United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
ROBERT J. CONRAD, Jr., District Judge.
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. No. 8), and supporting brief, (Doc. No. 9); the Magistrate Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation ("M&R"), (Doc. No. 16); the Plaintiff's Objection to the M&R, (Doc. No. 17); and the Defendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Objection, (Doc. No. 18).
In the M&R, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be granted. Plaintiff filed an Objection to the M&R of the Magistrate Judge on March 9, 2015, and Defendant filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Objection on March 26, 2015. It is ripe for review.
Plaintiff Tonya Feimster ("Plaintiff" or "Feimster"), appearing pro se, filed a Complaint, (Doc. No. 1), on July 10, 2014. Plaintiff's Complaint asserts claims for employment discrimination based on her gender and age against Defendants Universal Health Services, Inc. ("UHS") and Keystone Charlotte, LLC ("Keystone") d/b/a The Keys of Carolina ("the Keys"). (Doc. No. 1). It appears that UHS received copies of the Summons in a Civil Action and the Complaint on or about September 15, 2014. (Id.)
Defendant UHS filed its pending Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. No. 8), and Memorandum of Law In Support Of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. No. 9), on October 6, 2014. UHS seeks dismissal pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
The Court issued a "Roseboro Notice, " (Doc. No. 10), on October 7, 2014, informing pro se Plaintiff of her right to respond to the pending motion. Plaintiff timely filed her "Response to Defense Motion to Dismiss, " (Doc. No. 13), on October 23, 2014. A Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. No. 14), was then filed on October 30, 2014.
Even considering the facts as alleged, the Magistrate Judge found it unlikely that the Plaintiff could state a plausible claim for employment discrimination. (Doc. No. 16 at 4-5). The Magistrate Judge recommended that this Court grant the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (Id.)
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Federal Magistrate Act provides that a district court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specific proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983). De novo review is not required by the statute when an objecting party makes only general or conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate judge's recommendations. Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44 (4th Cir. 1982). Further, the statute does not on its face require any review at all of issues that are not the subject of an objection. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985); Camby, 178 F.2d at 200. Nonetheless, a district judge is responsible for the final determination and outcome of the case, and accordingly this Court has conducted a careful review of the Magistrate Judge's M&R.
Plaintiff objects to the entirety of the Magistrate Judge's M&R. In particular, Plaintiff objects to the following findings of fact and law made in support of the Recommendation: (a) the conclusion that Defendant UHS was not an employer of Plaintiff, and therefore that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over UHS; (b) the conclusion that Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to support her claims; (c) the alleged finding that Plaintiff admitted to sleeping at work; and (d) the failure to find that Defendant has a burden to prove it did not discriminate against Plaintiff.
A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Plaintiff objects to the conclusion that UHS was not her employer, and therefore that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over UHS. The existence of subject matter jurisdiction is a threshold issue the court must address before considering the merits of the case. Jones v. Am. Postal Workers Union, 192 F.3d 417, 422 (4th Cir.1999). "The subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts is limited and the federal courts may exercise only that jurisdiction which Congress has prescribed." Chris v. Tenet, 221 F.3d 648, 655 (4th Cir. 2000) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Subject matter jurisdiction is so limited that federal "[c]ourts have an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even when no party challenges it." Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 130 S.Ct. 1181, 1193 (2010) (internal citations omitted). "No party can waive the defect, or ...