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Brady v. State

November 19, 2007

THOMAS E. BRADY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harry S. Mattice, Jr. United States District Judge

Judge Mattice

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant State of Tennessee's Motion to Dismiss [Court Doc. No. 9] pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) (lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 12(b)(6) (failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted). Also before the Court is Plaintiff Thomas E. Brady's Objection [Court Doc. No. 17] to the Court's Order [Court Doc. No. 12] dismissing Plaintiffs Total Orthotic & Prosthetic Systems, Inc. and Myles Standish Brady.

I. DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

A. Standards

1. Rule 12(b)(1)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) provides for the dismissal of a complaint over which the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. "Where subject matter jurisdiction is challenged pursuant to 12(b)(1), the plaintiff has the burden of proving jurisdiction in order to survive the motion." Michigan S. R.R. Co. v. Branch & St. Joseph Counties Rail Users Assn., 287 F.3d 568, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). Challenges to subject matter jurisdiction may be either facial or factual. United States v. Ritchie, 15 F.3d 592, 598 (6th Cir. 1994); Ohio Nat'l Life Ins. Co. v. United States, 922 F.2d 320, 325 (6th Cir. 1990). A facial challenge is a challenge to the sufficiency of the pleading. Ritchie, 15 F.3d at 598; Ohio Nat'l, 922 F.2d at 325. When reviewing a facial challenge, the Court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Ritchie, 15 F.3d at 598; Ohio Nat'l, 922 F.2d at 325. In contrast, a factual challenge is "not a challenge to the sufficiency of the pleading's allegations, but a challenge to the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction." Ritchie, 15 F.3d at 598. When reviewing a factual challenge, no presumption of truthfulness applies to the factual allegations of the complaint, and the Court must weigh the conflicting evidence to determine whether subject matter jurisdiction exists. Id.; Ohio Nat'l, 922 F.2d at 325. The Court has "wide discretion to allow affidavits, documents and even a limited evidentiary hearing to resolve disputed jurisdictional facts." Ohio Nat'l, 922 F.2d at 325.

2. Rule 12(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) is to permit a defendant to test whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to relief even if everything alleged in the complaint is true. Mayer v. Mylod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993). To survive a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), plaintiff's "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true." Assoc. of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007)). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. The Court must determine not whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence to support his claims. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). In making this determination, the Court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff and accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations. Mixon v. Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 400 (6th Cir. 1999). The Court need not accept as true mere legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. Id.

B. Analysis

A court's subject matter jurisdiction is "the courts' statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate the case." Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998). By statute, federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over only two types of cases: (1) those that "arise under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States," 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and (2) those that involve parties that are "diverse" (i.e. citizens of different states) and in which the amount in controversy is greater than $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Unless the allegations of a complaint demonstrate that a case falls into one of these two categories, a court must dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that a pleading shall contain:

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a ...


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