Phillipps v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 8 MOTION to Dismiss and Brief in Support filed by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.. Defendants Motion to Dismiss is hereby GRANTED and Plaintiffs claims against Defendant are DISMISSED with prejudice. All motions not previously granted are hereby DENIED. Signed by Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III on 9/8/16. (cm, )
United States District Court
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
TYSON PHILLIPPS, AS TRUSTEE
FOR 1401 TRAIL VIEW TRUST
JENNY L. SANCHEZ
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
CASE NO. 4:16-CV-420
Pending before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #8). The Court, having
considered the relevant pleadings, finds that Defendant’s motion should be granted.
Plaintiff commenced this lawsuit against Defendant in state court. After Defendant removed
this case, the Court entered its Order and Advisory, giving Plaintiff an opportunity to file an
amended complaint. Plaintiff did not file filed an amended complaint. On August 11, 2016,
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss (Dkt. #8). No response was filed. However, in the Rule 26(f)
report, it was noted that Plaintiff is not opposed to the motion to dismiss.
Defendant moves for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
which authorizes certain defenses to be presented via pretrial motions. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss argues that, irrespective of jurisdiction, the complaint fails to assert facts that give rise to
legal liability of the defendant. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that each claim in a
complaint include “a short and plain statement . . . showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). The claims must include enough factual allegations “to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, “[t]o
survive a motion to dismiss, 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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
Rule 12(b)(6) provides that a party may move for dismissal of an action for failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted. FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). The Court must accept as true
all well-pleaded facts contained in the plaintiff’s complaint and view them in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff. Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “The
Supreme Court recently expounded upon the Twombly standard, explaining that ‘[t]o survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Gonzalez, 577 F.3d at 603 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678). “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. “It
follows, that ‘where 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 ‘shown’ - ‘that the pleader is
entitled to relief.’” Id.
In Iqbal, the Supreme Court established a two-step approach for assessing the sufficiency of
a complaint in the context of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. First, the Court should identify and disregard
conclusory allegations for they are “not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 664.
Second, the Court “consider[s] the factual allegations in [the complaint] to determine if they
plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. “This standard ‘simply calls for enough facts to raise
a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of’ the necessary claims or elements.”
Morgan v. Hubert, 335 F. App’x 466, 470 (5th Cir. 2009). This evaluation will “be a contextspecific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
In determining whether to grant a motion to dismiss, a district court may generally not “go
outside the pleadings.” Scanlan v. Tex. A&M Univ., 343 F.3d 533, 536 (5th Cir. 2003). When ruling
on a motion to dismiss a pro se complaint, however, a district court is “required to look beyond the
[plaintiff’s] formal complaint and to consider as amendments to the complaint those materials
subsequently filed.” Howard v. King, 707 F.2d 215, 220 (5th Cir. 1983); Clark v. Huntleigh Corp.,
119 F. App’x 666, 667 (5th Cir. 2005) (finding that because of plaintiff’s pro se status, “precedent
compels us to examine all of his complaint, including the attachments”); FED. R. CIV. P. 8(e)
(“Pleadings must be construed so as to do justice.”). Furthermore, a district court may consider
documents attached to a motion to dismiss if they are referred to in the plaintiff’s complaint and are
central to the plaintiff’s claim. Scanlan, 343 F.3d at 536.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Plaintiff is unopposed to the granting of the motion to dismiss. A review of Defendant’s
motion also illustrates that Plaintiff has no plausible claims against Defendant.
It is therefore ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #8) is hereby
GRANTED and Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant are DISMISSED with prejudice.
All motions not previously granted are hereby DENIED.
The Clerk is directed to CLOSE this civil case.
SIGNED this 8th day of September, 2016.
AMOS L. MAZZANT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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