United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
ROBERT D. SHIELS, CAROL M. SHIELS, ANDREW M. SHIELS, and SARAH M. SHIELS, Plaintiffs,
ORANGE LAKE COUNTRY CLUB, INC., Defendant.
BRUCE GUYTON MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. McDONOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. 7). For
the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion will be
about March 10, 2015, Plaintiffs purchased a timeshare
program from Defendant pursuant to a written contract. (Doc.
1-1, at 3.) The instant case arises out of the
“solicitation, negotiation, sale, administration[, ]
and financing” of that timeshare program.
(Id.) Specifically, Plaintiffs allege, inter
alia, that they were “the unfortunate target[s] of
a well-orchestrated scheme designed to induce them to enter
into an ill-fated contract, and to invest in a seemingly
never-ending obligation of high interest loan payments,
assessments and/or maintenance fees, and in return for which
they received nothing more than a deed to an essentially
worthless timeshare estate.” (Id. at 6.)
March 11, 2019, Plaintiffs initiated this action in the
Circuit Court for Sevier County, Tennessee. (Doc. 1-1.) On
May 14, 2019, Defendant removed the action to this Court.
(Doc. 1.) Plaintiffs assert claims against Defendant for: (1)
“intentional misrepresentation (fraud)/promissory
misrepresentation”; (2) violation of the Tennessee
Time-Share Act of 1981, Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-32-101
et seq.; (3) breach of contract; and (4) unjust
enrichment. (Doc. 1-1, at 8-11.) Plaintiffs also seek
rescission of the timeshare sale and any contract between the
parties and return of any funds paid by Plaintiffs.
(Id. at 13.) On June 20, 2019, Defendant filed a
motion to dismiss (Doc. 7), and this motion is now ripe for
the Court's review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
plaintiff's complaint must contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Though the
statement need not contain detailed factual allegations, it
must contain “factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Rule 8 “demands
more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
defendant may obtain dismissal of a claim that fails to
satisfy Rule 8 by filing a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
This includes claims that are barred by the applicable
statute of limitations. Watson v. Rentenbach
Eng'g, No. 3:09-CV-150, 2009 WL 3784960, at *2 (E.D.
Tenn. Nov. 10, 2009). On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court
considers not whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail,
but whether the facts permit the court to infer “more
than the mere possibility of misconduct.” Id.
at 679. For purposes of this determination, the Court
construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff and assumes the veracity of all well-pleaded
factual allegations in the complaint. Thurman v.
Pfizer, Inc., 484 F.3d 855, 859 (6th Cir.
2007). This assumption of veracity, however, does not extend
to bare assertions of legal conclusions, Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679, nor is the Court “bound to accept as true
a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986).
sorting the factual allegations from the legal conclusions,
the Court next considers whether the factual allegations, if
true, would support a claim entitling the plaintiff to
relief. Thurman, 484 F.3d at 859. This factual
matter must “state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Plausibility “is not akin to
a ‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here the
well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. at
679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
statute of limitations is an affirmative defense,
see Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(c)(1), and a plaintiff is not
required to plead the absence of affirmative defenses to
state a valid claim. Cataldo v. U.S. Steel Corp.,
676 F.3d 542, 547 (6th Cir. 2012) (citing Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007)). However, if the
allegations of the complaint affirmatively show that the
claim is time-barred, dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is
filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims against it,
arguing that the claims are time-barred. (Doc. 7.) In
determining whether the statute of limitations bars a
particular claim, “a court must identify the gravamen
of each claim alleged to determine the applicable statute of
limitations.” Benz-Elliott v. Barrett Enterprises,
LP, 456 S.W.3d 140, 141 (Tenn. 2015). Counts I and II of
Plaintiffs' complaint generally allege that Plaintiffs
were induced to enter into a contract with ...