Legal Memorandum: Motion to Dismiss in MN

Issue: Is a plaintiff required to prove the alleged facts when a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is filed in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Failure to state a claim
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 115.03; Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 115.03(a), (d); Minn. R. Civ. P. 12
Date: 10/01/2012

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim serves only a “limited function.”  Elzie v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 298 N.W.2d 29, 32 (Minn. 1980).  On such a motion, “the only question before [the court] is whether the complaint sets forth a legally sufficient claim for relief.  It is immaterial to [the court’s] consideration here whether or not the plaintiff can prove the facts alleged.  Id.; see Barton v. Moore, 558 N.W.2d 746, 749 (Minn. 1997).  Thus, a claim will not be dismissed where “it is possible on any evidence which might be produced, consistent with the pleader’s theory, to grant the relief demanded.”  Elzie, 298 N.W.2d at 32Stated another way, “a pleading will be dismissed only if it appears to a certainty that no facts which could be introduced consistent with the pleading, exist which would support granting the relief demanded.”  Id.  In applying this standard, the “court accepts the factual allegations as true and views them in light most favorable to the plaintiff.”  Jennen v. County of Aitkin, No. C7-02-1994 (Minn. Ct. App. May 20, 2003).

Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 115.03 provides that where a converted Rule 12 motion is factually based, “[n]o motion shall be heard” until the moving party serves and files a Memorandum of Law at least 28 days before the hearing containing (1) a statement of the issues; (2) a statement of all documents relied on; and (3) a statement of all material facts not in dispute with record […]

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