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Wolf v. Alutiiq Education & Training, LLC

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

May 2, 2019

MONISHA WOLF, Plaintiff,
v.
ALUTIIQ EDUCATION AND TRAINING, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GRAY M. BORDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Altuiiq Education & Training, LLC (“AET”). Doc. 5. Plaintiff Monisha Wolf filed this lawsuit on January 11, 2019, and amended her complaint on February 6, 2019. She brings claims against AET denominated as race discrimination, gender discrimination, and mental suffering and emotional distress. Doc. 4. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, the parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge. Docs. 13 & 14.

         After careful consideration of the parties' submissions and the applicable law, for reasons to be discussed below, the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 5) is due to be GRANTED, but Wolf will be allowed to re-plead the claims over which this court has subject-matter jurisdiction.

         I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

         The court's subject-matter jurisdiction over some of the claims in this action is questioned in the Motion to Dismiss. The parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue, and the court finds adequate allegations to support both.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Wolf is a black woman who began her employment with AET's predecessor, Career Education Services. AET took over the contract and asked Wolf to reapply for her position. AET did not retain Wolf, and she alleges that Adam Bennett, a white man, was retained over her.

         AET has provided corporate disclosures to establish that it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alutiiq, which is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Afognak Native Corporation, which was formed in 1977 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 43 U.S.C. § 1601.

         III. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

         A. Rule 12(b)(1)

         A Rule 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 requires the court to assess whether the plaintiff has alleged a sufficient basis for subject matter jurisdiction, while a factual attack challenges the existence of subject matter jurisdiction based on matters outside the pleadings. Lawrence v. Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). The burden of proof on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is on the party asserting jurisdiction. Thomson v. Gaskill, 315 U.S. 442, 446 (1942).

         B. Rule 12(b)(6)

         In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court must “take the factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Pielage v. McConnell, 516 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2008). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is “plausible on its face” if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The complaint “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations need not be detailed, but “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, ” id., and “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s]” will not suffice. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         IV. ...


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