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Shanda Mathis, et al v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

October 25, 2011

SHANDA MATHIS, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Gregory L. Frost

Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Franklin County Children Services' ("FCCS") motion to dismiss (ECF No. 7), Plaintiffs' memorandum in opposition to FCCS's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 17), Defendant Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' ("ODJFS") motion for judgment on the pleadings (ECF No. 14), Plaintiffs' memorandum in opposition to ODJFS's motion for judgment on the pleadings (ECF No. 21), and ODJFS's reply memorandum (ECF No. 23). For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS FCCS's motion and GRANTS ODJFS's motion.

I. Background

Plaintiff Shanda Mathis, individually and on behalf of her minor children, alleges that defendants, ODJFS, FCCS, and Ohio Youth Advocate Program, conspired to seize her minor children without legal basis and in violation of Plaintiffs' rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff also alleges a claim for relief under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, 18 U.S.C. §1962 (c) and (d) ("RICO"), for corrupt activity and conspiracy to engage in a corrupt activity.

II. Standards

A. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)

To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009) (clarifying the plausibility standard articulated in Twombly). "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." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. The factual allegations of a pleading "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .' Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. "The court must 'accept all the . . . factual allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff[].' " Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Gov't v. Hotels.com, L.P., 590 F.3d 381, 384 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009)).

B. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c)

The Court reviews motions made under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the same manner it would review a motion made under Rule 12(b)(6). Vickers v. Fairfield Med. Ctr., 453 F.3d 757, 761 (6th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, to survive a defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings, the plaintiff's complaint must state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, as explained in more detail above. See Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929; Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868.

III. ODJFS's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

A. RICO

Defendant ODJFS moves for judgment on the pleadings on Plaintiffs' RICO claim arguing, inter alia, that it is immune from this claim and, even if it were not, civil RICO claims cannot be ...


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