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Taylor v. Holiday Inns Incorporated

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Frankfort

February 6, 2014

ANTOINETTE TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
v.
HOLIDAY INNS INCORPORATED d/b/a INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP and JAYDEV NILMANI DHOLAKIA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS GENERAL MANAGER d/b/a DHOL ENTERPRISES, LLC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE, District Judge.

Ms. Antoinette Taylor claims that Holiday Hospitality Franchising, LLC[1] and Jaydev Dholakia, have discriminated against her based upon her race (African-American) and sex (female) by denying her "equal enjoyment of the Holiday Inn hotel." [R. 1 at 2.] Furthermore, she alleges the behavior of Hospitality and Dholakia support the following causes of action: intentional race discrimination, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, duty of loyalty and duty of care, res ipsa loquitor and respondeat superior, negligent hiring, retention and training, negligent supervision, retaliation, conspiracy and a breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. [R. 7.]

Defendant Dholakia has filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for a More Definite Statement. [R. 9 & 12.] Hospitality has also filed a Motion for a More Definite Statement. Having now reviewed Taylor's Complaints and the motions, the Court shall GRANT the motions for a more Definite Statement and DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE Dholakia's motion to dismiss.

I

Taylor claims to have entered into a verbal agreement on June 22, 2012 with Hospitality, of Shelbyville, Kentucky, that allowed her to rent space for Sunday worship services. [R. 1 at 4.] According to Taylor, the oral agreement provided that, beginning on December 9, 2012, Taylor could use the space for four hours every Sunday in exchange for $50.00 rent a week. [R. 1 at 4.] The space was to be "clean, ready, and set up with the maximum number of chairs" by 9:00 AM so that Taylor could set up equipment in preparation for her 10:45 AM worship service. [R. 1 at 5.] Taylor claims that Hospitality fraudulently billed $52.00 to her debit card on December 11 and then, on December 16, denied her rental of the Derby Room. [R. 1 at 4.] Taylor further claims Hospitality breached the agreement by refusing to store her church equipment, including her piano, drums, and speakers between the weekly worship services. [R. 1 at 6] Taylor claims that she has contacted Hospitality and Dholakia "to resolve the said matter outside of court interventions" but that they have refused to respond to her. [R. 1 at 4.]

On March 6, 2013, Taylor, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint in this Court alleging Defendants discriminated against her when they denied her "equal enjoyment of the Holiday Inn hotel solely because of her race and color." [R. 1 at 2.] The ten-page Complaint goes on to provide a more detailed account of the facts and alleges causes of action for breach of contract and for racial discrimination. [R. 1.] On May 20, Taylor filed a First Amended Complaint that is thirty-two pages long and alleges an additional nine causes of action. These causes of action include intentional race discrimination, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, duty of loyalty and duty of care, res ipsa loquitor and respondeat superior, negligent hiring, retention and training, negligent supervision, retaliation, conspiracy and a breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. [R. 7.]

Taylor explains in her First Amended Complaint that she intends for the Court to remove references from the original complaint to "the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of Kentucky Revised Statues Chapter 344 et seq., Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966, Title 42 of the United States Code ("US.C.") § 2000 et seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended." [R. 7 at 1-2.] She then explains, in paragraph three, that the Amended Ccomplaint will add violations for:

