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William Ezell v. Global Geophysical Services

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION


December 17, 2012

WILLIAM EZELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GLOBAL GEOPHYSICAL SERVICES, INC., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles S. Miller, Jr., Magistrate Judge United States District Court

ORDER

The plaintiff, William Ezell (Ezell), initiated the above entitled action on October 31, 2012, with the submission of pro se complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis. Upon reviewing Ezell's submissions, the court concluded that Ezell lacked the means to pay the filing fee but that his complaint did not state enough in terms of the facts and grounds for relief to give defendant fair notice of his claims. Consequently, in its order of November 5, 2012, the court granted Ezell's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and further directed him to file an amended complaint addressing the aforementioned deficiencies.

Ezell filed an amended complaint on November 19, 2012, asserting that employment was wrongfully terminated by the defendant, Global Geophysical Services, Inc. (GGS). In so doing he intimated that the reasons given by GGS for his termination were pretextual and that its decision was in reality race-based. He goes on to describe the events leading up to his termination as follows.

A co-worker of Ezell's used racial slurs when addressing Ezell on the afternoon of November 26, 2011. Ezell went to Tony Garcia, his manager, early the next morning to complain about the previous day's incident. Garcia expressed little concern about the incident and instead focused on a report of an altercation between Ezell and his roommate, Ken Malone. Apparently, Ezell and Malone had gotten into an argument around 12:25 a.m. on November 27, 2011. Sometime thereafter Malone presumably contacted management to claim that he had been threatened by Ezell with a knife. Ezell denied Malone's claim. Garcia did not know whether he should believe Ezell or Malone. Nevertheless, concerned about what he perceived as Ezell's escalating anger issues, Garcia terminated Ezell's employment.

Having reviewed Ezell's amended complaint, the court is not prepared to conclude for the purposes of § 1915(e)(2) that it is clear beyond doubt there is no set of facts that would entitle the Ezell to relief. Ezell's amended complaint is nevertheless problematic from the standpoint that it neither explicitly articulates the statutory basis for his claim nor clearly sets forth the relief he is seeking.*fn1

Mindful of the fact that Ezell is proceeding pro se, the court shall afford Ezell one more opportunity amend his complaint. Accordingly, Ezell is GRANTED leave to file a second amended complaint with the court by January 28, 2013, that: (1) explicitly identifies the statutory basis for his claim(s), such as, for example, 42 U.S.C. § 1981; (2) describes in detail the factual basis for his claim(s); and (3) states in simple and direct terms the relief he seeks, e.g., restoration of his employment and/or an award of monetary damages.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Charles S. Miller, Jr.


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