PRICASPIAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION et al v. MARTUCCI et al
OPINION & ORDER Denying 492 Third MOTION to Amend/Correct Plaintiffs' complaint by All Plaintiffs.. Signed by Judge Stanley R. Chesler on 8/22/2017. (JB, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
CORPORATION et al.,
WILLIAM C. MARTUCCI et al.,
Civil Action No. 11-1459 (SRC)
OPINION & ORDER
This matter comes before this Court on Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file an amended
Complaint. For the reasons stated below, the motion will be denied.
Previous versions of the Complaint had asserted claims against Defendant Gary
Martucci. After this Court received notice that Gary Martucci had filed for bankruptcy, it
entered the Order of November 15, 2016, which stayed all claims against Gary Martucci.
Plaintiffs have now moved to amend the Complaint to reassert the claims against Gary Martucci,
and point to an order of the Bankruptcy Court, dated June 30, 2017, dismissing Gary Martucci’s
bankruptcy petition. After Plaintiffs filed this motion, Gary Martucci filed a letter which stated
that he is “totally confused” by the motion. (Docket Entry No. 497.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) states: “a party may amend its pleading only
with the opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave. The court should freely give leave
when justice so requires.” Under Third Circuit law:
Futility is also a sufficient ground to deny leave to amend. “Futility” means that
the complaint, as amended, would fail to state a claim upon which relief could be
In re Merck & Co. Sec., Derivative & ERISA Litig., 493 F.3d 393, 400 (3d Cir. 2007) (citations
omitted). Because the Court finds that the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint could not
withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, the
Court concludes that amendment is futile, and the motion for leave to amend will be denied.
This Court has, on several occasions, issued decisions that various versions of the
Complaint in this case have failed to plead sufficient facts to raise the right to relief above the
speculative level, as required by Iqbal. This remains true of the proposed Fifth Amended
Complaint. The Fifth Amended Complaint alleges, in brief, that, on unspecified occasions,
dismissed Defendants William Martucci, Barbara Queen, and Yamel Gonzalez transferred at
least $8 million to Gary Martucci. Plaintiffs’ brief states that this is the factual basis for their
claims against Gary Martucci. (Pls.’ Br. 6.) The proposed Fifth Amended Complaint asserts
these claims against Gary Martucci: 1) tortious interference with economic interest; 2)
conspiracy to conceal assets to avoid recovery of a judgment; 3) fraudulent conveyance; 4)
fraudulent conveyance; 5) unjust enrichment; 6) RICO violation; and 7) RICO violation.
The proposed Fifth Amended Complaint does not meet the pleading standard established
by the Supreme Court in Twombly: a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss should be granted only if
the plaintiff is unable to articulate “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a)(2) requires only ‘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.’” Twombly, 127 S. Ct. at 1964 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47,
78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957)). “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the
‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 1964-65 (internal
citations omitted); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the
complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at 1965 (internal citations omitted). Factual
allegations must be well-pleaded to give rise to an entitlement to relief:
[A] court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying
pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the
assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009).
The factual allegations in the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint do not plausibly give
rise to an entitlement to relief. This Court finds that the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint
could not withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a valid claim for relief, and that
amendment is futile. The motion for leave to amend will be denied.
For these reasons,
IT IS on this 22nd day of August, 2017
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend the Complaint (Docket Entry No.
492) is DENIED.
/s Stanley R. Chesler
STANLEY R. CHESLER
United States District Judge
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