United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANT'S PARTIAL MOTION TO
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Jackson
County Juvenile Detention Center (“Jackson
County”), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). On March 17, 2016, after just ten days of
employment, Jackson County terminated pro se
Plaintiff Darrell Anthony Yates (“Yates”).
Thereafter, on March 25, 2016, Yates filed a Complaint
against Jackson County, alleging he was subjected to a
hostile work environment and wrongly terminated after
overhearing his co-workers and supervisors making
“abusive, profane and  sexual comments” in the
work place. (Filing No. 1.) Jackson County now seeks
to dismiss Yates' Complaint for failure to state a claim.
(Filing No. 9.) For the reasons set forth below, the
Court GRANTS Jackson County's Partial Motion to Dismiss.
accepted a position with Jackson County in March 2016. On
March 9, 2016, while at work, Yates witnessed his co-workers
and supervisors make abusive, profane and sexual comments
regarding inmates and others. It is unclear from the
Complaint whether Yates complained about the comments,
however, the following day Yates' supervisors apologized
for the inappropriate language and behavior. On March 14,
2016, one of Yates' co-workers, Sue Gans, again used
profane language, as well as prevented Yates from speaking
with and mentoring a juvenile, which is an important facet of
an officer's job and policy. It is again unclear from the
Complaint whether Yates complained about his co-worker's
behavior, however, on March 17, 2016, Yates' supervisor
terminated him after Sue Gans stated that “[Yates] was
going to step on anyone's feet [he] had to to get what
[he] wanted.” Yates' supervisor did not investigate
the statement prior to terminating Yates.
March 25, 2016, eight days after Yates' termination,
Yates filed a Complaint against Jackson County, alleging that
he was subjected to a hostile work environment and wrongly
terminated. (Filing No. 1.) Yates also contends that
Jackson County violated state ethics when using profanity in
the workplace. Id. On March 30, 2016 the Court
granted Yates motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) and dismissed all claims against
individual supervisors and co-workers. (Filing No.
4) Thereafter, on April 11, 2016, Yates filed a claim
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”). (Filing No. 11 at 2.) On May
31, 2016, Jackson County filed a motion requesting that the
Court dismiss Yates' Complaint for failure to state a
cause and failure to exhaust all remedies. (Filing No.
August 10, 2016, the EEOC issued its Order denying Yates'
claim, triggering Yates' right to bring a civil lawsuit.
(Filing No. 11 at 2.) After the EEOC's decision,
on September 14, 2016, Jackson County voluntarily withdrew
its motion to dismiss Yates' sexual harassment claim,
contending that the argument is moot because Yates exhausted
all administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5. Accordingly, Jackson County's Motion to Dismiss
regards only Yates' wrongful termination and violation of
state ethics claims. On October 15, 2016, after Yates failed
to respond, the Court issued an Order extending the response
deadline to November 7, 2016. (Filing No. 15.) To
date, Yates has not responded to Jackson County's Motion
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes a defendant to
move to dismiss a complaint that fails to “state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), the court construes the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, accepts all factual allegations
as true, and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074,
1081 (7th Cir. 2008). However, courts “are not obliged
to accept as true legal conclusions or unsupported
conclusions of fact.” Hickey v. O'Bannon,
287 F.3d 656, 658 (7th Cir. 2002).
complaint need not include detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff has the obligation to provide the factual grounds
supporting his entitlement to relief; and neither bare legal
conclusions nor a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will suffice in meeting this obligation.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). Stated differently, the complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Hecker v. Deere &
Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). To be facially plausible, the
complaint must allow “the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“[a] document filed pro se is to be liberally
construed, and a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). However, the Court
[I]t is also well established that pro se litigants are not
excused from compliance with procedural rules. [T]he Supreme
Court has never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary
civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse
mistakes by those who proceed without counsel[.] Further, as
the Supreme Court has noted, in the long run, experience
teaches that strict adherence to the procedural requirements
specified by the legislature is the best guarantee of
evenhanded administration of the law.
Loubser v. United States, 606 F.Supp.2d 897, 909
(N.D. Ind. 2009) (citations and quotation marks omitted).
[E]ven pro se litigants . . . must expect to file a legal
argument and some supporting authority. A litigant who fails
to press a point by supporting it with pertinent authority,
or by showing why it is sound despite a lack of supporting
authority . . . forfeits the point. We will not do his
research for him.
Mathis v. New York Life Ins. Co., 133 F.3d 546, 548
(7th Cir. 1998) (citations and quotation ...