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Roy v. Winarski

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 8, 2015

FRANK ROY, Plaintiff,
v.
EDWARD WINARSKI, Defendant.

FRANK ROY, VINELAND, NJ, Appearing pro se.

PAUL H. SCULL, JR., PENNSVILLE, NJ, On behalf of defendant.

OPINION

NOEL L. HILLMAN, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is the motion of defendant to dismiss the claims asserted against him, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. Also pending before the Court is the motion of plaintiff to dismiss defendant's motion. For the reasons expressed below, defendant's motion will be granted and plaintiff's motion will be denied. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Frank Roy, appearing pro se, [1] claims that defendant, Edward Winarski, discriminated against him when plaintiff rented a home owned by defendant. Plaintiff claims that defendant evicted plaintiff's girlfriend from the premises while plaintiff was in a psychiatric hospital, and took possession of numerous items belonging to plaintiff, including a customized limousine, 55 record albums, 3, 700 video tapes, furniture, stereo equipment, a big screen television, gold Christmas ornaments, 42 pieces of ladies clothing, including a $85, 000 Versace gown, and celebrity photographs, and sold them without plaintiff's permission. Plaintiff claims that defendant did not give plaintiff any of the money from the sale of his belongings. Plaintiff claims that defendant discriminated against him because of his disability, and violated the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Plaintiff has demanded $350, 000 in damages. The complaint does not contain any allegations concerning when defendant's alleged actions occurred.

Defendant has moved to dismiss plaintiff's claims against him for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In the alternative, defendant has moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Docket No. 5.) Plaintiff has filed an opposition to defendant's motion (Docket No. 7), and he has also filed a motion to dismiss defendant's motion (Docket No. 8).

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Plaintiff does not specifically aver this Court's subject matter jurisdiction over his case, but the Court presumes it is predicated on 28 U.S.C. ยง 1331 because plaintiff claims that defendant violated his rights under a federal statute.

B. Standard for Motion to Dismiss

In considering whether a plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim, the 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, 350 (3d Cir. 2005); see also Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d Cir. 2008) ("[I]n deciding a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), [a district court is]... required to accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draw all inferences from the facts alleged in the light most favorable to" the plaintiff). 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).

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 claims[.]'" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563 n.8, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhoades, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974)); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) ("Our decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard for all civil actions[.]'") (citation omitted). First, under the Twombly/Iqbal standard, a district court "must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937). Second, a district court "must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a plausible claim for relief.'" Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211 (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937).

"[A] complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief." Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211; see also Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234 ("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.") (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955). "The defendant bears the burden of showing that no claim has been presented." Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005).

Finally, a court in reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion must consider the facts alleged in the pleadings, the documents attached thereto as exhibits, and matters of public record. Guidotti v. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, 716 F.3d 764, 772 (3d Cir. 2013). A court may also consider "undisputedly authentic documents if the complainant's claims are based upon these documents[.]'" Id. (quoting Mayer v. Belichick, 605 F.3d 223, 230 (3d Cir. 2010)). If any other matters outside the pleadings are presented to the court, and the court ...


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