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Riley v. Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control of Louisiana Department of Revenue

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

November 26, 2018

TRACY RILEY
v.
OFFICE OF ALCOHOL & TOBACCO CONTROL OF THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, ET AL.

         SECTION I

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Mickal Adler (“Adler”) and Adler Brands, LLC's (“Adler Brands”) motion[1] to dismiss pro se plaintiff Tracy Riley's (“Riley”) claims against them pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part.

         I.

         On July 25, 2018, Riley filed this lawsuit against over 100 individuals and entities, alleging violations of federal and state law.[2] The complaint names “E Adler and Adler's Jewelry” as defendants.[3] On September 12, 2018, Riley filed an amended complaint.[4] In addition to E Adler and Adler's Jewelry, the amended complaint also names “Mikal [sic] Adler FQBA” as a defendant.[5] FQBA refers to the French Quarter Business Association (the “Association”), [6] although the words “Mikal Adler FQBA” make it difficult to ascertain whether Riley is suing Adler in his individual capacity or in some representative capacity based on a purported relationship between Adler and the Association.[7]

         Adler Brands is not listed as a defendant in either complaint. The summons that was returned executed for Adler lists “Mickal Adler, Manager, Adler Brands LLC thru Registered Agent Christopher Hatcher Blue Williams LLP” as the party that Riley instructed the United States Marshals Service to serve.[8] However, Riley has never designated Adler Brands as a defendant, and it is not a party to this lawsuit.

         Finally, the attorney who filed the present motion does not represent Adler's Jewelry, so the motion cannot have been filed on its behalf.[9] Consequently, despite the extremely confusing nature of Riley's filings, this motion pertains only to the claims against Mickal Adler.

         II.

         Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court may dismiss a complaint when a plaintiff fails to set forth well-pleaded factual allegations that “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Cuvillier v. Taylor, 503 F.3d 397, 401 (5th Cir. 2007). 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) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 547)).

         A facially plausible claim is one in which “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. If the well-pleaded factual allegations “do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, ” then “the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)) (alteration in original).

         The Court will generally not look beyond the factual allegations in the pleadings to determine whether relief should be granted. See Hicks v. Lingle, 370 Fed.Appx. 497, 498 (5th Cir. 2010); Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). In assessing the complaint, however, a court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and liberally construe all factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999). “Dismissal is appropriate when the complaint ‘on its face show[s] a bar to relief.'” Cutrer v. McMillan, 308 Fed.Appx. 819, 820 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Clark v. Amoco Prod. Co., 794 F.2d 967, 970 (5th Cir. 1986)).

         “Generally a district court errs in dismissing a pro se complaint for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) without giving the plaintiff an opportunity to amend.” Bazrowx v. Scott, 136 F.3d 1053, 1054 (5th Cir. 1998). “Such error may be ameliorated, however, if the plaintiff has alleged his best case, or if the dismissal was without prejudice.” Id.

         III.

         Adler argues that Riley's claims against him should be dismissed because he is not mentioned at all in the amended complaint's factual allegations.[10] Upon reviewing the complaint in its entirety, the Court confirms that this is true; Adler's name only appears in the amended complaint's caption. As a result, the complaint cannot survive a Rule 12(b)(6) analysis: the Court cannot analyze the sufficiency of Riley's well-pleaded facts when there simply are none that pertain to Adler. This dearth of any ...


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