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Legal Memorandum: Motion under Rule 12(b)(6)

Issue: What are the standards for granting a motion under Rule 12(b)(6)?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Granting a Motion; Notice pleading
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 534 U.S. 506
Cited Statutes: Rule 12 (b)(6)
Date: 06/01/2007

A motion under Rule 12 (b)(6) must be denied “unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim which would entitle him to relief.”  Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); Matheson v. V.I. Community Bank Corp. 297 F. Supp. 2d 825, 824 (D.V.I. 2003).

Notice pleading is all that is required, even when Plaintiff seeks relief for discrimination and civil rights violations.  Weston v. Pennsylvania, 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, plaintiff “need not allege all the facts necessary to prove its claim.”  Id.  So, legal theories, particular statutes or formal “causes of action” simply need not be alleged.  Etienne v. Oyake, 347 F. Supp. 2d 215, 219 (D.V.I. 2004). 

All that is required is that the facts alleged, including all reasonable inferences, show plaintiff may be entitled to relief under “any possible theory.” See Unix Sys. Labs. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc., 832 F. Supp. 790, 803 (D.N.J. 1993).  Before it may dismiss, “the court is under a duty to examine the complaint to determine if the allegations provide for relief on any possible theory.” O’Boyle v. Jiffy Lube Int’l, Inc., 866 F.2d 88, 93 (3d Cir. 1989). 

The court must accept as true the facts alleged in the complaint and must liberally construe it, drawing all reasonable […]

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