The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Smith
Plaintiff, an attorney admitted to the practice of law in the States of Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that defendants violated his constitutional rights by refusing to admit him to the Ohio bar without examination. Defendants move to dismiss based, inter alia, upon Eleventh Amendment immunity and the doctrine of judicial immunity. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants defendants' motion to dismiss.
For purposes of ruling on defendants' motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true the well-pleaded factual allegations set forth in the complaint.
Plaintiff is an individual citizen of the State of Colorado. Defendants are the Justices of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Plaintiff sues them in their individual and official capacities.
Plaintiff practices law in Colorado. He was admitted to the Colorado bar after passing the bar examination in 1981. Plaintiff was admitted to the State of Michigan bar upon motion and without examination in 1990. He was also admitted to the State of Missouri bar upon motion and without examination in 1991.
Plaintiff has appeared pro hac vice in State of Ohio courts on numerous occasions. Plaintiff maintains that in the course of his representation of clients in Ohio, he has frequently spoken about alleged illegal actions of economically and politically powerful interests in the State of Ohio.
On October 1, 2004, plaintiff applied for admission to the practice of law in Ohio without examination pursuant to Rule 1, § 9 of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio. Plaintiff alleges that he met all of the requirements for being admitted to the bar without examination. On May 25, 2005, plaintiff's application for admission to the practice of law without examination in the State of Ohio was denied. On September 13, 2005, plaintiff filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration of his application for admission to the practice of law in Ohio. On November 8, 2005, his motion was denied. Plaintiff filed this action on December 27, 2005. He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief ordering defendants to admit him to the bar of Ohio without examination.
A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim "should not be granted unless it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). All well-pleaded allegations must be taken as true and be construed most favorably toward the non-movant.
Schuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). A 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is directed solely to the complaint and any exhibits attached to it. Roth Steel Products v. Sharon Steel Corp., 705 F.2d 134, 155 (6th Cir. 1983).
The merits of the claims set forth in the complaint are not at issue on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Consequently, a complaint will not be dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) only if there is no law to support the claims made, or if the facts alleged are insufficient to state a claim, or if on the face of the complaint there is an insurmountable bar to relief. See Rauch v. Day & Night Mfg. Corp., 576 F.2d 857, 858 (6th Cir. 1976). Rule 12(b)(6) must be read in conjunction with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) which provides that a pleading for relief shall contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." 5A Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990). The moving party is entitled to relief only when the complaint fails to meet this liberal standard. Id.
On the other hand, more than bare assertions of legal conclusions is required to satisfy the notice pleading standard. Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 436 (6th Cir. 1988). "In practice, a complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements to sustain a ...