United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
HONORABLE SARA LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the motion to dismiss filed by defendant Stark
State College (“SSC”) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (Doc. No. 7 [“Mot.”].)
Plaintiff Emily Worcester (“Worcester”) filed a
brief in opposition (Doc. No. 8 [“Opp'n”]),
and SSC filed a reply (Doc. No. 9 [“Reply”]). For
the reasons set forth herein, the motion to dismiss is
granted with respect to the federal claim in count one. Under
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3), the Court declines to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claim in count
23, 2018, Worcester filed her complaint against SSC, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking redress for alleged
violations of her substantive and procedural due process
rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Doc. No. 1, Complaint
[“Compl.”] ¶ 3.)
alleges that she enrolled at SSC in 2014. (Id.
¶ 10.) In 2016, having completed all the prerequisites,
she was accepted into SSC's dental hygiene program.
(Id. ¶ 12.) On April 5, 2018, despite both
having no disciplinary record and remaining in good standing,
Worcester “received a letter informing her that she had
been dismissed from the dental hygiene program and that the
letter would serve as a ‘final' dismissal.”
(Id. ¶¶ 14-15; ¶ 27.)
alleges that her dismissal “was based upon two alleged
incidents in which she was accused of taking dental
impressions of patients off of [SSC's] property.”
(Id. ¶ 16.) She admits that she “took
dental impressions of two of her patients outside of [SSC,
]” but claims that she was “unaware that she was
not allowed” to do so. (Id. ¶ 19.) She
alleges that she was “never told” and had
“no notice” that such behavior “could
result in expulsion.” (Id. ¶¶
20-21.) Worcester alleges that she was “dismissed from
the dental hygiene program without being given the
opportunity to be heard or to file any appeal or readmission
application.” (Id. ¶ 29.)
further alleges that another student who had engaged in the
same behavior was not dismissed, was given an opportunity to
re-take the dental impressions, and graduated on time with
multiple awards. (Id. ¶¶ 31-33.)
Worcester alleges that she filed a formal student complaint,
for which she never received a written decision, as well as a
readmission application. (Id. ¶¶ 35-43.)
She alleges that SSC “failed to follow its own
procedures, depriving [her] of her due process rights[,
]” and breaching a contract that SSC had with her.
(Id. ¶¶ 47; 50-54.)
asserts a single federal claim for violation of procedural
and substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment
and a single state law claim for breach of contract.
Standard of Review
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although this pleading
standard does not require great detail, the factual
allegations in the complaint “must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct.
1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (citing authorities). In other
words, “Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a
‘showing,' rather than a blanket assertion, of
entitlement to relief.” Id. at 555, n.3
(criticizing the Twombly dissent's assertion
that the pleading standard of Rule 8 “does not require,
or even invite, the pleading of facts”) (internal
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, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570). Rule 8 does not “unlock the doors of
discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than
conclusions.” Id. at 678-79. “While
legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint,
they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their
veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief.” Id. at 679.
“The court need not, however, accept unwarranted
factual inferences.” Total Benefits Planning
Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552
F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Morgan v.
Church's Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 12 (6th Cir.
Section 1983 Fourteenth Amendment Due Process
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
set forth facts that, when construed favorably, establish (1)
the deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States (2) caused by a person acting under
the color of state law.” Heyne v. Metro. Nashville
Pub. Sch., 655 F.3d 556, ...