Wallace v. Dean Wilson Farm, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER, ADOPTING 26 Report and Recommendation; OVERRULING 28 objections; and DENYING 12 Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint. Signed by District Judge Terry F. Moorer on 11/17/2021. (mab)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
DEAN WILSON FARM, LLC, and
CIV. ACT. NO. 2:21-cv-213-TFM-C
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On October 26, 2021, the Magistrate Judge entered a Report and Recommendation which
recommends Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint (Doc. 12) be denied. See Doc.
26. Defendants timely filed objections to which Plaintiff timely replied. See Docs. 28, 29. As
such, the matter is ripe for review.
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes a motion to dismiss an
action on the ground that the allegations in the complaint fail to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. On such a motion, the “issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but
whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.” Little v. City of N. Miami,
805 F.2d 962, 965 (11th Cir. 1986) (per curiam) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236
(1974)). “When considering a motion to dismiss, all facts set forth in the plaintiff’s complaint ‘are
to be accepted as true and the court limits its consideration to the pleadings and exhibits attached
thereto.’” Grossman v. Nationsbank, N.A., 225 F.3d 1228, 1231 (11th Cir. 2000) (per curiam)
(quoting GSW, Inc. v. Long Cnty., 999 F.2d 1508, 1510 (11th Cir. 1993)). The court must draw
“all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor.” St. George v. Pinellas Cnty., 285 F.3d 1334,
1337 (11th Cir. 2002).
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However, the court is not required to accept a plaintiff’s legal conclusions. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950, 173 L. Ed 868 (2009). The U.S. Supreme Court
has suggested that courts adopt a “two-pronged approach” when considering motions to dismiss:
“1) eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely legal conclusions; and 2) where there
are well-pleaded factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.’” Am. Dental Ass’n v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283,
1290 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 129 S. Ct. at 1950). Importantly, “courts
may infer from the factual allegations in the complaint ‘obvious alternative explanation[s],’ which
suggest lawful conduct rather than the unlawful conduct the plaintiff would ask the court to infer.”
Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 682, 129 S. Ct. at 1951-52).
Rule 12(b)(6) is read in consideration of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), which
requires “‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,’ in
order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.’” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929
(2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957)). Although
Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it does demand “more than an unadorned, thedefendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. To
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state on its face a plausible claim for relief, and “[a]
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Unless the
plaintiffs have “nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, their complaint
must be dismissed.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S. Ct. at 1974. “The plausibility standard is
not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
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has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S at 678, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S at
556, 127 S. Ct. at 1965).
Having reviewed the objections, the undersigned finds that they do not offset the wellreasoned analysis of the Magistrate Judge. The Court notes that the cases relied upon by the
Defendants in their objections were all analyzed under the auspices of a motion for summary
judgment, or in one case, a bench trial. The posture of this case is at the point of a motion to
dismiss brought under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). See Doc. 12 at 4. The Court’s review is narrowly
confined to the amended complaint while a summary judgment presents a far broader review.
Thus, applying the appropriate standard of review, Defendants’ objections are OVERRULED.
After due and proper consideration of the issues raised, and a de novo determination of
those portions of the recommendation to which objection is made, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge (Doc. 26) is ADOPTED as the opinion of this Court. Accordingly, Defendants’
Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint (Doc. 12) is DENIED.
DONE and ORDERED this 17th day of November, 2021.
/s/Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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