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SD v StJohns School Dist

SD v StJohns School Dist

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Published by religionclause
District court opinion.
District court opinion.

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Published by: religionclause on Aug 04, 2009
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08/03/2009

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·
...
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTMIDDLEDISTRICT
OF
FLORIDAJACKSONVILLEDIVISIONS.D.,individually
and
asNextFriend
of
A.J.D.,
and
M.P.,individually
and
asNextFriend
of
O.J.P.,
FILED
2009JUL
29
PH
3=
29
C L E . \ ~
..
::.
MIODL,:
Ub
:iii..
Jr
~ L o i "
JACKSONVILLE.
FlcmlOt·
..
vs.
Plaintiffs,CaseNo.:3:09-cv-250-J-20TEMST.JOHNSCOUNTYSCHOOLDISTRICT,JOSEPHJOYNER,individually;GEORGELEIDIGH,individually;DAWNCARONNA,individually;DEBBIEMOORE,individually;andSHERYLNELSON,individually.Defendants.
---------------_---:/
ORDER
BeforethisCourtareDefendants'variousMotionstoDismissPlaintiffs'VerifiedAmendedComplaint(Doc.42,filedMay20,2009;Doc.45,filedMay21,2009;Doc.46,filedMay
21,2009;
Doc.47,filedMay21,2009),Plaintiffs'Responses(Doc.56,filedJune8,2009;Doc.57,filedJune8,2009,Doc.58,filedJune8,2009),Defendants'MotiontoStayDiscoveryPendingFinalAdjudication
of
DispositiveMotions(Doc.52,filedMay
29,2009),
andPlaintiffs'MemoranduminOpposition(Doc.60,filedJune15,2009).ThisCourtheldahearingontheseMotionsonJuly22,2009,andhasdeterminedthefollowing.
In
theirvariousMotionstoDismiss,Defendantsargue,
interalia,
thatPlaintiffs'AmendedComplaint(Doc.25,filedApril21,2009)failstoallegesufficientfactualallegationsthatplausiblysuggesttheyareentitledtorelief,asrequiredby
BellAtlantic
v.
Twombly.550
Case 3:09-cv-00250-HES-TEM Document 72 Filed 07/29/2009 Page 1 of 4
 
U.S.544,555(2007).Plaintiffs'respondthattheirAmendedComplaintadequatelysetsforthfactsthatstateaclaimforreliefpursuanttoRule8
of
theFed.
R.
Civ.
P.
OnMay
18,
2009,aftertheAmendedComplaintwasfiled,theSupremeCourtissueditsopinioninthecase
of
Ashcroft
v.
Iqbal,
123S.
Ct.1937,_U.S._(2009),whichclarifiedthe
Twombly
standard.
In
Iqbal,
aMuslimPakistanipretrialdetaineefiledacomplaintagainststateandfederalofficials,includingFormerAttorneyGeneralJohnAshcroftandFBIDirectorRobertMueller,allegingthattheyviolatedhisFirstandFifthAmendmentrightsundertheUnitedStatesConstitution.ThedistrictcourtdeniedtheDefendants'MotiontoDismissbasedonthedefense
of
qualifiedimmunityandDefendantsAshcroftandMuellerappealed.TheSecondCircuitaffirmedthedistrictcourt'sruling.TheSupremeCourt,however,determinedthatthecomplaintdidnotcomplywithRule8
of
theFed.
R.
Civ.P.,asrequiredby
Twombly,
findingthatitdidnot"nudge[Plaintiffs]claims
of
invidiousdiscriminationacrossthelinefromconceivabletoplausible."
Id.
at1951-52.TheCourtexpresslyrejectedPlaintiffsassertionthattheconstruction
of
Rule8shouldbe,"temperedwhere
...
theCourt
of
Appealshas'instructedthedistrictcourttocabindiscoveryinsuchawayas
to
preserve'the[defendants']defense
of
qualifiedimmunity"andheldthatthecomplaintwasproperlydismissed.The
Iqbal
opinionhaspotentiallychangedthelandscape
of
pleadingrequirementsunderRule8.Rule8statesthataclaimforreliefmustcontain,
"a
shortandplainstatement
of
theclaimshowingthatthepleaderisentitledtorelief."Whenitwasoriginallyenactedin1938,Rule8wasseenasaliberalization
of
themorestringentcommonlawrequirementthatpleadingssoundinacognizablelegaltheory
of
recovery.Throughitsrecentdecisionsin
Twombly
and
Iqbal,
theSupremeCourtharkensbacktoitsformer,moredemandingcommonlawstandardas
2
Case 3:09-cv-00250-HES-TEM Document 72 Filed 07/29/2009 Page 2 of 4
 
.11:\1
lowercourtshavebecomelenientinpermittingactionstoproceedwhereplaintiffspleadlegalconclusionsratherthanthefactsrequiredunderRule
8.
Thus,underthenewstandard,"tosurviveamotiontodismiss,acomplaintmustcontainsufficientfactualmatter,acceptedastrue,tostateaclaimtoreliefthatisplausibleonitsface."
Id.
at1949(quotationsandcitationsomitted).
"A
claimhasfacialplausibilitywhentheplaintiffpleadsfactualcontentthatallowsthecourt
to
drawthereasonableinferencethatthedefendantisliableforthemisconductalleged."
Id.
Moreover,"[o]nlyacomplaintthatstatesaplausibleclaimforreliefsurvivesamotiontodismiss."
Id.
at1950."[B]areassertions"which"amounttonothingmorethana'formulaicrecitation
of
theelements'"
ofa
claim,shouldtherefore
be
rejectedas"conclusoryandnotentitled
to
beassumedtrue."
Id.
at1951.Additionally,astheSupremeCourtnotedin
Iqbal,
"thebasicthrust
of
thequalifiedimmunitydoctrineistofreeofficialsfromtheconcerns
of
litigation,including'avoidance
of
disruptivediscovery.'''
Id.
at1953.Therefore,thisCourtfindsthatthePlaintiffs'individualcapacityclaimscannotstandascurrentlywritten.ThisCourtdoesnot,however,findtheclaimsagainstSt.JohnsCourtlySchoolBoardlackinginsuchrespect.Thereforeitis
ORDERED
andADJUDGED:
1.
TheindividualcapacityDefendants',Leidigh,Joyner,Caronna,Moore,andNelson,MotionstoDismisstheAmendedComplaintarehereby
GRANTED
in
part
and
DENIED
in
part.
(Doc.42,filedMay20,2009;Doc.46,filedMay21,2009;Doc.47,filedMay21,2009).TheindividualcapacityDefendantsareDISMISSEDonallcounts
withoutprejudice.
Plaintiffs,
ifthey
desire,arepermittedtoamendtheirComplainttocomplywithRule8astothe3
Case 3:09-cv-00250-HES-TEM Document 72 Filed 07/29/2009 Page 3 of 4

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