Legal Memorandum: Motion to Dismiss in VI

Issue: What is the standard for dismissal under rule 12(b)(6) in the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Standard of review
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 370 F.2d 795; 416 U.S. 232
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), Rule 8(a)
Date: 09/01/2008

The standard for determining a motion to dismiss is well settled.  “When analyzing a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), a court ‘accepts as true the allegations in the complaint and its attachments, as well as reasonable inferences construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs.'”  Petersen v. United Steel Workers of Am., No. Civ.2004/0062 (D.V.I. Aug. 30, 2004) (quoting U.S. Express Lines, Ltd. v. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 387 (3d Cir. 2002)).  Accord Grand Union Supermarkets of the V.I., Inc. v. H.E. Lockhart Mgmt., Inc., No. CIV.2001-44 (D.V.I. Jan. 3, 2005).  The court may grant a defendant’s motion to dismiss only if it appears from the face of the complaint that the plaintiff could not prove any set of facts that would entitle him or her to relief.  Id.  “‘The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.'”  Grand Union Supermarkets, supra (quoting Schneur v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)).

Notice pleading is all that is required under Rule 8(a) to withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).  Weston v. Pa., 251 F.3d 420, 429 (3d Cir. 2001).  Thus, a plaintiff “need not plead law or match facts to every element of a legal theory.”  Id. at 429.  Indeed, a plaintiff “need not allege all the facts necessary to prove its claim.”  Id.  The key inquiry is merely whether the defendant has “fair notice” […]

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