United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No.
and Procedural History
matter was removed to this Court on September 15, 2017. The
Second Amended Complaint was filed on September 26, 2017.
Defendant filed this motion to dismiss on October 6, 2017
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), for failure to state a
following facts were gathered from Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint. On August 12, 2015, at 1:20 pm, Plaintiff
boarded a New Jersey Transit bus in Camden, N.J.
(2ndAmend. Compl. at ¶5).
Approximately 25 minutes later, the bus operator, Defendant
Angel Marchione (“Marchione”) pulled the bus over
onto the shoulder on Interstate 676 and summoned the police
in response to an altercation on the bus. (Id. at
¶7, 9). Officers of Camden City Police and the New
Jersey Transit Police, as well as a New Jersey Transit Bus
Operations supervisor, arrived to the scene at approximately
2:20 p.m. (Id. at ¶¶11-12). Plaintiff
alleges that at that time, Marchione accused her of
instigating the argument with another passenger.
(Id. at ¶12) Plaintiff is an African American
female. (Id. at ¶4). The other passenger
involved was a Caucasian female. (Id. at ¶13).
In response to what had been told, Officer Ciavino of the
Camden City Police Department, boarded the bus and rode on
the bus until Plaintiff's stop, at which point he
alighted the bus with Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶17).
The other female passenger remained on the bus to travel to
her destination in Millville, NJ. (Id. at ¶18).
filed this suit against Defendants, Marchione and the N.J.
Transit Bus Operation (“NJT”) alleging: (1)
violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1981; (2)
violation of NJLAD, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(f)(1); (3) violation of
N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(e); and (4) lastly arguing that she was
unreasonably placed in “false light” before the
public by the accusations made by Marchione. The Complaint
does not state the nature and substance of the accusations by
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court is required to accept as
true all allegations in the Complaint and all reasonable
inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and to view them in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See
Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d
1380, 1384 (3d Cir. 1994). “To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167
L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). While a court will accept well-pleaded
allegations as true for the purposes of the motion, it will
not accept bald assertions, unsupported conclusions,
unwarranted inferences, or sweeping legal conclusions cast in
the form of factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678-79; see also Morse v. Lower Merion School
District, 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). A complaint
should be dismissed only if the well-pleaded alleged facts,
taken as true, fail to state a claim. See In re Warfarin
Sodium, 214 F.3d 395, 397-98 (3d Cir. 2000). The
question is whether the claimant can prove any set of facts
consistent with his or her allegations that will entitle him
or her to relief, not whether that person will ultimately
prevail. Semerenko v. Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165,
173 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, Forbes v. Semerenko,
531 U.S. 1149, 121 S.Ct. 1091 (2001). The pleader is required
to ‘set forth sufficient information to outline the
elements of his claim or to permit inferences to be drawn
that these elements exist.'” Kost v.
Kozakewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993) (quoting 5A
Wright & Miller, Fed. Practice & Procedure: Civil 2d
§ 1357 at 340). “While a complaint attacked by a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed
factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do, . . . . Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level, . . . on
the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are
true (even if doubtful in fact), . . . .”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65
(internal citations and quotations omitted).
review Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to this standard.
first brings a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
§ 1981. Specifically she argues violations of
“equal benefits” and “like
punishment” clauses, arguing that the accusation that
Plaintiff had been the aggressor in the circumstances, was
“purposefully made on account of Plaintiff's
race.” (Id. at ¶25) She further contends
that said accusation subjected her to disparate treatment
given that only her behavior was monitored on the bus by
Officer Ciavino. (Id. at ¶26). The ...