United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
D.D. (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against
Defendants Stockton University, the Stockton University Board
of Trustees, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Inc.
(“PKP”), Katie Colandrea, Michael Colandrea,
Sherie Reid-Colandrea, and Yin Ben Tomm and Amy
(the “Tomm Defendants”), in relation to a series
of alleged sexual assaults during Plaintiff's time as a
student at Stockton University.
26, 2019, this Court issued an Opinion and Order which
dismissed Plaintiff's claims against all parties, other
than the Tomm Defendants (who had not filed a motion to
dismiss). See Dkt. Nos. 66, 67. As previously noted
by this Court, the Tomm Defendants, who allegedly owned the
house rented to the local PKP chapter, are listed in the case
caption and the “parties” section of the
Complaint, but are not named in any of the Complaint's
thirty-five counts. Therefore, the Court ordered Plaintiff to
show cause, clarifying whether any claims existed against the
Tomm Defendants. Now, this Court considers, sua
sponte, whether the Tomm Defendants should be dismissed
from the case.
state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a),
“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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“A 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.” Id. at 662. Indeed,
“[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Furthermore, “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.”
Id. (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S.
265, 286 (1986)).
reviewing a plaintiff's allegations, the district court
“must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations
as well as all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from
them, and construe those allegations in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” Bistrian v. Levi,
696 F.3d 352, 358 n.1 (3d Cir. 2012). When undertaking this
review, courts are limited to the allegations found in the
complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of
public record, and undisputedly authentic documents that form
the basis of a claim. See In re Burlington Coat Factory
Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997);
Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus.,
Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993).
response to the Court's Order to Show Cause, Plaintiff
submitted a letter, on August 6, 2019, arguing that the Court
should not dismiss the Tomm Defendants because: (1)
“they may have an applicable insurance
policy” and “Plaintiff D.D. may have
claims related to the property, where she was assaulted,
which may be covered by the insurance policy held by
the Tomm Defendants”; and (2) “there exists
the possibility that discovery reveals the Tomm
Defendants knew or should have known about the criminal
activities occurring on their property and had a duty to
protect Plaintiff D.D. from the foreseeable harm of those
related crimes.” See Dkt. No. 70 (emphasis
review, this Court finds that Plaintiff's Complaint fails
to state any claim against the Tomm Defendants. Notably,
neither Plaintiff's Complaint nor the letter in response
to the Order to Show Cause alleges, as fact, that the Tomm
Defendants have an applicable insurance policy, that they
knew about PKP's activities, or that they owed a duty to
Plaintiff. Indeed, all potential claims outlined in
Plaintiff's letter are entirely speculative. Furthermore,
the reasoning set forth in Plaintiff's letter is
conspicuously absent from the Complaint itself, which cannot
be amended through clarifications provided outside the
pleadings. To the extent Plaintiff attempts to state a claim
against the Tomm Defendants in an amended complaint, such
claims must be based on factual allegations, asserted in good
faith, as opposed to speculation.
it is on this 9th day of
August 2019, hereby
that all claims against Defendants Amy Tomm and Yin Ben Tomm
are DISMISSED, without prejudice; and it is
that the Clerk of the Court shall CLOSE this
case, subject to reopening upon the timely filing of an
 Counsel for Yin Ben Tomm has informed
the Court that Amy Tomm is deceased. See Dkt. No.
 The factual background of
Plaintiff's claims is described in full in this
Court's Opinion, dated July 26, 2019. See ...