Title 42 US.C. § 1981(a)(b)(c), Title 42 US.C. § 1981(a)(b)(1), which provides that "all persons" shall have the same right as "White persons" to "make and enforce contracts", (See Kolstad v. American Dental Ass'n , 527 U.S. 526, 144 L.Ed.2d 494, 119 S.Ct. 2118 (1999), and Stallworth v. Shuler , 777 F.2d 1431 (11th Cir. 1985)), Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA") of 1946, and other applicable federal laws (See Kawananakoa v. Polybank , 205 US. 349, 27 S.Ct. 526, 51 L.Ed. 834 (1907)), Title 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a)(3), the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (See United States v. City of Chicago , 853 F.2d 572, 575 (7th Cir. 1988)) the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, Title 18 U.S.C. § 242, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments (See Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 US. 479 (1965), West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937), Eisenstadt v. Parrish (1937), Roe v. Wade (1973)) Title 42 U.S.C. §§ 12203, 12117, 12133, and 12188, the Restatement of Agency ("ROA") § 219, ROA (Second) § 219(1) (1957), ROA (Third) Liability of Principle of Third Persons § 219 (2000), the Restatement of Torts See Parker et al. v. Dominos Pizza et al., No. 92-2056 and 92-2630 (Fl. App. Ct. 1993), Crinkly v. Holiday Inns, et aI., No. 87-1547 (4th Cir. 1988), Greil v. Travelodge Int'L, Inc., and LaSalle Ohio Enter., Inc. , 541 N.E.2d 1288 (Ill.App.Ct. 1989), and Martin v. McDonald's Corp. , 572 N.E.2d 1073 (III. App. 1st Dist. 1991)) the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "the Commission") § 16(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 US.C. § 56(a)(1), §§ 5(a)(I), 5(m)(1)(A), 13(b), 16(a) and 19 of the FTC Act, 15 US.C. §§ 45(a)(1), 45(m)(1)(A), 53(b), 56(a), and 57(b), to secure civil penalties, permanent injunctive relief, consumer redress, and other equitable relief for the defendants' deceptive acts and discriminatory practices in violation of § 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), the FTC's Trade Regulation Rule entitled "Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising and Business Opportunity Ventures" ("the Franchise Rule") 2007(a) pp. 15544-15575 (See FTC v. Minuteman Press, supra, a franchisor's conduct was a concurrent violation of both the Franchise Rule and § 5(a) of the FTC Act, which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting interstate commerce", See Am Equip. Co. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Am., Inc., in Canada Dry Corp. v. Nehi Beverage Co., Inc., the Seventh Circuit held that under the Indiana franchise act, a franchisee could defend against termination if the franchisor had discriminated engaged in "arbitrary disparate treatment among similarly situated individuals or entities" (i.e., other franchisees), in General Aviation, Inc. v. Cessna Aircraft Co., the Sixth Circuit held that the anti-discrimination provisions of the Michigan franchise act required a franchisor to offer, renewal to its franchisees on the same terms that were offered to similarly situated franchisees), § 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44, § 18(d)(3) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 57(a)(d)(3), 16 C.F.R. § 436.1, violations of the Franchise Rule, which constitute unfair and deceptive acts or practices, in or affecting commerce, in violation of § 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and Defendant is a franchise, as "franchise" is defined in § 436.2(a) of the Franchise Rule, 16 C.F.R. § 436.2(a).

[R. 7 at 2-3.] The Complaint goes on for an additional thirty pages and one-hundred paragraphs explaining and adding to these allegations. With the exception of the explicit amendment described above, it is apparent from the way that Taylor numbers her causes of action that the First Amended Complaint is intended to supplement her original Complaint.

Dholakia filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim or, in the alternative, for a More Definite Statement on June 10, 2013. [R. 9.] After attempting to substantively address Plaintiff's claims, Dholakia explains that he "cannot discern what actions Plaintiff alleges it committed, what duties Plaintiff alleges it breached, and finally, what Code provisions, or regulations Plaintiff claims were violated." [Id. at 10.] He goes on to say that "Plaintiff's Complaint is more or less 33 pages of ramblings that include unrelated case law, statute provisions, and indistinguishable allegations. It is so vague and ambiguous that Defendant cannot reasonably prepare a response." [Id.] On June 12, Hospitality filed a similar motion, requesting Taylor be Ordered to file a More Definite Statement because the "[a]mended Complaint is so vague and ambiguous that defendant cannot reasonably prepare a response." [R. 12.] Both motions have been fully briefed. [R. 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20.] The Court now turns to addressing these motions.

II

A

Well-pleaded complaints contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "If a pleading fails to specify the allegations in a manner that provides sufficient notice, a defendant can move for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e)." Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 (e) provides:

A party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response. The motion must be made before filing a responsive pleading and must point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the court orders a more definite statement and the order is not obeyed within 14 days after notice of the ...

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