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Bond v. CompuCom Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

January 22, 2019

MAURICE BOND, Plaintiff,
v.
COMPUCOM SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          David J. Hale, Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Maurice Bond alleges discrimination by his employer, CompuCom Systems, Inc., in violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. (D.N. 1) Bond filed a complaint with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) regarding the alleged discrimination, but KCHR found no probable cause to believe CompuCom acted unlawfully under the KCRA. (D.N. 4-2; D.N. 4-7) Bond then brought this action, again arguing that CompuCom violated the KCRA. (D.N. 1) CompuCom moved to dismiss on the ground that Bond's claims are administratively precluded. (D.N. 4) It further requests that the Court award attorney fees and costs. (Id.) Bond seeks leave to amend his complaint in order to satisfy federal pleading standards. (D.N. 14; D.N. 16) After careful consideration and for the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant CompuCom's motion to dismiss and deny CompuCom's request for fees, as well as Bond's motion to amend.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Bond contends that CompuCom discriminated against him while he was employed by CompuCom in April 2017. (D.N. 1-2, PageID # 9; D.N. 4-2, PageID # 41) Bond first reported the discrimination to CompuCom authorities, but CompuCom took no action. (Id.) Bond next filed a complaint with KCHR in July 2017, asserting that CompuCom discriminated against him due to his race. (D.N. 4-2, PageID # 41) CompuCom filed a response with KCHR, denying the allegations. (D.N. 4-3, PageID # 42) In September 2017, CompuCom fired Bond purportedly because he was repeatedly tardy or absent from work and notified KCHR of Bond's termination. (D.N. 4-4, PageID # 50) KCHR requested information from CompuCom regarding Bond's employment, termination, and alleged discrimination, including files and documents related to CompuCom's employees and procedures. (D.N. 4-5; D.N. 4-6) After reviewing that information, Bond's complaint, and CompuCom's response, KCHR issued a final and appealable dismissal order in March 2018; KCHR concluded that there was no probable cause to believe CompuCom engaged in an unlawful practice under the KCRA. (D.N. 4-7, PageID # 68)

         Rather than appeal the KCHR decision, Bond filed a complaint in Kentucky state court alleging that CompuCom discriminated and retaliated against him unlawfully under the KCRA. (D.N. 1-2) CompuCom removed the case to this Court and moved to dismiss, arguing that Bond's claims are barred by the election-of-remedies doctrine and administratively precluded. (D.N. 1; D.N. 4, PageID # 139) CompuCom also requests an award of attorney fees and costs because Bond filed this action despite being aware of the KCHR proceedings. (Id.) Bond, without directly addressing the issue of administrative preclusion, maintains that the KCHR proceedings were not thorough enough to be barred under the election-of-remedies doctrine. (D.N. 14, PageID # 117) Additionally, while Bond seeks leave to amend his complaint in order to satisfy federal pleading standards, he has not submitted a proposed amended complaint. (D.N. 13, PageID # 105)

         II. MOTION TO AMEND

         A. Standard

         Leave to amend should be “freely” granted “when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). This means that “[i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason-such as undue delay, bad faith or . . . futility of amendment, etc.-the leave sought should, as the rules require, be ‘freely given.'” Pittman v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 901 F.3d 619, 640-41 (6th Cir. 2018) (citing Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)). But a proposed amendment is futile, and should not be permitted, if the amendment could not survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Beydoub v. Sessions, 871 F.3d 459, 469 (2017).

         Normally, a plaintiff must attach a copy of his proposed amended complaint to a motion to amend. Kuyat v. BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc., 747 F.3d 435, 444 (6th Cir. 2014). “Although courts may (and in the ordinary course should) require an amendment's proponent to attach a copy of the proposed amended complaint for filing in the event the motion for leave to amend is granted, ‘the motion itself may be acceptable so long as it puts the opposing party on notice of the content of the amendment.'” Shillman v. United States, 221 F.3d 1336, 2000 WL 923761, at *6 (6th Cir. 2000) (quoting Moore v. Indiana, 999 F.2d 1125, 1131 (7th Cir. 1993)). However, “[s]imply requesting leave to amend without providing details as to what and how the party will amend the complaint is insufficient[, a]nd[] a court does not abuse its discretion in denying a threadbare motion to amend.” Mowett v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, No. 15-12612, 2016 WL 1259091, at *7 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 31, 2016).

         B. Discussion

         Bond neither attached a proposed amended complaint to his motion nor described the changes he intends to make; rather, Bond merely states that he should be granted leave to amend his complaint in order to meet the “heightened federal [pleading] standard.” (D.N. 13, PageID # 105) Bond's failure to provide a proposed complaint or explain his intended changes prevents the Court from determining the validity of the changes, and Bond's motion gives CompuCom no notice of the content of the proposed complaint. See Mowett, 2016 WL 1259091, at *7; Shillman, 2000 WL 923761, at *6. The Court will therefore deny Bond's motion to amend.

         III. MOTION TO DISMISS

         A. Standard

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). To meet this standard, a plaintiff must ‚Äúplead factual content that allows ...


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