United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
Torresen United States District Judge
me is the Defendant's motion to dismiss the
Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. (“Def.'s
Mot.”) (ECF No. 5). For the reasons stated below, the
motion to dismiss is GRANTED. The
Plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED without
Michael Doyle claims that Defendant Town of Falmouth
“Defendant”), through its Town
Council (“Council”), violated
its own rules of conduct, denied him equal protection under
the law, and suppressed lawful speech. His Complaint, which
was filed in Maine Superior Court on April 10, 2019, is
produced in its entirety below:
1. Defendant Town of Falmouth's Town Council led by
Chairmen Caleb Hemphill, violated their Council rules and
denied Plaintiff equal protection under the law as laid out
in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United
States of America. The Council Rules were violated in Section
(Exhibit 1) when Councilor Hope Cahan blurted out after
Plaintive [sic] finished a comment at the podium, “No
applausing, (Cahan's word choice) we want to create a
safe space for people who want to comment so would you please
withhold from clapping or booing that would be greatly
appreciated so everyone can speak and not held in
judgment.” without permission to speak from the
Chairman Hemphill. Cahan, according to Council rules, Section
19must make satisfaction before being allowed
to speak or vote after the breach. Hemphill allowed Cahan to
vote on an item at the April 9th Council meeting. Plaintiff
is required to abide by Council Rules while they violate and
refuse to enforce their own rules of conduct. For example
Democrats are allowed to drone on well after the five-minute
limit at the podium has expired, while Plaintiff, a
Republican, is constantly and strictly held to the
2. Plaintiff moves the Court to invalidate all Council votes
made that counted Cahan's vote from April 9th up to and
including all other votes until Cahan makes satisfaction as
defined by “a fulfillment of an obligation or
claim” and mandate that all Council Rules be enforced
equally on members as well as speakers at the podium both
Democrats and Republicans.
3. Respectfully submitted this 10th day of April 2019[.]
Compl. (ECF No. 4-2).
Defendant removed the case to this Court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441. (ECF No. 1). On May 28, 2019, the
Defendant moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the “legal
sufficiency” of a complaint. Maine Educ. Ass'n
Benefits Trust v. Cioppa, 842 F.Supp.2d 373, 376 (D. Me.
2012). The general rules of pleading require a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). That
“short and plain statement” need only “give
the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotations
and alterations omitted).
“[t]o 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.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“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.
(internal quotations omitted). “Merely reciting
elements of a claim will not do. . . . Nor will alleging
facts that are too meager, vague, or conclusory to remove the
possibility of relief from the realm of conjecture.”
Lydon v. Local 103, Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers,
770 F.3d 48, 53 (1st Cir. 2014) (internal quotations and
citation omitted). Furthermore, although a plaintiff need not
establish a prima facie case of his claim at the pleading
stage, “the elements of a prima facie case may be used
as a prism to shed light upon the plausibility of the
claim.” Rodríguez-Reyes v.
Molina-Rodríguez, 711 F.3d 49, 54 (1st Cir.
with a motion to dismiss, I examine the factual content of
the Complaint and determine whether those facts support a
reasonable inference “that the defendant is liable for
the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678. First, I “isolate and ignore statements in the
complaint that simply offer legal labels and conclusions or
merely rehash cause-of-action elements.” Schatz v.
Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st
Cir. 2012). Second, I take the complaint's well-pleaded,
non-speculative facts as true, “drawing all reasonable
inferences in the pleader's favor, and see if they
plausibly narrate a claim for relief.” Id.
However, I need not accept “[t]hreadbare recitals of