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Electricity Maine, LLC v. Freedom Logistics, LLC

United States District Court, District of Maine

March 30, 2014

ELECTRICITY MAINE, LLC, Plaintiff
v.
FREEDOM LOGISTICS, LLC, Defendant

Petitioner ELECTRICITY MAINE LLC represented by EBEN ALBERT-KNOPP BERNSTEIN SHUR SAWYER & NELSON

Respondent FREEDOM LOGISTICS LLC doing business as FREEDOM ENERGY LOGISTICS represented by PETER J. DETROY, III NORMAN, HANSON & DETROY

RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS

John H. Rich III United States Magistrate Judge

The defendant, Freedom Logistics, LLC (“FL”), moves to dismiss this case that arises out of an arbitration award.[1] I recommend that the court deny the motion.

I. Applicable Legal Standard

The defendant’s motion invokes two subsections of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12: 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (“Motion”) (ECF No. 7) at 4. When a defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that the court has jurisdiction. Aversa v. United States, 99 F.3d 1200, 1209 (1st Cir. 1996). The moving party may use affidavits and other matter to support the motion, while the plaintiff may establish the existence of subject matter jurisdiction through extrapleading material. 5B Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 1350, at 159-60 (3d ed. 2004); see also Aversa, 99 F.3d at 1210; Howes v. Club Ecuestre el Comandante, 598 F.2d 698, 699 (1st Cir. 1979) (question of jurisdiction decided on basis of answers to interrogatories, deposition statements, and an affidavit).

The Supreme Court has stated:

While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusion, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations and internal punctuation omitted). This standard requires the pleading of “only enough facts 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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court assumes the truth of all of the well-pleaded facts in the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Román-Oliveras v. Puerto Rico Elec. Power Auth., 655 F.3d 43, 45 (1st Cir. 2011).

II. Factual Background

The parties have submitted the following relevant, undisputed facts.

The plaintiff, Electricity Maine, LLC (“EM”), and FL entered into arbitration of a contractual dispute in which a hearing was held before an arbitrator on September 4, 2012. Application to Vacate Arbitration Award (“Complaint”) (ECF No. 1) at 1, 3. The arbitrator issued his award on July 31, 2013, awarding $843, 826.52 plus interest and attorney fees to FL. Id. at 6. FL filed an application to confirm the award in the Maine Superior Court (Cumberland County) on August 23, 2013. Id.

In the Superior Court, FL consented to EM’s motion to establish a single deadline, October 15, 2013, for the filing of EM’s opposition to the application to confirm and its own motion to vacate the award. Motion at 3-4. On October 15, 2013, EM filed both this action and a pleading in the state court action seeking dismissal or stay of those proceedings in favor of this action. Id. at 4. Justice Wheeler of the ...


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