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Collin v. Berryhill

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

May 23, 2017

VICTORIA G. COLLIN, Petitioner,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court upon the Motion of Nancy A. Berryhill, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), to dismiss Petitioner's request for Writ of Mandamus for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ P. 12(b)(1). (ECF # 9). For the following reasons, the Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Petitioner Victoria G. Collin filed this petition for Writ of Mandamus on February 15, 2017, against Respondent (“the Government”) Nancy A. Berryhill[1], the acting Commissioner of Social Security, to compel the Government to: (1) reinstate Social Security garnishments (“garnishments”) of James R. Jacobs and (2) issue payments for amounts allegedly “due and owed” by the Government. Petitioner's request for (1) reinstatement is no longer at issue because garnishments resumed in February 2017. On February 15, 2017, the Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the claim (2) of payments “due and owed.”

         Petitioner obtained a Cuyahoga County Court order to garnish the Social Security benefits of her ex-husband, Mr. Jacobs, as child support authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 659. Payment began in September 2014 and stopped in October 2015. On October 8, 2015, the Government issued notification to Petitioner that it had received a “stop order” and garnishment payments would cease. Neither the Petitioner, nor Petitioner's representative issued a “stop order” request to cease garnishments by the Government. In December 2015, Petitioner sent a letter to the Government, requesting (1) reinstatement and (2) retroactive garnishments due. The Government resumed payment of garnishments in January 2017. Petitioner, having exhausted all other avenues for relief and with no other adequate remedy at law, requests a Writ of Mandamus to compel the Government to pay those garnishments uncollected from October 2015 through January 2017.

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         In deciding a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). The court need not, however, accept conclusions of law as true:

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief..”
As the Court held in [Bell Atlantic v.] Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955');">127 S.Ct. 1955 [(2007)], the pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require “detailed factual allegations, ” but it demands more than an unadorned, the-Defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. Id. at 555. A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 557.
To 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.” Id. at 570. A claim has facial plausibility when the Petitioner pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the Defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 556. 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. Where a complaint pleads facts that are “merely consistent with” a Defendant's liability, it “stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to relief.'” Id. at 557.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         According to the Sixth Circuit, the standard described in Twombly and Iqbal “obliges a pleader to amplify a claim with some factual allegations in those contexts where such amplification is needed to render the claim plausible.” Weisbarth v. Geauga Park Dist., 499 F.3d 538, 541 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143, 157-58 (2nd Cir. 2007)). That is, “Iqbal interpreted Twombly to require more concrete allegations only in those instances in which the complaint, on its face, does not otherwise set forth a plausible claim for relief.” Weisbarth, 499 F.3d at 542. A complaint should be dismissed when it fails to allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         B. ...


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