Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Doe v. Schwerzler

August 27, 2008

JANE DOE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN T. SCHWERZLER, GLOUCESTER COUNTY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, ROBERT TAFFET, M.D., TRISH GREEN, DANIEL GREEN, AND GEORGE BREEN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

This matter has come before the Court on defendant Gloucester County Institute of Technology's ("GCIT") motion to dismiss all of the claims in plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), as well as defendant Robert Taffet's Rule 12(b)(6) motion and defendant Trish Green's Rule 12(c) motion. GCIT's motion is joined by defendants John Schwerzler, Daniel Green and George Breen. For the reasons expressed below, GCIT's motion will be denied, and Taffet and Trish Green's motions will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, proceeding as Jane Doe, filed a complaint against the defendants for claims arising out of a sexual relationship plaintiff had with her swim coach, defendant John Schwerzler. According to plaintiff's complaint, Schwerzler initiated a sexual relationship with plaintiff in 1998, when she was thirteen years old, and it lasted until 2004, when she was nineteen. Plaintiff claims that defendants violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J. Stat. Ann. 10:5-1 et seq., ("NJLAD") because of their various roles in the inappropriate sexual relationship.

In October 2006, defendants moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Defendants argued that plaintiff, who grew up in New Jersey and went to college in Kentucky, was still a citizen of New Jersey at the time that she filed the complaint. On June 28, 2007, this Court denied defendants' motion without prejudice and allowed plaintiff another opportunity to submit proofs evidencing that she was a citizen of Kentucky. On April 17, 2008, this Court held that plaintiff's proofs were sufficient to demonstrate that she was a citizen of Kentucky and that diversity of citizenship, therefore, existed between the two parties.

GCIT has now moved to dismiss plaintiff's NJLAD claim against it. GCIT's motion is joined by John Schwerzler, Daniel Green and George Breen. Defendants Robert Taffet and Trish Green have also filed motions to dismiss plaintiff's NJLAD claims against them. Plaintiff has opposed all motions.

DISCUSSION

I. Jurisdiction

This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

II. Analysis

A. Standard for Motion to Dismiss*fn1

When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), a court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 351 (3d Cir. 2005). It is well settled that a pleading is sufficient if it contains "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Under the liberal federal pleading rules, it is not necessary to plead evidence, and it is not necessary to plead all the facts that serve as a basis for the claim. Bogosian v. Gulf Oil Corp., 562 F.2d 434, 446 (3d Cir. 1977). However, "[a]lthough the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a claimant to set forth an intricately detailed description of the asserted basis for relief, they do require that the pleadings give defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Baldwin County Welcome Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 149-50 n.3 (1984) (quotation and citation omitted).

A district court, in weighing a motion to dismiss, asks "'not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claim.'" Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1969 n.8 (2007) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhoades, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)); see also Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (stating that the "Supreme Court's Twombly formulation of the pleading standard can be summed up thus: 'stating ... a claim requires a complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to suggest' the required element. This 'does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage,' but instead 'simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of' the necessary element"). A court need not credit either "bald assertions" or "legal conclusions" in a complaint when deciding a motion to dismiss. In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1429-30 (3d Cir. 1997). The defendant bears the burden of showing that no claim has been presented. Hedges v. U.S., 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005) (citing Kehr Packages, Inc. v. Fidelcor, Inc., 926 F.2d 1406, 1409 (3d Cir. 1991)).

Finally, a court in reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion must only consider the facts alleged in the pleadings, the documents attached thereto as exhibits, and matters of judicial notice. Southern Cross Overseas Agencies, Inc. v. Kwong Shipping Group Ltd., 181 F.3d 410, 426 (3d Cir. 1999). A court may consider, however, "an undisputedly authentic document that a defendant attaches as an exhibit to a motion to dismiss if the plaintiff's claims are based on the document." Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993). If any other matters outside the pleadings are presented to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.