United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Torresen, United States Chief District Judge
the Court are the Defendants’ motions to dismiss the
Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (ECF Nos. 5, 7). For
the reasons stated below, the motions are GRANTED.
Plaintiff in this case is Sandra Bastille, a former toll
booth collector and customer service representative for the
Maine Turnpike Authority (the “MTA”). Compl.
¶ 1 (ECF No. 1); Ex. A to Maine Public Employees
Retirement System’s Mot. to Dismiss 4 (“Ex.
A”) (ECF No. 5). The Defendants are the MTA and the
Maine Public Employees Retirement System
(“MainePERS”), which Bastille describes as
“quasi-governmental divisions of the State of
Maine.” Compl. ¶ 3. The MTA has statutory
authority “to operate and maintain the turnpike from a
point at or near Kittery in York County to a point at or near
Augusta in Kennebec County.” 23 M.R.S.A. § 1963.
MainePERS is a retirement system established “for the
purpose of providing retirement allowances and other
benefits” for state employees. 5 M.R.S.A. §
started working for the MTA in 2004. Ex. A at 4. In 2011, she
began to face challenging medical issues. In order to attend
to personal medical care, Bastille requested leave pursuant
to the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
Compl. ¶ 6; Ex. A at 5. The MTA granted her request and
Bastille began FMLA leave sometime in March of 2011. Ex. A at
5. On March 11, 2011, Bastille’s doctor informed the
MTA that she needed surgery and would not be able to return
to work for an undetermined amount of time. Ex. A at 5. At
this point, according to the MTA, Bastille had exhausted all
of her paid leave, and thus March 11, 2011 was the last day
she received payment for her work. Ex. A at 7 n.1. Bastille
alleges that the MTA was wrong on this point, as she
“still had time on the books” as of March 11,
2011. Compl. ¶ 9. After she extended her unpaid leave,
the MTA ultimately formally terminated Bastille on December
27, 2011. Ex. B to MainePERS’s Mot. to Dismiss 2
(“Ex. B”) (ECF No. 5). On January 5, 2012, the
MTA paid Bastille $2.36 for 0.13 hours of unused vacation
time. Ex. B at 3; Ex. 9 to Pl.’s Answer to Def.
MTA’s Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 12-1).
of 2011, Bastille applied to MainePERS for disability
retirement benefits. Ex. A at 1. Under Maine law, covered
employees “qualif[y] for a disability retirement
benefit if disabled while in service.” 5 M.R.S.A.
§ 17924(1). A “disabled” employee is one who
“is mentally or physically incapacitated” where
the incapacity is expected to be permanent, it is impossible
for the employee to perform his or her job duties, the
incapacity continues for two years and renders the employee
“unable to engage in any substantially gainful activity
for which the member is qualified by training, education or
experience, ” and the incapacity “may be
revealed” by statutorily-permitted medical exams or
tests. Id. at § 17921(1). “Service”
is defined as “service as an employee for which
compensation was paid.” Id. at §
December of 2011, MainePERS denied Bastille’s
application for disability retirement benefits. Ex. A at 1.
Bastille appealed, and in January of 2014 the MainePERS Board
of Trustees (the “Board”) upheld the denial of
benefits in a twelve-page written decision. Ex. A at x, 12.
In its decision, the Board acknowledged that Bastille does
indeed face challenging medical conditions, but it concluded
she was not disabled at the time of her last date in service
with the MTA, which was March 11, 2011. Ex. A at 10-11. On
March 17, 2014, Bastille filed a petition for reconsideration
with the Board, noting that since their decision, she had
located her 2012 W-2 tax form, which showed that she was paid
for unused vacation time in January of 2012. Ex. 14 to
Pl.’s Answer to Def. MTA’s Mot. to Dismiss
(“Ex. 14”) (ECF No. 12-1). The wages reflected on
that tax form, she posited, meant that she had remained
“in service” with the MTA beyond March 11, 2011.
days later, on March 19, 2014, Bastille filed a Rule 80C
Petition for Review of Final Agency Action in York County
Superior Court, arguing as grounds for relief that MainePERS
“defined the term ‘in service’ under Title
5, MRSA § 17924 in such a way that the Plaintiff could
not qualify for benefits.” Ex. B at 1. On June 30,
2015, the Superior Court denied the petition for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Ex. C to MainePERS’s Mot.
to Dismiss 2 (“Ex. C”) (ECF No. 5). MainePERS
contends, and Bastille does not challenge, that the Superior
Court based its dismissal on Bastille’s failure to file
her Rule 80C petition within the applicable 30-day statute of
limitations. MainePERS Mot. to Dismiss 3 (ECF No. 5); see
also 5 M.R.S.A. § 11002(3). Bastille appealed the
Superior Court’s dismissal of her Rule 80C petition to
the Law Court. Ex. C at 2. That appeal was recently denied.
Bastille v. MainePERS, 2016 Me. 124, __A.3d__.
months after filing her notice of appeal with the Law Court,
Bastille filed the instant federal action. In her Complaint,
she alleges five counts: (1) interference with FMLA leave;
(2) retaliation for taking FMLA leave; (3) failure to
maintain and supply records as required by the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”); (4) breach of contract;
and (5) unjust enrichment.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a complaint
may be dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” In order to state a
claim, a plaintiff must satisfy Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)’s limited notice pleading standard,
which requires “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
While a complaint need not set forth “detailed factual
allegations, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007), “it must nonetheless
‘contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.’ ” SEC v. Tambone, 597 F.3d 436,
442 (1st Cir. 2010) (en banc) (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). Applying this standard
requires two steps: first, “ ‘isolate and ignore
statements in the complaint that simply offer legal labels
and conclusions or merely rehash cause-of-action elements[,
]’ ” and second, “take the facts in the
complaint as true, ‘drawing all reasonable inferences
in [plaintiff’s] favor, and see if they plausibly
narrate a claim for relief.’ ” Carrero-Ojeda
v. Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica, 755
F.3d 711, 717 (1st Cir. 2014) (alteration in original)
(quoting Schatz v. Republican State Leadership
Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st Cir. 2012)).
12(b)(6) motion, a court is normally limited to “
‘facts and documents that are part of or incorporated
into the complaint; if matters outside the pleadings are
considered, the motion must be decided under the more
stringent standards applicable to a Rule 56 motion for
summary judgment.’ ” Rivera v. Centro
Médico de Turabo, Inc., 575 F.3d 10, 15 (1st Cir.
2009) (quoting Trans-Spec Truck Serv., Inc. v.
Caterpillar, Inc., 524 F.3d 315, 321 (1st Cir. 2008)).
However, it is also well-established that a court “
‘may properly consider the relevant entirety of a
document integral to or explicitly relied upon in the
complaint, even though not attached to the complaint, without
converting the motion into one for summary judgment.’
” Clorox Co. P.R. v. Proctor & Gamble
Commercial Co., 228 F.3d 24, 32 (1st Cir. 2000) (quoting
Shaw v. Digital Equip. Corp., 82 F.3d 1194, 1220
(1st Cir. 1996)). Here, Bastille’s Complaint makes
specific references to her administrative proceedings with
MainePERS, proceedings that form the basis for her claims in
this action. Compl.
5, 7, 8. Moreover, where a motion to dismiss is based on the
defense of res judicata, a “court may take into account
the record in the original action.” Andrew Robinson