United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
C. Cacheris JUDGE
matter is now before the Court on Defendant Leary Educational
Foundation, doing business as Timber Ridge School's
(“Timber Ridge” or “Defendant”)
motion to dismiss [Dkt. 78]. For the following reasons, the
Court grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and dismisses
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint [Dkt. 8] as against
Timber Ridge with prejudice.
motion to dismiss stage, the Court must read the complaint as
a whole, construe the complaint in a light most favorable to
the plaintiff, and accept the facts alleged in the complaint
as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). The facts below are taken from Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint and the public record, and are accepted as
true only for purposes of this motion.
1987, Plaintiff was arrested and accused of drug possession.
(Am. Compl. at 6.) Because Plaintiff was 12 years old at the
time, he was taken to a juvenile detention center
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that he spent weeks there
without receiving an attorney or being served any court
papers. (Id.) When he was released, Plaintiff was
taken to Sheltercare Program (“Sheltercare”) in
Alexandria, Virginia. (Id.) Plaintiff stayed at
Sheltercare for several months. (Id.)
several months, Plaintiff was taken by his probation officer,
Elaine Buchavich (“Buchavich”), and another,
unidentified woman to Winchester Virginia to visit a school
called Timber Ridge. (Id.) Plaintiff claims he was
told he was going there to see if he would like it.
(Id.) During a tour of the school, Plaintiff was
provided with lunch in the school's dining hall.
(Id.) While he was eating lunch, Buchavich left.
Plaintiff claims that he “was left at the school for 2
claims that he was never advised of his rights in connection
with his juvenile offense and his stay at Timber Ridge, and
that he was denied any opportunity to see a judge or other
official to plead his case. (Id.) Plaintiff claims
that while he was at Timber Ridge, his “teeth were
intentionally broken by the dentist.” (Id. at
7.) Fillings were then put in place “to cover the
damage.” (Id.) Plaintiff claims that he
received “little to no services” from Timber
Ridge in the way of education, was denied a basic education,
and that he was set back in school by 2 years during his time
there. (Id.) Plaintiff also claims that he was
deprived by Timber Ridge of money he had earned while working
in the dining hall. (Id. at 6-7.)
Plaintiff claims that at the end of his time at Timber Ridge,
he “was not returned to [his] family and as a result
mistreated, starved, and used for illegal activity that lead
to a juvenile conviction as an adult in the State of
Maryland.” (Id.) Plaintiff claims that as a
result of the wrongs he suffered at Timber Ridge, he
“cannot find meaningful employment despite graduating
college with a masters degree, as an adult.”
filed this lawsuit on April 12, 2016, alleging violations of
his rights under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth,
Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. (Compl. [Dkt. 1], Sec. Am.
Compl. at 4.) On April 19, 2016, Plaintiff filed his Second
Amended Complaint. Timber Ridge contends that they were not
served with any of Plaintiff's filings until July 8,
2016. Timber Ridge filed this Motion to Dismiss, along with
an accompanying Roseboro notice, on July 20, 2016.
Plaintiff has not filed any opposition to this Motion. The
motion was argued in court on August 25, 2016, and it is now
ripe for decision.
moves to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). A motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)
challenges the Court's subject matter jurisdiction over
the pending action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). The burden of
proving subject matter jurisdiction falls on the
plaintiff. McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance
Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189 (1936); Adams v. Bain,
697 F.2d 1213, 1219 (4th Cir. 1982). “Federal courts
are courts of limited jurisdiction, and we presume that a
cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction. The burden of
establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting
jurisdiction.” Wheeling Hosp., Inc. v. Health Plan
of the Upper Ohio Valley, Inc., 683 F.3d 577, 583-84
(4th Cir. 2012)(internal citations omitted).
purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, [a Rule 12(b)(6) motion] does
not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a
claim, or the applicability of defenses.” Edwards
v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir.
1999) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
While the court must accept well-pleaded allegations as true
when ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court need not
accept as true legal conclusions disguised as factual
allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679-81
(2009). Therefore, a pleading that offers only a
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557
(2007). Nor will a complaint that tenders mere “naked
assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual
enhancement.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557. In the instance where
sufficient facts are alleged in the complaint to rule on an
affirmative defense, such as the statute of limitations, the
defense may be reached by a motion to dismiss filed under
Rule 12(b)(6). This principle only applies, however, if all
facts necessary to the affirmative defense “clearly
appear[ ] on the face of the complaint.”
Goodman v. Praxair, Inc., 494 F.3d 458, 464 (4th
Cir. 2007) (emphasis in original); see also 5B
Wright & Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure §
considering a motion to dismiss, a court is limited to
considering the pleadings, documents attached to the
pleadings, documents integral to, relied upon, or referenced
to within the pleadings, and official public records
pertinent to the plaintiff's claims. See Philips v.
Pitt County Memorial Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir.
2009); Witthohn v. Fed. Ins. Co., 164 F.App'x
395, 396 (4th Cir. 2006); Gasner v. County of
Dinwiddie, 162 F.R.D. 280, 282 (E.D. Va. 1995).