United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff/Counterdefendant Dickinson
Frozen Foods, Inc.'s (“Dickinson”) Motion to
Dismiss Count Four of Defendant/Counterclaimant FPS Food
Process Solutions Corporation's (“FPS”)
Counterclaim. Dkt. 17. The Motion is fully briefed and ripe
for the Court's review. Having reviewed the record
herein, the Court finds the parties have adequately presented
the facts and legal arguments in the briefs and record.
Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and
because the Court finds that the decisional process would not
be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court decides
the Motions without oral argument. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court finds good cause to GRANT the Motion and
dismiss Count Four of FPS's Counterclaim. However, the
Court will grant FPS leave to amend its Counterclaim to cure
deficiencies outlined in this decision.
suit arises out of Dickinson's purchase of an Individual
Quick Freeze tunnel freezer machine (the
“Freezer”) from FPS in 2016 for its processing
plant in Sugar City, Idaho. After installation, complications
arose with the Freezer. Dickinson alleges that FPS is liable
for lost profits and damages because the Freezer failed to
perform to contract specifications.
with its answer, FPS filed a counterclaim against Dickinson
alleging that it was in fact Dickinson, not FPS, who failed
to perform its obligations under the contract. FPS also
asserted a claim for defamation per se against Dickinson.
Dickinson then filed the instant Motion to Dismiss FPS's
defamation claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim challenges the
legal sufficiency of the claims stated in the complaint.
Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1242
(9th Cir. 2011). “A complaint generally must satisfy
the notice pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2) to avoid dismissal under a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion.” Id. (citing Porter v. Jones,
319 F.3d 483, 494 (9th Cir. 2003)). “Federal 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 Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley
v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
sufficiently state a claim for relief and survive a 12(b)(6)
motion, the pleading “does not need detailed factual
allegations;” however, the “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id. Mere “labels and
conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. Rather, there must be “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. In other words, the complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
light of Twombly and Iqbal, the Ninth
Circuit summarized the governing standard as follows:
“In sum, for a complaint to survive a motion to
dismiss, the nonconclusory factual content, and reasonable
inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of
a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.” Moss v.
U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).
deciding whether to grant a motion to dismiss, the court must
accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the
pleading under attack. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663. A
court is not, however, “required to accept as true
allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted
deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.”
Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988
(9th Cir. 2001).
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must normally
convert a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into one for summary judgment
under Rule 56 if the court considers evidence outside of the
pleadings. United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903,
907 (9th Cir. 2003). However, a court may consider certain
materials, such as documents attached to the complaint,
documents incorporated by reference in the complaint, or
matters of judicial notice, without converting the motion to
dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. Id. at
cases decided after Iqbal and Twombly, the
Ninth Circuit has continued to adhere to the rule that a
dismissal of a complaint without leave to amend is
inappropriate unless it is beyond doubt that the complaint
could not be saved by an amendment. See Harris v. Amgen,
Inc., 573 F.3d 728, 737 (9th Cir. 2009).