United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendant Judicial Correction
Services, LLC's Motion to Dismiss the Fourth Amended
Complaint. (Doc. # 73). The Motion has been fully briefed.
(Docs. # 76 and 79).
noted in the Memorandum Opinion regarding CHC and CCS's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 84), this case is one of a series
of several cases, primarily putative class action suits, that
have been brought against Judicial Correction Services, Inc.
(“JCS”), corporate entities related to JCS, and
municipalities that contracted with JCS for probation
supervision services. (Doc. # 72). In these cases, the court
has ruled on numerous motions to dismiss, substantive
dispositive motions following discovery, and a motion for
class certification. Thus, the court has developed
familiarity with the facts underlying Plaintiffs' claims
contained within the allegations of the Fourth Amended
of the Fourth Amended Complaint asserts a direct Violation of
Due Process claim against JCS. (Doc. # 72 at ¶¶
22-43). Counts II, III and IV are Civil Conspiracy claims
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 involving different Municipal
Courts. (Doc. # 72 at ¶¶ 44-68). Count V asserts a
Money Had and Received claim. (Doc. # 72 at ¶¶
Standard of Review
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). However, the
complaint must include enough facts “to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings
that contain nothing more than “a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action” do not meet Rule
8 standards, nor do pleadings suffice that are based merely
upon “labels and conclusions” or “naked
assertion[s]” without supporting factual allegations.
Id. at 555, 557. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss, courts view the allegations in the complaint in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Watts
v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial
plausibility when 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).
Although “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, '” the complaint
must demonstrate “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A
plausible claim for relief requires “enough fact[s] to
raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556.
considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1)
eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely
legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield,
Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 Fed.Appx. 136, 138 (11th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna
Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task
is context specific and, to survive the motion, the
allegations must permit the court based on its
“judicial experience and common sense . . . to infer
more than the mere possibility of misconduct.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the court determines that
all of the well-pleaded facts, accepted as true, do not state
a claim that is plausible, the claims are due to be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
their Response to JCS's Motion to Dismiss,
Plaintiffs' argue that the court should be able to infer
certain elements of their claims, which they are required to
plead, from other allegations of the Fourth Amended
Complaint. (Doc. # 76 at 1-2). Plaintiffs also suggest that
the court should apply certain rulings made in Ray
in this case and allow certain claims to proceed. (Doc. # 76
at 3). The court reviews and analyzes the allegations of
Plaintiffs' Fourth Amended Complaint below.
Plaintiffs' Fourth Amended Complaint Is An Impermissible
count of the Fourth Amended Complaint adopts and incorporates
by reference all previous allegations. (Doc. # 72 at
¶¶ 22, 44, 58, 65, and 69). The Eleventh Circuit
has explained that “[t]he typical shotgun complaint
contains several counts, each one incorporating by reference
the allegations of its predecessors, leading to a situation
where most of the counts (i.e., all but the first)
contain irrelevant factual allegations and legal
conclusions.” Strategic Income Fund, L.L.C. v.
Spear, Leeds & Kellogg Corp., 305 F.3d 1293, 1295
(11th Cir. 2002); see also Wagner v. First Horizon Pharm.
Corp., 464 F.3d 1273, 1279 (11th Cir. 2006)
(“Shotgun pleadings are those that incorporate every
antecedent allegation by reference into each subsequent claim
for relief or affirmative defense.”). Therefore, under
the Eleventh Circuit's definition of a shotgun pleading,
Plaintiffs' Fourth Amended Complaint fits the bill.
Nonetheless, the court will not dismiss the claims against
JCS solely for this reason, but this deficiency should be
considered in conjunction with other pleading and legal