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Ladd v. Jamie Rose Klements DVM, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

December 16, 2019

WESLEY LADD PLAINTIFF
v.
JAMIE ROSE KLEMENTS DVM, LLC DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM O. BERTELSMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Doc. 6), plaintiff's response (Doc. 7), and defendant's reply (Doc. 8).

         The Court has reviewed this matter and concludes that oral argument is unnecessary.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         This case presents somewhat of an unusual fact pattern. Plaintiff is the ex-husband of Jamie Rose Klements, the owner of defendant Jamie Rose Klements DVM, LLC, a veterinary practice.

         Plaintiff alleges that he worked for defendant from approximately June 2017 to October 2018, and that he was not paid any wages, regular or overtime, during his employment. (Compl. ¶¶ 11-16).

         Plaintiff and Klements were married on October 14, 2017. (Klements Aff. ¶ 4) (Doc. 6-1). Plaintiff ceased any involvement with defendant in October 2018 when Klements filed for divorce. (Id. ¶ 5). Plaintiff and Klements were defendant's only regular workers. (Id. ¶ 3).

         Plaintiff filed this action on August 1, 2019, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. (“FLSA”), and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act, O.R.C. §§ 4111.01. et seq. (“OMFWSA”). (Doc. 1).

         In the present motion, defendant argues that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because defendant is not covered under the FLSA and comparable Ohio law due to the “mom and pop” exception. Defendant also asserts that plaintiff has not alleged facts to support invocation of “individual” coverage and, finally, that the Court should decline to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims.

         Analysis

         A. Rule 12(b)(1)

         The first question before the Court is whether defendant's motion to dismiss properly raises a jurisdictional challenge or, as plaintiff argues, whether the inquiry is a merits-based one, rendering dismissal at the pleading stage inappropriate.

         “Subject matter jurisdiction is always a threshold determination.” Am. Telecom Co., L.L.C. v. Republic of Lebanon, 501 F.3d 534, 537 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 101 (1998)). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction may involve a “facial” attack or a “factual” attack. Id.

         A facial attack “questions merely the sufficiency of the pleading, ” and the Court accepts as true the complaint's factual allegations. Gentek Bldg. Prods., Inc. v. ...


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