United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MARILYN R. SCROGGINS, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
LIFEPOINT HEALTH, a corporation, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Keith Watkins CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction (Doc. # 16), which was converted
to a motion for summary judgment (Doc. #18). Plaintiff
responded in opposition (Doc. # 21), and Defendant replied.
(Doc. # 22). Having considered the motion, the court
concludes that it is due to be denied.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332(d)(2)(A). The parties do not contest personal
jurisdiction or venue.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
12(b)(1) motion challenges the district court's subject
matter jurisdiction and takes one of two forms: a
“facial attack” or a “factual
attack.” A “facial attack” on the complaint
“require[s] the court merely to look and see if the
plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a basis of subject matter
jurisdiction, and the allegations in his complaint are taken
as true for the purposes of the motion.” Lawrence
v. Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). In
contrast, “factual attacks” challenge “the
existence of subject matter jurisdiction in fact,
irrespective of the pleadings, and matters outside the
pleadings, such as testimony and affidavits, are
two forms of attack are significantly different. When an
attack is facial, “a plaintiff is afforded safeguards
similar to those provided in opposing a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion-the court must consider the allegations in the
complaint to be true.” Id. However, on a
the trial court may proceed as it never could have under
12(b)(6) or Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Because at issue in a factual
12(b)(1) motion is the trial court's jurisdiction-its
very power to hear the case- there is substantial authority
that the trial court is free to weigh the evidence and
satisfy itself as to the existence of its power to hear the
case. In short, no presumptive truthfulness attaches to the
plaintiff's allegations, and the existence of disputed
material facts will not preclude the trial court from
evaluating for itself the merits of the jurisdictional
Id. (quoting Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d
404, 412-13 (5th Cir. 1981)). In this case, the
defendant's attack is factual. (Doc. # 16 at 5.)
despite the less deferential standard that typically applies
to a factual attack, a different standard applies when the
defendant's attack also implicates an element of the
cause of action. In such cases,
the proper cause of action for the district court . . . is to
find that jurisdiction exists and deal with the objections as
a direct attack on the merits of the plaintiff's case. .
. . This refusal to treat indirect attacks on the merits as
Rule 12(b)(1) motions provides, moreover, a greater level of
protection to the plaintiff who in truth is facing a
challenge to the validity of his claim: the defendant is
forced to proceed under Rule 12(b)(6) . . . or Rule 56 . . .
both of which place great restrictions on the district
Id. (quoting Williamson, 645 F.2d at
succeed on summary judgment, the movant must demonstrate
“that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “[T]he court must
view the evidence and the inferences in the light most
favorable to the nonmovant.” Jean-Baptiste v.
Gutierrez, 627 F.3d 816, 820 (11th Cir. 2010).
party moving for summary judgment “always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for the motion.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986). This responsibility
includes identifying the portions of the record illustrating
the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact.
Id. Alternatively, a movant who does not have a
trial burden of production can assert, without citing the
record, that the nonmoving party “cannot produce
admissible evidence to support” a material fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B); see also Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56 advisory committee's note (“Subdivision
(c)(1)(B) recognizes that a party need not always point to
specific record materials. . . . [A] party who does not have
the trial burden of production may rely on a showing that a
party who does have the trial burden cannot produce
admissible evidence to carry its burden as to the
movant meets its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving
party to establish-with evidence beyond the pleadings-that a
genuine dispute material to each of its claims for relief
exists. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. A genuine dispute
of material fact exists when the nonmoving party produces
evidence allowing a reasonable fact finder to return a
verdict in its favor. Waddell v. Valley Forge Dental
Assocs., 276 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2001). On the
other hand, “[i]f the evidence is merely colorable ...