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Faris v. Long

March 4, 2008

WILLA FARIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GARY LONG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD; METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY; JILL KIRSTEN FARIS; JOY SVEA JOHNSON; JONI TRINETTE FARIS; AND CHRISTI FARIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leon Jordan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This civil action is before the court on the motion for judgment on the pleadings and motion to dismiss [doc. 21] filed by defendants Jill Kirsten Faris, Joy Svea Johnson, and Joni Trinette Faris (collectively, "the Daughters"). Plaintiff has filed a response in opposition to the motion [doc. 32], and the Daughters have submitted a reply [doc. 36].

Also before the court is the motion to dismiss [doc. 17] filed by defendant "Gary Long, Executive Director, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board" ("Long").*fn1 Plaintiff has filed a response [doc. 31], to which Long has submitted a reply [doc. 34].

Lastly, before the court is plaintiff's "Motion for Leave to Amend First Amended Complaint" [doc. 30]. Long is the only defendant to have responded to that motion [doc. 33].

For the reasons that follow, the Daughters's motion for judgment on the pleadings and motion to dismiss will be granted, as will Long's motion to dismiss. Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend will be denied.

I. Applicable Legal Standards

A. Rule 12

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorize dismissal for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). "A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests whether a cognizable claim has been pleaded in the complaint." Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 436 (6th Cir. 1988). Motions for judgment on the pleadings are authorized by Rule 12(c). Courts employ the same standard to Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 12(c) motions. See Penny/Ohlmann/Nieman, Inc. v. Miami Valley Pension Corp., 399 F.3d 692, 697 (6th Cir. 2005) (citing Ziegler v. IBP Hog Market, Inc., 249 F.3d 509, 511-12 (6th Cir. 2001)).

If "matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court," a motion under Rule 12 (b)(6) or 12(c) is generally converted to one for summary judgment under Rule 56. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d).*fn2 Pursuant to Rule 56(c), summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The movant may discharge its burden by demonstrating that the non-moving party has failed to establish an essential element of that party's case for which it bears the ultimate burden of proof. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

After the moving party has made its initial showing, the burden shifts to the non-movant to present specific facts demonstrating a genuine issue for trial. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). In order to defeat a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must present significantly probative evidence in support of its complaint. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986). The non-movant's evidence is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in that party's favor. See id. at 255. The court determines whether the evidence requires submission to a jury or whether one party must prevail as a matter of law. See id. at 251-52.

B. Rule 15

After being served with a responsive pleading, a plaintiff may amend her complaint only with the court's permission or by written consent of the opposing party. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Leave of court should be freely given "when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Despite this lenient standard, however, leave to amend should not be granted in instances where the proposed amendment would be futile. See Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

II. Factual Background*fn3

Plaintiff married Jerry L. Faris ("Faris") in 1995. The Daughters are Faris's adult children from a previous marriage. Defendant Christi Faris is ...


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