United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, United States District Court Chief Judge
Court has before Defendant's Second Motion to Dismiss
(Dkt. 24). The Court granted an earlier motion to dismiss by
Defendant, but gave Burdge leave to amend. He filed his
Amended Complaint, and College of Western Idaho
(“CWI”) now moves to dismiss that complaint. For
the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant the motion.
background is set forth in detail in the Court's earlier
Memorandum Decision and Order. The Court will restate them
here for ease of reference, plus add the facts that have
transpired since the Court issued its last opinion.
is a veteran of the United States Navy. Compl.
¶ 1, Dkt. 1. In 2013, he applied for education funding
through the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
(“VRAP”). Id. ¶ 3. Burdge's
VRAP application specified he sought to pursue the
Power-Sports and Small Engine Repair Technology degree at
CWI, though Burdge had not yet applied to CWI. Id.
Burdge's VRAP application for that program was approved
in June 2013. Id.
2013, after his VRAP application had already been approved,
Burdge applied to CWI. Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Burdge
had several discussions with CWI employees in June and July
2013 before he applied to CWI. Id. ¶¶ 4-6.
Those employees knew Burdge was seeking to participate in a
VRAP program and worked with him to ensure CWI's
Power-Sports and Small Engine Repair Technology program was
an approved VRAP program. Id. Later that month, CWI
approved Burdge's application. Id. ¶¶
attempting to register for two core classes in the
Power-Sports and Small Engine Repair Technology program,
Burdge learned the classes were full. Id. ¶ 9.
In fact, the two core classes had been full since April 2013.
Id. Burdge, was placed on a waiting list for the two
core classes that already had 11 students waiting.
Id. ¶ 11 In short, Burdge would have to join
that waiting list if he hoped to take the two core classes,
despite the fact that Burdge would lose his VRAP funding if
he could not take the two core classes. Id.
was ultimately unable to register for the two core classes.
Id. ¶¶ 12-13. Accordingly, CWI could not
certify that Burdge met VRAP's eligibility requirements,
and Burdge lost his VRAP funding. Id. In July 2015,
Burdge filed a pro se Complaint against CWI. He argued that
CWI violated his due process rights because he could not
enroll in the two core classes necessary to retain his VRAP
March 17, 2016, this Court granted CWI's motion and
dismissed the Complaint because “VRAP imposes no
obligation on CWI, or any other educational institution, to
admit VRAP students to any particular program or
classes.” Dkt. 22, p. 7. Additionally, the Court found
that CWI's conduct in not allowing Burdge to bypass the
other eleven students on the waiting list for the two core
classes necessary for Burdge to qualify for the VRAP funding
was not the kind of egregious and shocking conduct that could
give rise to a deprivation of substantive due process.
Id. At 6. Finally, the Court found that Burdge's
allegations of state law tort claims for negligence, gross
negligence, and breach of fiduciary could not be brought
under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because the stautue requires the
deprivation of a federal right. Id.at 7-8. The Court
granted Burdge leave to amend his Complaint so he could
attempt to address the deficiencies identified by the Court.
Id. at 8. On April 4, 2016, Burdge filed his Amended
Complaint. CWI then filed its motion to dismiss, which is now
ripe for consideration.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ” in order to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964
(2007). While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss “does not need detailed factual allegations,
” it must set forth “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. 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. Id. at 556. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability
requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.
Id. Where a complaint pleads facts that are
“merely consistent with” a defendant's
liability, it “stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to
relief.' ” Id. at 557.
“working principles” that underlie
Twombly in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). First, the tenant that a court must accept as
true all of the allegations in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions. Id. “Rule 8 marks a notable
and generous departure from the hyper-technical,
code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock
the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing
more than conclusions.” Id. at 678-79. Second,
to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a
plausible claim for relief. Id. “Determining
whether a complaint ...