to identify [her]
disability.” Id. at 345-46.
alleges that she told MilliporeSigma's human resources
department that she had been discriminated against based on
her disability, but she does not allege what her disability
is. Without this basic piece of information, Young does not
present a valid ADA claim.
Court must, therefore, strike the current complaint, but it
will afford Young an opportunity to submit an amended
complaint correcting the above-described defects. If Young
wants to proceed, she must file an amended complaint on or
before June 29, 2018. Failure to file an
amended complaint within this time period may result in
dismissal of this action. Young is advised that the amended
complaint must bear the docket number assigned to this case
and must be labeled “Amended Complaint.” Young is
further advised that a successful complaint alleges
“the who, what, when, where, and how: the first
paragraph of any newspaper story.” See DiLeo v.
Ernst & Young, 901 F.2d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 1990).
amended complaint supersedes the prior complaint and must be
complete in itself without reference to the original
complaint. See Duda v. Bd. of Educ. of Franklin
Park Pub. Sch. Dist. No. 84, 133 F.3d 1054, 1056-57 (7th
Cir. 1998). In Duda, the Seventh Circuit emphasized
that, in such instances, the “prior pleading is in
effect withdrawn as to all matters not restated in the
amended pleading[.]” Id. at 1057 (citation
omitted); see also Pintado v. Miami-Dade Housing
Agency, 501 F.3d 1241, 1243 (11th Cir. 2007) (“As
a general matter, ‘[a]n amended pleading supersedes the
former pleading; the original pleading is abandoned by the
amendment, and is no longer a part of the pleader's
averments against his adversary.'”) (quoting
Dresdner Bank AG, Dresdner Bank AG in Hamburg v. M/V
OLYMPIA VOYAGER, 463 F.3d 1210, 1215 (11th Cir. 2006)).
If an amended complaint is received, it will be screened
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket #2)
be and the same is hereby GRANTED;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's complaint
(Docket #1) be and the ...