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Jager v. Fleet Management Road Service

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 14, 2017

ROBERT JAGER, d/b/a Robert Jager Equipment Co., Plaintiff,
v.
FLEET MANAGEMENT ROAD SERVICE, GERALD VACCA and J&M TOWING, Defendants.

          OPINION

          KEVIN MCNULTY, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on a motion to dismiss the complaint. Because the complaint is facially deficient, the motion will be granted, without prejudice to the submission of a proposed amended complaint within 30 days.

         The operative allegations of the complaint filed by the plaintiff, Robert Jager, read in their entirety as follows:

The Plaintiff by way of Complaint says that the above named Defendants conspired to deprive me of my 1987 Mack Superliner Mack tractor truck valued at $20, 000.00.
The jurisdiction of this Court is involved pursuant to 28 USC 1332 and 18 USC 371; 1962, 6d. This Complaint encompasses acts of conspiratorial activity engaged in by the Defendants.
Wherefore, Plaintiff demands money damages in the amount of $20, 000.00 plus punitive damages and such other and further relief as this Honorable Court deems equitable, appropriate and just.

(Cplt., ECF no. 1)

         Defendant J&M Towing has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) (lack of diversity jurisdiction) and 12(b)(6) (failure to state a claim).

         I. APPLICABLE STANDARDS

         A. Rule 12(b)(1)

         A Rule 12(b)(1) challenge to the court's subject matter jurisdiction may be either facial or factual attacks. See 2 Moore's Federal Practice § 12.30[4] (3d ed. 2007); Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav. & LoanAss'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977). A facial challenge asserts that the complaint does not allege sufficient grounds to establish subject matter jurisdiction. Iwanowa v. Ford Motor Co., 67 F.Supp.2d 424, 438 (D.N.J. 1999). A factual attack may involve the submission of evidence extrinsic to the pleading. Gould Elecs. Inc. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000), holding modified on other grounds by Simon v. United States, 341 F.3d 193 (3d Cir. 2003).

"In reviewing a facial attack, the court must only consider the allegations of the complaint and documents referenced therein and attached thereto, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." [citing Gould Elecs. Inc. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 176 (3d Cir. 2000).] By contrast, in reviewing a factual attack, "the court must permit the plaintiff to respond with rebuttal evidence in support of jurisdiction, and the court then decides the jurisdictional issue by weighing the evidence. If there is a dispute of a material fact, the court must conduct a plenary hearing on the contested issues prior to determining jurisdiction." [citing McCann v. Newman Irrevocable Trust, 458 F.3d 281, 290 (3d Cir. 2006) (citations omitted).]

Lincoln Ben. Life Co. v. AEILife, LLC, 800 F.3d 99, 105 (3d Cir. 2015) (footnotes omitted; case citations in footnotes inserted in text)

         Although both sides have attempted to submit extrinsic factual materials, these do not relate to the question of subject matter jurisdiction. The Rule 12(b)(1) ...


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