Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, Co. v. ACS Manufacturing, Inc. et al

Filing 68

MEMORANDUM OPINION re 60 MOTION to Dismiss Bonnie Blue's Cross-Claim filed by ACS Manufacturing, Inc.. ACS Manufacturing, Inc.s Motion to Dismiss Bonnie Blues Cross-Claim (Dkt. #60) is hereby GRANTED and Bonnie Blue Specialized Logistics, LLC and Bonnie Blue Specialized Transportation, LLCs Cross-Claim against Defendant ACS Manufacturing, Inc. is DISMISSED with prejudice. Signed by Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III on 8/8/17. (cm, )

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United States District Court EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SHERMAN DIVISION GULF COAST BANK & TRUST, CO. § § V. § § ACS MANUFACTURING, INC., BONNIE § BLUE SPECIALIZED LOGISTICS, LLC, § BONNIE BLUE SPECIALIZED § TRANSPORTATION LLC, § CHRISTOPHER MILLER, and § KAREN MILLER § § V. § § HURRICANE SPECIALIZED LLC § CASE NO. 4:16-CV-676 Judge Mazzant MEMORANDUM OPINION Pending before the Court is ACS Manufacturing Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss Bonnie Blue’s Cross-Claim (Dkt. #60). The Court, having considered the relevant pleadings, finds that Defendant’s motion should be granted. 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 context2 specific 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 On June 23, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss (Dkt. #60). No response was filed. Local Rule CV-7(d) provides as follows: Response and Briefing. The response and any briefing shall be contained in one document. A party opposing a motion shall file the response, any briefing and supporting documents within the time period prescribed by Subsection (e) of this rule. A response shall be accompanied by a proposed order conforming to the requirements of Subsection (a) of this rule. Briefing shall contain a concise statement of the reasons in opposition to the motion and a citation of authorities upon which the party relies. A party’s failure to oppose a motion in the manner prescribed herein creates a presumption that the party does not controvert the facts set out by movant and has no evidence to offer in opposition to the motion. Defendants Bonnie Blue Specialized Logistics, LLC and Bonnie Blue Specialized Transportation, LLC did not filed a response. Since no response was filed, the Court will assume that Defendants 3 do not controvert the facts set out in the motion. Accepting the facts in the motion as not controverted, Bonnie Blue Specialized Logistics, LLC and Bonnie Blue Specialized Transportation, LLC have no plausible claims against Defendant ACS Manufacturing, Inc. . It is therefore ORDERED that ACS Manufacturing, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss Bonnie Blue’s Cross-Claim (Dkt. #60) is hereby GRANTED and Bonnie Blue Specialized Logistics, LLC and Bonnie Blue Specialized Transportation, LLC’s Cross-Claim against Defendant ACS Manufacturing, Inc. is DISMISSED with prejudice. SIGNED this 8th day of August, 2017. ___________________________________ AMOS L. MAZZANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 4

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