Legal Memorandum: Standard for a Motion to Dismiss in MD

Issue: Standard for a motion to dismiss in Maryland.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Benefit of doubt
Jurisdiction: Maryland
Cited Cases: 534 U.S. 506; 355 U.S. 41; 412 F.2d 712
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2008

A motion to dismiss is not an innocuous motion that a tribunal should grant without ensuring that the claimant, whose right to have a claim adjudicated before their tribunal of choice, has been given every benefit of the doubt.  In Maryland, the standard for such motions is high. 

A motion to dismiss . . . ought not be granted unless "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957). All that [Rules] require of a complaint is that it contain "’a short and plain statement of the claim’ that will give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." . . . "'[a] court may dismiss a complaint only if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.’" Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 122 S. Ct. 992, 152 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2002), quoting Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 81 L. Ed. 2d 59, 104 S. Ct. 2229 (1984).


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The court must disregard the contrary allegations of the opposing party. A.S. Abell Co. v. Chell,