United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
RECLASSIFY, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND
COMPLAINT, AND DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE WITNESS LIST IN ORDER TO NAME
F. Cox United States District Judge.
pro se action against the University of Michigan is
currently before the Court on three motions filed by
Plaintiff. The Court concludes that oral argument is not
necessary as to any of these motions and shall rule based
upon the written submissions. For the reasons set forth
below: 1) Plaintiff's motion to “re-classify the
nature of the action” shall be denied as moot because
the Nature of Suit Codes used on the civil cover sheet are
for statistical purposes and do not impact a plaintiff's
claims; 2) Plaintiff's motion to amend in order to add a
First Amendment retaliation claim against the University
shall be denied as futile because the University has
sovereign immunity as to that claim; and 3) Plaintiff's
motion for an extension of time to name an expert witness
shall be denied as moot, given that Plaintiff has since filed
an amended witness list naming expert witnesses.
pro se, Plaintiff Yusong Gong (“Gong”)
filed this action against Defendant University of Michigan
and three of its employees, Richard Simon, Michelle
Henderson, and Timothy Lynch. Gong's original complaint
included the following claims: “Count 1 - Retaliation -
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ”
“Count II - Title I of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, ” and “Count III - Title I of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (Pattern or Practice Claim).”
Opinion & Order issued on February 13, 2018, this Court
granted in part and denied in part a Motion to Dismiss filed
by Defendants. (D.E. No. 41). This Court granted the motion
to the extent that it: 1) ruled any ADA claims for monetary
damages in this action are barred by Eleventh Amendment
immunity; 2) dismissed with prejudice Gong's claims
against Simon, Henderson, and Lynch because an individual
employee/supervisor, who does not otherwise qualify as an
“employer” under the statute, may not be
personally liable under Title VII or the ADA. Accordingly,
the only Defendant remaining in this action is the University
and the only claims against it are: 1) an ADA claim, but only
to the extent that Plaintiff seeks reinstatement of her
employment at the University; and 2) a retaliation claim
under Title VII.
March 15, 2018, the Court issued the Scheduling Order in this
matter that provides that discovery is to be completed by
July 20, 2018, and motions shall be filed by August 20, 2018.
has filed several pro se motions that are now
pending before the Court. First, Gong has filed a
“Motion to Seek Re-Classification for the Nature of
Suit.” (D.E. No. 36). The University of Michigan filed
a response to that motion stating that it “takes no
position on this motion.” (D.E. No. 54). Second, on May
17, 2018, Gong filed a motion seeking leave to amend her
complaint, which she filed twice on that same day. (D.E. Nos.
48 & 49). Third, Gong has filed a motion seeking an
extension of time to identify her expert witnesses. (D.E No.
51). The University takes no position as to the first motion,
but opposes the other motions.
29, 2018, Gong filed a 22-page reply brief, with additional
attachments totaling 100 pages. Even pro se
Plaintiffs, however, are required to follow the rules,
including page limitations. In an order issued on July 2,
2018, this Court therefore struck that oversize brief and
ordered that Gong could file a reply brief that comports with
the applicable page limitations by July 13, 2018. Gong has
since filed a seven-page rely brief.
6, 2018, Gong filed a second witness list. In it, she lists
two “scientific expert” witnesses and four
“Medical expert” witnesses.
Gong's Motion To Reclassify Case Shall Be Denied As Moot
Because The Nature Of Suit Code Used In Setting Up The Docket
For This Case Has No. Impact On Her Claims, As It Is Used For
Gong has filed a “Motion to Seek Re-Classification for
the Nature of Suit” (D.E. No. 36), wherein she states
that she questioned someone at the Clerk's office why
this action is classified as “other statutory
actions” and states that she was told “they
classified her case as ‘Other Statutory Actions' as
general because of missing form this case.”
(Id. at 2). Gong states that she “does not
know anything about ‘Other Statutory
Actions'” and that she “strongly believes
that she has filed a civil right suit.” (Id.).
University of Michigan filed a response to that motion
stating that it “takes no position on this
motion.” (D.E. No. 54).
Rule 1.3 of the Local Rules for the Eastern District of
Michigan provides that a civil case cover sheet is to be
filed or completed when a new civil case is filed. The rule
provides that the person filing the action typically
completes that form, but that the ...