Tolbert v. Stevenson et al
ORDER as to 52 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim . (Responses due by 5/7/2012). Signed by Senior Judge Graham Mullen on 4/5/2012. (Pro se litigant served by US Mail.) (tmg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
ERIC LAMAR TOLBERT,
(FNU) STEVENSON, et al.,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on Respondent’s Motion To Dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. No. 52). In accordance with
Roseboro v.Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the Court advises Petitioner, who is
proceeding pro se, of his obligation to respond to Respondent’s Motion.
When a motion to dismiss is filed simultaneously with an answer, the motion should be
construed as one for a judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Walker v. Kelly, 589 F.3d 127, 139 (4th Cir. 2009).1 A motion for a judgment on the
pleadings is decided using the same standard as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Id. at 139. In responding to a
motion for judgment on the pleadings, Petitioner must show that his allegations are sufficient to
support a cause of action which is recognized by law. Petitioner’s “[f]actual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombley, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In considering Petitioner’s Complaint, the court “‘need not accept [his]
Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “after the pleadings are
closed–but early enough not to delay trial–a party move for a judgment on the pleadings.”
legal conclusions drawn from the facts,’ nor need it “‘accept as true unwarranted inferences,
unreasonable conclusions, or arguments.’” Philips v. Pitt County Memorial Hospital, 572 F.3d
176, 179-80 (4th Cir.2009) (quoting Kloth v. Microsoft Corp., 444 F.3d 312, 319 (4th Cir. 2006).
Petitioner is further advised that the Court may take judicial notice of matters of public
record, and may consider documents attached to his Complaint as well as those attached
to the de facto motion for judgment on the pleadings, so long as those documents “are integral to
the complaint and authentic.” Philips, supra, at 180 (citing Blankenship v. Manchin. 471 F.3d
523, 526 n.1 (4th Cir. 2006). Petitioner is advised, however, that if he chooses to file documents,
affidavits, or declarations in opposition to Respondent’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,
such action may result in the conversion of the motion for judgment on the pleadings to a motion
for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(d).
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Petitioner shall have thirty (30) days from the
entry of this Order to file his response to the motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. No.
Petitioner’s failure to respond may result in granting a judgment on the pleadings for
Respondent, that is, in the dismissal of the Motion to Vacate with prejudice.
The Clerk of Court is directed to send copies of this Order and Notice to the parties.
Signed: April 5, 2012
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