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Legal Memorandum: Motion to Dismiss in VI

Issue: What is the standard for a motion to dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the Virgin Islands?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Standard applicable; No material issue of fact not resolved
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 355 U.S. 41; 223 F.3d 165; 114 F.3d 1410
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 12(b)(6)
Date: 03/01/2005

It is well-settled law that

“[a] motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) may be granted only if, accepting all well pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, and viewing them in the light most favorable to [the] plaintiff, [the] plaintiff is not entitled to relief.  The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.”

 

Semerenko v. Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir. 2000) (quoting In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1420 (3d Cir. 1997)).  Dismissal will be upheld only if the plaintiff could prove no set of facts that would entitle him or her to relief.  Id. at 173; Schrob v. Catterson, 948 F.2d 1402, 1408 (3d Cir. 1991).  “The inquiry is not whether the parties will ultimately prevail in a trial on the merits, but whether they should be afforded an opportunity to offer evidence in support of their claims.”  Mill Run Assocs. v. Locke Prop. Co., 282 F. Supp. 2d 278, 285 (E.D. Pa. 2003).

The Supreme Court has recently reconfirmed that a complaint “must simply ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'”  Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).  The federal rules allow simple pleadings and “rel[y] on liberal discovery […]

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