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New Jersey Best Phone Cards, Corp. v. Nobeltel, LLC

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 4, 2013

NEW JERSEY BEST PHONE CARDS, CORP., Plaintiff,
v.
NOBELTEL, LLC AND NOBEL, INC., Defendants.

OPINION

SUSAN D. WIGENTON, District Judge.

Before the Court is NobelTel, LLC ("NobelTel") and Nobel, Inc. ("Nobel") (collectively "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss New Jersey Best Phone Cards, Corp.'s ("NJ Best" or "Plaintiff") Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).[1] This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). This Court, having considered the parties' submissions, decides this matter without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

FACTUAL HISTORY

NJ Best is a company which purchases and resells international telephone calling calls. (Compl. ¶ 8). Nobel and NobelTel supply and distribute international calling calls, PIN numbers, and telecommunication services.[2] ( Id. ¶ 9.) NobelCom, LLC ("NobelCom") issues calling cards and is not a party to this case. ( Id. ¶ 14.) In December 2009, N.J. Best and NobelCom entered into a Wholesale Distributor Agreement wherein N.J. Best became an authorized distributor of prepaid calling cards issued by NobelCom. (Id.) Although the agreement was between N.J. Best and NobelCom, Nobel issued credit memos and invoices.[3] ( Id. ¶ 17.)

According to N.J. Best, "[o]n a regular basis, the number of minutes delivered for use by consumers was significantly less than the amount promised" and end users ran out of minutes prematurely. ( Id. ¶¶ 21, 23.) N.J. Best alleges that NobelCom, Nobel, and NobelTel purposely changed the rate decks, reduced the number of minutes available to consumers, and delivered inaccurate usage reports. ( Id. ¶¶ 24, 28.) N.J. Best complained about the problems and alleges that it was threatened with reduced minutes, termination of service, or other problems. ( Id. ¶ 29.)

NJ Best further alleges that Nobel and NobelTel representatives made promises during weekly phone calls and occasional meetings that the phone cards would deliver all of the promised minutes. ( Id. ¶ 46.) According to N.J. Best, these representations were knowingly false. ( Id. ¶¶ 47-50.) N.J. Best states that it suffered monetary damages and damage to its business. ( Id. ¶¶ 30, 56.)

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 27, 2012, NobelTel sued N.J. Best and others in Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County alleging that N.J. Best failed to make payments due under the Wholesale Distributor Agreement. (Compl. ¶¶ 18-19.) The parties resolved the action by stipulation which was entered on January 28, 2013. (Pl. Opp. 10.)

On February 27, 2013, NobelCom sued N.J. Best in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego claiming that N.J. Best owes NobelCom $1, 639, 105.24. (Pl. Opp. 1 n.3, 14.)

On April 25, 2013, N.J. Best sued Defendants in the instant matter in Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County. (Dkt. 1.) On June 10, 2013, the action was removed to this Court. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges the following claims: (1) breach of contract; (2) unjust enrichment; (3) fraud; (4) Deceptive and Unlawful Practices under N.J. Stat. § 56:8-2; and (5) violation of Section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934.

LEGAL STANDARD

Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)

The adequacy of pleadings is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), which requires that a complaint allege "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." This Rule "requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted); see also Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny , 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (stating that Rule 8 "requires a showing' rather than a blanket assertion of an entitlement to relief'" (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555 n.3)).

In considering a Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must "accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.'" Phillips , 515 F.3d at 231 (quoting Pinker v. Roche Holdings Ltd. , 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002)). However, "the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555). If the "wellpleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than ...


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