BEAUTY PLUS TRADING, CO., INC. v. ADAMO
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jose L. Linares on 2/13/2018. (JB, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
BEAUTY PLUS TRADING, CO., INC,
Civil Action No.: 17-7469 (JLL)
LINARES, Chief District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court by way of Defendant Eunhee Adamo’s Motion to
Dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 2$ U.S.C.
1367(c)(3). (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff Beauty Plus Trading, Co., Inc., filed an opposition, (ECF No.
8), and Defendant submitted a reply, (ECF No. 10). The Court decides this matter without oral
argument pursuant to Rule 7$ of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. F or the reasons set forth
below, the Court grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff commenced this action on September 26. 2017.
(ECF No. I (“Compl.”)).
Plaintiff seeks to compel Defendant to “turn over the confidential and proprietary infonnation
that the Plaintiff had in her possession which she intentionally misappropriated.” (Compl.
Plaintiff employed Defendant as a sales manager, who was primarily in charge of one of
Plaintiffs overseas accounts in London known as “Beauty Queen.”
This background is derived from Plaintiffs Complaint, which the Court must accept as true at this stage of the
proceedings. See Aiston v. Countrywide fin. Coip.. 585 F.3d 753. 758 (3d Cir. 2009).
August 22, 2017, Plaintiffs credit manager requested that Defendant provide him with
documents related to the Beauty Queen account, including commercial invoices, packing lists,
bills of lading, and shipping instructions.
Defendant refused to produce the
requested documents, and two days later, Plaintiffs credit manager again requested that
Defendant produce the same documents.
That same day, Defendant
produced three files from her desk that contained “only a handful of documents that were
woefully deficient and incomplete for the past three
years of Defendant’s handling of the
Beauty Queen account.” (Compi. ¶j 11—12).
Plaintiff decided that Defendant had failed to keep sufficient records of her work on the
Beauty Queen account and changed the password on Defendant’s company email account in
order to deny her further access to her email.
In response, Defendant let
Plaintiffs human resources manager know that she quit and would not be coming to work the
following Monday. (Compi.
14). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant resigned “willfully, with
actual malice and with full knowledge and purposeful intention of causing injury to Plaintiff.”
After resigning, Defendant sent an email to her colleagues informing them that
she deleted all of the company documents she kept on her “personal device.” (Compl.
This came after repeated warnings from her supervisors to cease using her personal device to
conduct business. (Compl.
Plaintiffs Complaint sets forth six counts: Count I alleges that Defendant violated the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 1$ U.S.C.
1030; Count II alleges that Defendant
violated the New Jersey Computer Related Offenses Act; Count III alleges that Defendant
materially breached her implied contract with Plaintiff; Count IV alleges that Defendant
breached her fiduciary duty to Plaintiff; Count V alleges that Defendant breached the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and Count VI seeks a permanent injunction enjoining
Defendant from “misappropriating the proprietary and confidential information which belongs to
Defendant seeks to dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint for failure to state a claim, under
federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). To withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim, 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 Bell
AtL Corp. v. Tiiombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. (citing Twomblv, 550 U.S. at 556). “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twoniblv, 550 U.S. at 556).
To detennine the sufficiency of a complaint under Twomb/v and Iqbal in the Third
Circuit, the Court must take three steps. “first, it must ‘tak[e] note of the elements [the] plaintiff
must plead to state a claim.’ Second, it should identify allegations that, ‘because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.’ Finally, ‘[w]hen there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, [the] court should assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief” Connellv v. Lane Constr. Corp., $09
F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679) (citations omitted).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must consider only the complaint, exhibits attached to
the complaint, matters of public record, as well as undisputedly authentic documents if the
complainant’s claims are based upon these documents.” Mayer v. Belichick, 605 F.3d 223, 230
(3d Cir. 2010).
§ 1030(a) sets out seven specific violations of the CFAA.
1030(a)(l)—(7). Plaintiff does not specify which of these seven causes of action it is bringing its
claim under. but it does allege that “Defendant knowingly stored the Beauty Queen Documents
in her personal device with intent to misappropriate the confidential and proprietary information
either to gain financial benefits for herself and/or cause substantial harm to the Plaintiff.”
Plaintiff fails to plead the necessary elements of a CFAA claim. District courts in the
Third Circuit “have held, in the employer-employee context, that an employee who may access a
computer by the ternis of [her] employment is ‘authorized’ to use that computer for purposes of
[the CFAA] even if [her] purpose in doing so is to misuse or misappropriate the employer’s
information.” Robinson v. New Jersey, No. CIV. 11-6139, 2013 WL 3894129, at *4 (D.N.J. July
26, 2013) (quoting Integrated Waste So/s. v. Goverdhanarn, Civil Action No. 10-2 155, 2010 WL
4910176, at *8 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 30, 2010)); see also Bro-Tech Corp. v. Termax, Inc., 651 F. Supp.
2d 378, 407 (E.D. Pa. 2009). Here, Defendant was specifically authorized to access the Beauty
Queen documents. As Plaintiffs Complaint states, Defendant was the sales manager on the
Beauty Queen account. Plaintiff disputes the legitimacy of the actions Defendant took with
respect to the Beauty Queen documents, but Defendant’s conduct falls squarely within the
employer-employee context in which an employee has “authorized” access to her work
computer, even if it is for the purpose of misappropriating the employer’s information.
Moreover, Plaintiffs claims that Defendant intends to misappropriate her employer’s
proprietary information are, at this point, mere conjecture. The Complaint sets forth various
actual malice and with
23, 27) (stating that Defendant resigned “willfully, with
purposeful intention of causing injury to Plaintiff,” and that
“Defendant knowingly stored the Beauty Queen documents in her personal device with intent to
misappropriate the confidential and proprietary information either to gain financial benefits for
herself and/or cause substantial harm to the Plaintiff’). Plaintiffs Complaint pleads no facts that
indicate Defendant has either taken or misappropriated Plaintiffs proprietary information, that
Defendant even still possesses that information, or that Defendant’s actions have harmed
Plaintiff. In fact, the Complaint states that Defendant deleted the Beauty Queen documents from
her personal device, and summarily concludes that “Plaintiff was damaged in an amount to be
determined at trial.” (Compl.
25, 28). Such conclusory allegations “are not entitled to the
assumption of truth,” and may be disregarded. Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir.
2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). As such, Plaintiffs Complaint fails to state a CFAA
claim that is plausible on its face, and Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is granted as to Count I.
Plaintiffs remaining claims are grounded in state law.
Court has no diversity jurisdiction over these claims, as the parties are both citizens of New
Where a district court dismisses all claims over which it has original
in its discretion, decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the
remaining state law claims. 2$ U.S.C.
1367(c)(3); Elkadrmmy v. Vanguard Grp., Inc., 584 F.3d
169, 174 (3d Cir. 2009). Because this Court has dismissed Count I, over which it had original
jurisdiction, it declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Counts Il—VI. As a result, this
Court dismisses Counts II, III, IV, V, and VI for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
For the aforementioned reasons, the Court dismisses Count I with prejudice and Counts
II, III, IV, V, and VI without prejudice. An appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
DATED: Febniary3 2018
1iief Judge, United States District Court
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