United States District Court, D. Colorado
TONI R. PALMER, Plaintiff,
KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS TECHNOLOGY RISK OFFICE, Defendant.
ORDER ADOPTING JUNE 12, 2017 RECOMMENDATION OF
MAGISTRATE JUDGE DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
WILLIAM J. MARTINEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the June 12, 2017
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Kathleen M.
Tafoya (“Recommendation, ” ECF No. 41) that
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (the
“Motion, ” ECF No. 32) be denied. The
Recommendation is incorporated herein by reference.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b). Plaintiff filed an objection to the Recommendation.
(“Objection, ” ECF No. 43.) For the reasons set
forth below, Plaintiff's Objection is overruled, the
Magistrate Judge's Recommendation is adopted, and
Plaintiff's Motion is denied.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
magistrate judge issues a recommendation on a dispositive
matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3) requires
that the district judge “determine de novo any
part of the magistrate judge's [recommendation] that has
been properly objected to.” See Lariviere, Grubman
& Payne, LLP v. Phillips, 2010 WL 4818101, at *5 (D.
Colo. Nov. 9, 2010) (treating motion to amend complaint as a
dispositive matter for purposes of Rule 72(b)); see also
Cuenca v. Univ. of Kansas, 205 F.Supp.2d 1226, 1228 (D.
Kan. 2002) (“When the magistrate judge's order
denying a motion to amend . . . effectively removes a . . .
claim from the case, it may well be a dispositive ruling that
the district court should review de novo.”).
objection to a recommendation is properly made if it is both
timely and specific. United States v. One Parcel of Real
Property Known as 2121 East 30th St., 73 F.3d 1057, 1059
(10th Cir. 1996). An objection is sufficiently specific if it
“enables the district judge to focus attention on those
issues-factual and legal-that are at the heart of the
parties' dispute.” Id. In conducting its
review, “[t]he district court judge may accept, reject,
or modify the recommendation; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” Id. Here, Plaintiff filed a
timely objection to Judge Tafoya's Recommendation.
Therefore, this Court reviews the issues before it de
addition, Plaintiff is proceeding pro se; thus, the
Court must liberally construe her pleadings. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Trackwell v.
United States Gov't, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243 (10th Cir.
2007). The Court, however, cannot act as advocate for
Plaintiff, who must still comply with the fundamental
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991);
see also Ledbetter v. City of Topeka, Kan., 318 F.3d
1183, 1188 (10th Cir. 2003).
FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
parties object to the recitation of facts set forth by Judge
Tafoya in the June 12, 2017 Recommendation. (See ECF
Nos. 41, 43, 47.) Accordingly, the Court adopts and
incorporates the “Procedural Background” section
of the Recommendation as if set forth herein. (ECF No. 41 at
Plaintiff was formally employed by Kaiser as a senior case
manager in the Technology Risk Office. (ECF No. 1-1 at 2.)
Plaintiff began working for Kaiser on March 31, 2015.
(Id.) Within her first sixty days on the job,
Plaintiff raised concerns “regarding the lack of
clarity over her specific job responsibilities” and
issues she was having with her supervisor. (Id.)
Following this, on May 29, 2015, Plaintiff “made a
protected complaint of workplace racial discrimination to
Kaiser” and “filed an EEOC Charge of
Discrimination against Kaiser . . . which resulted in an
inconclusive determination.” (Id.)
Subsequently, on July 27, 2015 the EEOC issued a Notice of
Right to Sue. (Id.) However, Plaintiff continued her
employment with Kaiser until her termination on April 11,
2016, during which time she allegedly “continued to
suffer workplace racial discrimination, a hostile working
environment, harassing behavior, and retaliation related to
her protected complaint.” (Id.; see
also ECF No. 40 ¶ 32.)
on this course of events, Plaintiff filed the instant action
asserting three claims for relief: (1) race discrimination,
retaliation, and hostile work environment under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII, ” 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.), (2) intentional
infliction of emotional distress under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA, ” 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671
et seq.), and (3) interference and retaliation under
the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA, ” 29
U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq.). (ECF No. 1 at
proposed scheduling order Plaintiff suggested February 28,
2017 as the deadline for joinder of parties and amendment to
the pleadings, which was later adopted by Judge Tafoya. (ECF
No. 22 at 18-19; ECF No. 24 at 19.) Accordingly, on February
28, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 30),
however, the Court struck Plaintiff's filing for failure
to file with leave of Court or with written consent of the
opposing party (ECF No. 31). See Fed. R. Civ. P.
weeks later, on March 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion for
Leave to Amend Complaint, seeking leave to add nine new
defendants and to provide additional supporting factual
allegations. (ECF No. 32.) On June 12, 2017, Judge Tafoya
issued her Recommendation, stating that Plaintiff's
Motion should be denied. (ECF No. 41.)
filed her Objection on June 26, 2017 (ECF No. 43), to which
Defendant filed a response on July 10, 2017 (ECF No. 47).
Plaintiff objects to Judge Tafoya's Recommendation
“in its entirety, and specifically Plaintiff is
genuinely perplexed by the Magistrate's
Recommendation[.]” (ECF No. 43 at 1.) The Court will
review de novo the portion of the Recommendation to
which Plaintiff's specific objections were made.