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Grose v. Mnuchin

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

May 21, 2018

ANTHONY T. GROSE, SR., Plaintiff,
STEVEN T. MNUCHIN, Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury, Defendant.



         Under Western District of Tennessee Administrative Order 2013-05, the Magistrate Court considered Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment and issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”). (ECF No. 74 at PageID 2827.) The R&R recommends “that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment be GRANTED.” (Id.) Plaintiff Anthony T. Grose, Sr. (“Plaintiff or “Mr. Grose”) timely objected to the R&R, (ECF No. 78), and Defendant Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury (“Defendant, ” or “Secretary of Treasury”)[1] responded to the objections. (ECF No. 79.)

         For the following reasons, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED. Accordingly, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and Plaintiffs claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.


         The following standards of review apply in this matter.

         I. De novo Review of the R&R

         When reviewing a Report and Recommendation from the Magistrate Court,

[a] judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.

28 U.S.C. § 636(b); accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). After conducting a de novo review, a district court is not required to articulate all of the reasons it rejects a party's objections. Tuggle v. Seabold, 806 F.2d 87, 92 (6th Cir. 1986).

         II. The Standard for a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Although this standard does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” it requires more than “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 681 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         A motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint's allegations by arguing that the allegations establish no claim for which relief can be granted. A court considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” DIRECTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). A court need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences. Hananiya v. City of Memphis, 252 F.Supp.2d 607, 610 (W.D. Tenn. 2003) (citing Lewis v. ACB Business Servs., Inc., 135 F.3d 389, 405 (6th Cir. 1998)).

         To survive a Motion to Dismiss, the complaint has to assert more than labels, conclusions, and formulaic recitations of the claim's elements. Sensations, Inc. v. City of Grand Rapids, 526 F.3d 291, 295 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “‘[A] complaint must contain 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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Conclusory statements are not assumed to be true. Id. at 678-79.

         III. The Summary Judgment Standard

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Chapman v. UAW Local 1005, 670 F.3d 677, 680 (6th Cir. 2012). “A fact is material for purposes of summary judgment if proof of that fact would establish or refute an essential element of the cause of action or defense.” Bruederle v. Louisville Metro Gov't, 687 F.3d 771, 776 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). “A dispute over material facts is ‘genuine' ‘if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Id. (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). “When the non-moving party fails to make a sufficient showing of an essential element of his case on which he bears the burden of proof, the moving parties are entitled to judgment as a matter of law and summary judgment is proper.” Chapman, 670 F.3d at 680 (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)); accord Kalich v. AT & T Mobility, LLC, 679 F.3d 464, 469 (6th Cir. 2012).

         “The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of any genuine issue of material fact.” Mosholder v. Barnhardt,679 F.3d 443, 448 (6th Cir. 2012) (citing Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323). “Once the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to set forth specific facts showing a triable issue of material ...

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