Legal Memorandum: Standard of Review for Motion to Dismiss

Issue: Under federal law, what is the standard of review applied by the appeals court when reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Standard of review
Jurisdiction: Federal, New Mexico
Cited Cases: 613 F.3d 995; 551 U.S. 308
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 84; Rule 12(b)(6)
Date: 03/01/2015

“[W]hen considering a rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint, view those allegations in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor.”  S.E.C. v. Goldstone, 952 F. Supp. 2d 1060, 1190-91 (D.N.M. 2013) (citing Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007)).

A plaintiff will defeat a motion to dismiss if the complaint contains sufficient facts that, if assumed to be true, state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.  See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; Mink v. Knox, 613 F.3d 995, 1000 (10th Cir. 2010).  “A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”  Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 652, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

A pleading that is in substantial conformity with the forms contained in the Appendix to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will suffice and survive a challenge under Rule 12(b)(6).  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 84; Hamilton v. Palm, 621 F.3d 816, 817-18 (8th Cir. 2010).


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