Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Shellhouse v. Mattis

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

October 24, 2018

EARNEST EARL SHELLHOUSE, Plaintiff,
v.
MATTIS, Secretary of the Army, Defendant.

          ORDER

          HON. JANE MAGNTTS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA.

         Plaintiff Earnest Earl Shellhouse's complaint against the Secretary of Defense (“the Secretary”) claims that he was improperly denied a promotion because the interviewers “lowballed” his interview scores in order to promote “their favorite” candidates, who Mr.

         Shellhouse alleges were unqualified.[1] [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 1.] The Secretary now moves to dismiss Mr. Shellhouse's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing, among other things, that the doctrine of res judicata bars this lawsuit because Mr. Shellhouse previously litigated these claims in another lawsuit. [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 14.] For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS the Secretary's Motion to Dismiss.

         I.

         Legal Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim that does not state a right to relief. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint provide the defendant with “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active Disposal Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint “contain[s] 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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). The Court may not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         II.

         Background

         The following facts are drawn from Mr. Shellhouse's pleadings in this case and in his earlier-filed case, which are accepted as true for the purpose of deciding the Secretary's Motion to Dismiss.

         A. Shellhouse I Complaint

         Prior to filing the present case, Mr. Shellhouse, a civilian employee of Crane Army Ammunition Activity, filed a complaint in 2013 against Secretary of the Army John McHugh, alleging that he was improperly denied a promotion as a result of gender discrimination. [Shellhouse I, Filing No. 6.] Mr. Shellhouse's 2013 amended complaint alleged that his March 28, 2012 interview for a “WG-8 promotion” involved interviewers who had a conflict of interest and unfairly scored Mr. Shellhouse's interview, ultimately denying Mr. Shellhouse the promotion in favor of two unqualified applicants. [Shellhouse I, Filing No. 6 at 2.] On January 30, 2014, the Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment because Mr. Shellhouse failed to exhaust his administrative remedies when he did not contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the alleged discriminatory conduct, as required by 29 C.F.R. § 1614.105. [Shellhouse I, Filing No. 29 at 11.]

         B. Shellhouse II Complaint in this Lawsuit

         On March 16, 2018, Mr. Shellhouse filed a Complaint alleging “promotion fraud” against Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (alleged in his complaint as “Secretary of the Army”). [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 1.] Mr. Shellhouse's Complaint is again based upon his March 28, 2012 interview for a WG-8 promotion. [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 1 at 2.] Mr. Shellhouse alleges that his interviewers purposely gave him low scores so that the interviewers' “favorite, ” less qualified employees would instead receive the promotion. [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 1 at 3.]

         On June 28, 2018, the Secretary filed his Motion to Dismiss. [Shellhouse II, Filing No. 14.] In light of Mr. Shellhouse's failure to respond, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.