United States District Court, D. New Jersey
H. RODRIGUEZ U.S.D.J.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court has reviewed the
submissions and decides the matter based on the briefs
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons stated here,
Defendants' motion will be granted in part and denied in
a civil action over which the district court has original
jurisdiction based on a question "arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff Michael McMaster asserts
a violation of his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. With respect to Plaintiffs state law claims, this Court
has supplemental jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
matter stems from an incident that occurred at approximately
5:30 a.m. on November 19, 2015 between Plaintiff and three
North Wildwood police officers - Clifford Massie, Eric Nevil,
and Bryan Skill -on the sidewalk outside Plaintiffs
parents' house in North Wilwood, New Jersey. Plaintiff
had been arguing with his girlfriend when the officers
arrived on the scene. A discussion ensued during which the
officers advised Plaintiff and his girlfriend to return to
their respective houses. Plaintiff allegedly pleaded with his
girlfriend not to leave. Next, he allegedly reached for her
bag and the officers "violently threw him to the
ground." (Am. Compl. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff alleges that
he did not resist, but was "compliant, "
nonetheless one, two, or three of the officers
"violently and maliciously jumped on Plaintiffs back
with their knees with such force that it caused Plaintiffs
spleen to rupture and to fracture several ribs." (Am.
Compl. ¶ 15.) He was transported to jail, then by
ambulance to the hospital, and finally by helicopter to a
trauma center. As a result, Plaintiff was hospitalized for
has filed a Complaint in this Court claiming excessive force
by the individual officers and Monell liability by
North Wildwood. State law tort claims pled originally have
been conceded through this motion.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to move for
dismissal of a claim based on "failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) if the alleged facts, taken as true, fail to state a
claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When deciding a motion to
dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), ordinarily only the
allegations in the complaint, matters of public record,
orders, and exhibits attached to the complaint, are taken
into consideration. See Chester County Intermediate Unit
v. Pa. Blue Shield, 896 F.2d 808, 812 (3d Cir. 1990). It
is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead evidence.
Bogosian v. Gulf Oil Corp., 561 F.2d 434, 446 (3d
Cir. 1977). The question before the Court is not whether the
plaintiff will ultimately prevail. Watson v. Abington
Twp., 478 F.3d 144, 150 (2007). Instead, the Court
simply asks whether the plaintiff has articulated
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
"Where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Court need not accept '"unsupported conclusions and
unwarranted inferences, '" Baraka v.
McGreevey, 481 F.3d 187, 195 (3d Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted), however, and "[l]egal conclusions made in the
guise of factual allegations ... are given no presumption of
truthfulness." Wyeth v. Ranbaxy Labs., Ltd.,
448 F.Supp.2d 607, 609 (D.N.J. 2006) (citing Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)); see also Kanter
v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170, 177 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting
Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F-3cl 347, 351 (3d Cir. 2005)
("[A] court need not credit either 'bald
assertions' or 'legal conclusions' in a complaint
when deciding a motion to dismiss.")). Accord
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-80 (finding that pleadings that
are no more than conclusions are not entitled to the
assumption of truth).
although "detailed factual allegations" are not
necessary, "a plaintiffs obligation to provide the
'grounds' of his 'entitlement to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation
of a cause of action's elements will not do."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations
omitted). See also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
("Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
motion to dismiss should be granted unless the plaintiffs
factual allegations are "enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all
of the complaint's allegations are true (even if doubtful
in fact)." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 (internal
citations omitted). "[W]here 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