United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
Reidinger United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on the Defendant Davan
Cloninger's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 11].
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
December 14, 2017, the pro se Plaintiff filed this
action alleging employment discrimination based on race and
national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1), et seq.
(“Title VII”). The caption of the Plaintiff's
Complaint, which is typewritten on a pre-printed AO form
complaint, identifies only “LifeSpan
Incorporated” as a Defendant in the case. [Doc. 1 at
1]. Under Section B., however, the Plaintiff identifies the
“Defendant” in the case as “Davan
Cloninger, ” who is identified simply as
“President.” [Id. at 2]. Attached to the
Complaint are two proposed Summonses: one for “LifeSpan
Incorporated” and another for “Davan
Cloninger.” [Docs. 1-1, 1-2].
February 9, 2018, Davan Cloninger filed the present motion,
seeking to be dismissed from this action on the grounds that
individuals cannot be held liable for Title VII violations.
[Doc. 7]. The Plaintiff filed a Response to Cloninger's
motion on March 1, 2018. [Doc. 11].
been fully briefed, this matter is ripe for disposition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
central issue for resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is whether
the claims state a plausible claim for relief. See
Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 189 (4th Cir.
2009). In considering the Defendants' motions, the Court
accepts the allegations in the Complaint as true and
construes them in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff.
Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc.,
591 F.3d 250, 253 (4th Cir. 2009); Giacomelli, 588
F.3d at 190-92. Although the Court accepts well-pled facts as
true, it is not required to accept “legal conclusions,
elements of a cause of action, and bare assertions devoid of
further factual enhancement....”
Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 255; see also
Giacomelli, 588 F.3d at 189.
claims need not contain “detailed factual allegations,
” but must contain sufficient factual allegations to
suggest the required elements of a cause of action. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007);
see also Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 256.
“[A] formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Nor will mere labels and legal conclusions suffice.
Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
“demands more than an unadorned, the
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Complaint is required to contain “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; see also
Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 255. “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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. See also
Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 255. The mere
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully is not
sufficient for a claim to survive a motion to dismiss.
Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 256;
Giacomelli, 588 F.3d at 193. Ultimately, the
well-pled factual allegations must move a plaintiff's
claim from possible to plausible. Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570; Consumeraffairs.com, 591 F.3d at 256.
Fourth Circuit has rejected claims of individual liability
under Title VII. Lissau v. Southern Food. Serv.,
Inc., 159 F.3d 177, 180-81 (4th Cir. 1998)
(“[S]upervisors are not liable in their individual
capacities for Title VII violations.”); see also
Buckner v. General Signal Tech. Corp., 163 F.Supp.2d
617, 626 (W.D. N.C. 2000) (citing Lissau). Here,
Defendant Davan Cloninger is an individual and not an
“employer” as defined by Title VII.
Lissau, 159 F.3d at 180-81. Thus, she is not subject
to Title VII liability. Accordingly, the Plaintiff's
claims against Defendant Davan Cloninger are hereby
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Defendant Davan
Cloninger's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 7] is
GRANTED, and the Plaintiff's claims