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Hua v. Donahoe

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 5, 2014

CUONG CUU HUA, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK R. DONAHOE, POSTMASTER GENERAL, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, DONNA SOSA, POSTMASTER, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, FRANK MALONE, POST MASTER, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE, LUIS M. GONZALEZ, SUPERVISOR, ROB LINDBLOOM, SUPERVISOR, RAYMOND TAN, SUPERVISOR, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT.

DEAN D. PREGERSON, District Judge.

Presently before the court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the court grants the motion and adopts the following order.

I. Background

Cuong Cuu Hua ("Plaintiff") was a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service ("USPS"), Monterey Park branch since 1998. (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff alleges he was subject to various discriminatory actions by Postmaster for the Monterey Park USPS branch, Donna Sosa, Postmaster for the Rosemead USPS branch, Frank Molone, and supervisors Rob Lindbloom and Raymond Tan. In 2009 and 2011, Plaintiff filed EEOC complaints against Defendants Sosa, Gonzalez, and Lindbloom for these discriminatory actions. (Id. at 4-6.) Plaintiff was then terminated in 2012. (Id. at 6.)

On October 6, 2014, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint with this Court asserting four causes of action. Plaintiff asserts claims for retaliation under Title VII against individuals Sosa, Gonzalez, and Lindbloom and a claim for wrongful termination against Malone. (Id. at 7-10.)

On July 28, 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint on two grounds (1) naming of improper defendants and (2) insufficient service of process. (Def. Motion at 1.)

II. Legal Standard

In order to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint need only include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 55 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson , 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint must include "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)). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must "accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Resnick v. Hayes , 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). In general, pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner , 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).

III. Discussion

A. Improper Defendants

Under Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง2000-e-2, et seq., claims "based upon federal employment discrimination" are to be brought "against the director of the agency concerned." See White v. Gen. Servs. Admin. , 652 F.2d 913, 916 n.4 (9th Cir. 1981). "The Postmaster General is deemed the only appropriate defendant" in an Title VII action against the USPS. Mahoney v. U.S. Postal Serv. , 884 F.2d 1194, 1196 (9th Cir. 1989). There is no personal liability for employees, including supervisors in a Title VII action. See Greenlaw v. Garret , 59 F.3d 994, 1001 (9th Cir. 1994).

In the present case, Defendants contend Defendants Sosa, Malone, Gonzalez, Lindbloom, and Tan should be dismissed from the action because the only proper defendant under Title VII is USPS Postmaster General Donahoe. Since the case law on bringing claims against USPS under Title VII is well defined, the Court agrees with Defendant. To be clear, the alleged wrongful actions of Defendants Sosa, Malone, Gonzalez, Lindbloom, and Tan can be the basis of Plaintiff's claims before the court. But they must be included in an action against the right person, Postmaster General Donahoe.

The court finds Defendants Sosa, Gonzalez, Lindbloom, Tan, and Malone are improper defendants. Therefore, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint as to these ...


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