United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ASSIST INC., DIANNA M. WILLIAMS Individually, and as President and sole owner of Assist, Inc., Plaintiffs,
STATE OF INDIANA, INDIANA FAMILY AND SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, DIVISION OF DISABILITY AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, BUREAU OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, VOCATIONAL REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, MAJDI EL-ALAMI individually and as Area 17 Supervisor for Vocational Rehabilitative Services, JEFFREY RUSSELL individually and as the Director of Operations for the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
Assist, Inc. (“Assist”) and Dianna M.
Williams (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
bring various claims against the Defendants pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 because of a decline in the number of
referrals Assist has received through the state-run Indiana
Vocational Rehabilitation Services program. [Filing No.
1.] Presently pending before the Court is Defendant
Majdi El-Alami's Motion to Dismiss the equal protection
claim Plaintiffs assert against him pursuant to § 1983.
[Filing No. 8.] For the reasons stated herein, the
Court grants Mr. El-Alami's Motion to Dismiss.
[Filing No. 8.]
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) “requires only ‘a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Fed. R. Civ.
Pro. 8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not necessary, the
statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quoting
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint
“contain[s] 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 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570). In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint,
the Court must accept all well-pled facts as true and draw
all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
See Active Disposal, Inc. v. City of
Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court
will not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations
as sufficient to state a claim for relief. See
McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th
Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must plausibly state an
entitlement to relief “to a degree that rises above the
speculative level.” Munson v. Gaetz, 673 F.3d
630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This plausibility determination is
“a context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
relevant background is set forth from the allegations of
Plaintiffs' Complaint, which the Court must accept as
true pursuant to the applicable standard of review at this
stage of the proceedings.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
(“IVRS”) is a state-run program intended
to help eligible individuals with disabilities find
employment at no charge to the disabled individual.
[Filing No. 2 at 4.] Once IVRS receives an
application from an individual alleging a disability, an
assessment is made and IVRS develops an Individualized Plan
for Employment (“IPE”) if the individual
is eligible. [Filing No. 2 at 4.] Part of the IPE
advises the individual of local service providers that are in
the business of locating potential employers. [Filing No.
2 at 4.] The individual is provided with a “Pick
List” from which to choose an employment provider.
[Filing No. 2-2.] In relevant part, the Pick List
provides the following information about choosing a provider:
We encourage you to contact each of the providers on this
list. You can call them, set up a meeting, or send an email.
Tell them you are a VR client and you would like to talk with
them about the services they offer. Take notes so you can
compare providers and choose the one that's right for
you. Irs important to select the provider you feel most
comfortable working with and the one that you think can best
help you meet your goals.
Once you've chosen an employment provider, tell your VR
counselor. She/he will get things started for you.
[Filing No. 2-2 at 2.]
Williams is the President and sole shareholder of Assist.
[Filing No. 2 at 3.] Assist is located in Terre
Haute, which is in Vigo County. [Filing No. 2 at 3.]
Assist has operated as a for-profit corporation since 1991,
and its stated mission is to obtain and maintain employment
for the physically and emotionally disabled. [Filing No.
2 at 3.] Assist is the first provider listed on the Vigo
County Pick List that IVRS provides. [Filing No. 2-2 at
3.] If an eligible individual selects Assist as the