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Sellers v. Renewable Fuels, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

June 3, 2015

PHILIP LIGHTFOOT SELLERS, Plaintiff,
v.
RENEWABLE FUELS, LLC and JOHN F. COLQUITT, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

W. HAROLD ALBRITTON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This cause is before the court on a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #2), filed by the Defendants on April 14, 2015.

The Plaintiff filed a Complaint the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama in March of 2015. In the Complaint the Plaintiff brings claims for breach of joint venture agreement (Count I), breach of fiduciary duty (Count II), and breach of contract (Count III).

The case was removed to this court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. No motion to remand was filed, and the requisite diversity of citizenship and jurisdictional amount are present.

For reasons to be discussed, the Motion to Dismiss is due to be GRANTED, and the Plaintiff given the opportunity to file an Amended Complaint.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS

The court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984), and construes the complaint in the plaintiff's favor, Duke v. Cleland, 5 F.3d 1399, 1402 (11th Cir. 1993). In analyzing the sufficiency of pleading, the court is guided by a two-prong approach: one, the court is not bound to accept conclusory statements of the elements of a cause of action and, two, where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to entitlement to relief. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint need not contain "detailed factual allegations, " but instead the complaint must contain "only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. The factual allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 555.

III. FACTS

The allegations of the Plaintiff's Complaint are as follows:

This case involves contracts for the sale of wood pellets. In 1995, Plaintiff Sellers and Defendant Colquitt formed a venture named Fulghum Fibrefuels, Lmt. and developed a wood pellet plant. They jointly managed this company for ten years.

In 2005, Colquitt left the company and formed and formed a new company, Fram Renewable Fuels. In 2008, Colquitt left Fram Renewable Fuels.

The Complaint alleges that at all times relevant to this case, Colquitt acted as an agent of Renewable Fuels. The Plaintiff alleges that in 2010, Colquitt was acting on behalf of Renewable Fuels, LLC and executed an agreement with Lee Energy Solutions by which Renewable Fuels, LLC would connect Lee Energy with prospective buyers of wood pellets in exchange for a commission on the sales of wood pellets.

The Complaint alleges that Sellers and Colquitt subsequently entered into a contract to share revenue derived from the agreement with Lee Energy. Sellers agreed to manage the Lee Energy contract and locate prospective buyers. The Complaint also alleges that the ...


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