United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
JOHN M. KIM, Plaintiff,
ALISA DeSART, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ALISA DESART'S MOTION TO
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Alisa DeSart's
Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6). Dkt.
#5. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Defendant
John Kim is a former substitute teacher. Defendant Alisa
DeSart is an HR director for the Federal Way School District.
Mr. Kim alleges Ms. DeSart, or the District, discriminated
against him by terminating his guest teacher job because of
his race and national origin. Dkt. #6 at 6. The Complaint
states there were two wrongful disciplinary actions, one on
May 9, 2019, and the other on May 23, 2019. Dkt. #1 at 7. Mr.
Kim expected to receive investigation results during a
meeting on June 25, 2019, instead however, he was banned from
working for the entire Federal Way School District as a
substitute teacher. Dkt. #1 at 8. Plaintiff stated, “I
am concerned that this action was taken against me because my
race/national origin, which is Korean.” Id.
filed his Complaint in this Court on July 25, 2019. Dkt. #1.
Defendant DeSart filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) on August 15, 2019. Dkt.
#5. Ms. DeSart argues that Mr. Kim failed to allege
sufficient facts to support a conclusion that she personally
engaged in any racially discriminatory conduct. Id.
at 5. On August 19, 2019, Mr. Kim filed a response letter to
Ms. DeSart's motion to dismiss. Dkt. 6. Ms. DeSart filed
a reply to that letter on August 22, 2019. Dkt. #7. Mr. Kim
then filed a letter on August 27, 2019 in response to Ms.
DeSart's reply. Dkt. #8. The Court has reviewed all of
these filings and the entire record.
Legal Standard under Rule 12(b)(6)
making a 12(b)(6) assessment, the court accepts all facts
alleged in the complaint as true, and makes all inferences in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Baker
v. Riverside County Office of Educ., 584 F.3d 821, 824
(9th Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted). However, the
court is not required to accept as true a “legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). The complaint “must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 678. This
requirement is met when the plaintiff “pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. The complaint need not include
detailed allegations, but it must have “more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Absent facial
plausibility, a plaintiff's claims must be dismissed.
Id. at 570.
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss under Rule
DeSart argues that this case must be dismissed because Mr.
Kim's Complaint contains no factual allegations
supporting his bare assertion that his disciplinary action
was motivated by his race or nationality. Dkt. #5 at 4. Ms.
DeSart admits to writing a letter on the District's
behalf explaining that Mr. Kim would no longer be used as a
guest teacher. Id. However, Ms. DeSart argues there
are no facts supporting a conclusion that she was the
decisionmaker in the matter or that she personally engaged in
any conduct that could be characterized as racially
discriminatory. Dkt. #5 at 5. Ms. DeSart argues Mr. Kim has
failed to provide any additional facts in briefing to support
the conclusion of racial discrimination as the reason for his
disciplinary action. Dkt. #7 at 2.
reviewing the entire record, the Court agrees with Ms.
DeSart. Mr. Kim fails to state a claim in the Complaint. Mr.
Kim's statement of claim reads, “I had wrongful
disciplinary actions from Federal Way School District.”
It appears to the Court that Mr. Kim is making a claim under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII,
it is unlawful for an employer to discharge an individual, or
to otherwise discriminate against an individual, because of
the person's race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin. 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2(a)(1). In a letter
attached to his Complaint, addressed to this Court, Mr. Kim
states he was disciplined two times by the Federal Way School
District and that he was concerned the action of termination
was taken against him because of his race. Dkt. #1 at 2. Mr.
Kim provides no further facts to support this allegation.
all facts alleged in the Complaint as true, and making all
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party, the Court concludes Mr. Kim's Complaint contains
only a conclusory statement of racial discrimination without
sufficient factual allegations. There are no factual
allegations that support Mr. Kim's belief that the
disciplinary actions were because of his race.
complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim,
“leave to amend should be granted unless the court
determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with
the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the
deficiency.” Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well
Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986). If
Mr. Kim is able to allege additional facts to support his
claim of racial discrimination on behalf of his employer, he
is entitled to amend his claim. The Court finds that Mr. Kim
may be ...