United States District Court, D. Nebraska
WALTER H. HOLLOWAY, Plaintiff,
OMAHA WORK STAFFING, M&M STAFFING, and RUSSELL MONN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
granting Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the
court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's
Complaint (Filing No. 1) and its Supplements (Filing Nos. 6,
8-12) (which were filed without the court's
permission) to determine whether summary dismissal is
appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
Complaint and its many “Supplements” are
difficult to decipher. As best as the court can tell, and
liberally construed, it appears Plaintiff is attempting to
sue his employer(s) for failing to pay him minimum and
overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et
seq. Plaintiff names as defendants two physical
locations of Omaha Work Staffing and its owner, as well as
M&M Staffing. (Filing No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that he
“never received any partnership income”; that
despite having worked for “Corrections” since
1979, he was treated as “hard labor” in 2018 and
was “restricted to collect unemployment under rules of
my copyrighted memo's of Omaha Work Release and County
Corrections”; that “they” are improperly
garnishing his wages, causing Plaintiff to be “[b]elow
poverty”; that Plaintiff's pay is below minimum
wage, he must pay to “use their [sic] transportation,
” he does not receive medical coverage, and he is
unable to pay rent, utilities, and collect unemployment; that
he “can not survive working over time”; and that
a “female manager” failed to give him work.
(Filing No. 1.) Plaintiff's “Supplements” to
his Complaint (Filing Nos. 6, 8-12) and his Motion to Aquit
[sic] and Return Property and Asset's [sic] (Filing No.
7) are completely nonsensical.
STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW
court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to
determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss
a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or
malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to
“nudge their claims across the line from conceivable
to plausible, ” or “their complaint must be
dismissed.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”).
essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party ‘fair
notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a
general indication of the type of litigation
involved.'” Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir.
1999)). However, “[a] pro se complaint must be
liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a
lesser pleading standard than other parties.”
Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted).
the FLSA, when an employee is engaged in commerce or is
employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce, the employee
must be paid a minimum hourly wage . . . and at least one and
a half times his or her regular hourly rate for all hours
worked over 40 per week.” Marin v. Aida, Inc.,
992 F.Supp.2d 913, 914 (W.D. Ark. 2014) (citing 29 U.S.C.
§§ 206(a)(1)(C), 207(a)(1)).
order to state a claim under the FLSA for failure to pay
minimum wage and overtime, a plaintiff must allege facts
establishing that (1) he was “employed” by an
“employer” within the meaning of the FLSA, 29
U.S.C. § 203(d); (2) he was engaged in commerce or in
the production of goods for commerce
or was employed by an enterprise
engaged in commerce or the production of goods for commerce
that had annual gross sales of at least $500, 000; (3)
defendant failed to pay plaintiff overtime compensation for
all hours worked by plaintiff in excess of 40 in one or more
workweeks; and (4) the defendant failed to pay plaintiff
minimum wage for all hours worked by plaintiff in one or more
workweeks. Manual of Model Civil Jury Instructions for
the District Courts of the Eighth Circuit, Instruc. No.
succeed on an unpaid overtime claim, a plaintiff must allege
and show ‘that [he] worked above [his] scheduled hours
without compensation and that [his employer] knew or should
have known that [he was] working overtime.'”
Evans v. Joy, No. 8:12CV161, 2012 WL 3868083, at *1
(D. Neb. Sept. 6, 2012) (quoting Hertz v. Woodbury Cnty.,
Iowa, 566 F.3d 775, 781 (8th Cir. 2009)).
Plaintiff makes no factual allegations whatsoever
establishing any of the elements of his FLSA claims. First,
it is unclear when Plaintiff worked for the employers named
as defendants and what actions were taken by each employer
that supposedly violated the FLSA. Second, Plaintiff does not
indicate that, in his employment with specific employers, he
was engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for
commerce OR that he was employed by
an enterprise engaged in commerce or the production of goods
for commerce that had annual gross sales of at least $500,
000. Finally, he does not identify his scheduled work hours,
the number of uncompensated overtime hours or those paid at
less than minimum wage, when Plaintiff worked such overtime
or underpaid hours, and that his employer knew he worked
court has reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint, keeping in mind
that complaints filed by pro se litigants are held to less
stringent standards than those applied to formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972). However, as set forth above, even pro se
litigants must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8
requires that every complaint contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief” and that “[e]ach allegation .
. . be simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), (d)(1). A complaint must state enough to
“‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . .
. claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”
Erickson v. Pardus,551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Here, Plaintiff's
Complaint fails to meet this minimal pleading standard. In
addition, the facts alleged in Plaintiff's