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Hooker v. Hooker

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

February 10, 2015

MICHAEL HOOKER, Plaintiff,
v.
MAL HOOKER, et al., Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT ADRIANNA HARRISON'S MOTION TO DISMISS AMENDED COMPLAINT; DENYING DEFENDANT MAL HOOKER'S MOTION TO DISMISS; AND DISMISSING DEFENDANTS MICHAEL PERIE AND CLAUDETTE ELDRIDGE

JOHN T. FOWLKES, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court comes Defendant Adrianna Harrison's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed on July 23, 2014. (ECF No. 90). Defendant Harrison's Funeral Home joined in Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on September 23, 2014, (ECF No. 101), and Defendant Mal Hooker filed a Motion to Join on September 25, 2014, (ECF No. 102).[1] Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on September 29, 2014. (ECF No. 103). Further, Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendant Mal Hooker's Motion to Dismiss on October 17, 2014. (ECF No. 104).

On September 20, 2013, this Court referred all pretrial matters within the Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) for determination; and all other pretrial matters for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B-C). (ECF No. 50). On January 23, 2015, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report and Recommendation that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be granted in part and denied in part and Defendant Mal Hooker's Motion to Dismiss be denied. (ECF No. 107). Further, the Magistrate Judge recommends that all claims against Defendants Michael Perie and Claudette Eldridge be dismissed sua sponte for failure to prosecute under Rule 41(b). To this date, neither party has filed objections with the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation.

For the following reasons, the Court finds the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation be ADOPTED; Defendant's Motion to Dismiss GRANTED in PART and DENIED in PART; and Defendant Mal Hooker's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED. Further, all claims against Defendants Michael Perie and Claudette Eldridge are DISMISSED without prejudice.

I. FACTUAL HISTORY

The parties have filed no objections to the Magistrate Judge's proposed facts. Therefore, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings of fact as the factual history. (ECF No. 107 at 1-5).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Review of a Magistrate Judge's Determination

The district court has the authority to "designate a magistrate judge to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the court, of any motion." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). "The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

The district court has appellate jurisdiction over any decisions the magistrate judge issues pursuant to such a referral. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. The standard of review that is applied by the district court depends on the nature of the matter considered by the magistrate judge. See Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3) ("The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to."); Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003) ("A district court normally applies a clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for nondispositive preliminary measures. A district court must review dispositive motions under the de novo standard." (internal citations omitted)).

B. Rule 12(b)(6)

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) provides for a dismissal of a complaint that "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). This allows the "defendant to test whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief even if everything alleged in the complaint is true." Mayer v. Mylod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993) (emphasis added) (citing Nishiyama v. Dickson Cnty., 814 F.2d 277, 279 (6th Cir. 1987)).

When evaluating a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. 12(b)(6), the Court must determine whether the complaint alleges "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above [a] speculative level." Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007) (first alteration in original) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). A claim is plausible on its face if "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Although the complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's "[]bare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555) ("[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all ...


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