United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
A. BRADY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Holly Daniels'
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 18). Daniels asks this Court to
dismiss Plaintiff's pro se Civil Complaint (ECF No. 1)
against her under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
for failure to state a claim. For the reasons set forth
below, Daniels' motion will be denied.
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
filed her complaint on May 7, 2018. Broadly speaking,
Plaintiff alleges that the Indiana Department of Child
Services and its employees and/or agents acted in concert to
remove her children from her home. Over the course of six
numbered paragraphs, the complaint makes specific allegations
against all the defendants except Daniels. On October 12,
2018, Daniels, noting the lack of allegations against her,
filed the instant motion seeking dismissal of the complaint.
Plaintiff filed her Response (ECF No. 28) on December 28,
2018, and within that response made several allegations
against Daniels. Daniels filed her Reply in Support of Motion
to Dismiss (ECF No. 30) on January 1, 2019. Daniels admitted
that Plaintiff's response contains allegations against
Daniels, but nonetheless continued to seek dismissal stating,
“the complaint has not been amended and, accordingly,
the status of the record is still that the complaint makes no
allegations against Defendant Daniels.” (Id.,
brings her motion pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(6), which
allows a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint that fails
to “state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When deciding a motion
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court accepts as true all
factual allegations in the complaint and draws all inferences
in favor of the plaintiff. Bielanski v. Cty. of
Kane, 550 F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008). The 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). In Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, the Supreme Court explained that the complaint
must allege facts that are “enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Hecker v. Deere &
Co., 556 F.3d 575, 580 (7th Cir. 2009) (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted). To be facially
plausible, the complaint must allow “the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556). Pro se pleadings must be liberally interpreted.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); see
also Hart v. Amazon.com, Inc., 191 F.Supp.3d 809, 816
(N.D. Ill. 2016), aff'd, 845 F.3d 802 (7th Cir. 2017)
(“Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court
construes his complaint ‘liberally' and holds it to
a ‘less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.'”) (quoting Perez v.
Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015)).
is correct that the complaint, taken alone, fails to
specifically identify her as a perpetrator of the alleged
acts. However, the Seventh Circuit has made it clear that
facts alleged in a brief in opposition to a motion to dismiss
as well as factual allegations contained in other court
filings of a pro se plaintiff may be considered when
evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint so long as they are
consistent with the allegations of the complaint. See,
e.g., Smith v. Dart, 803 F.3d 304, 310-11 (7th
Cir. 2015); Dausch v. Rykse, 52 F.3d 1425, 1428 n.3
(7th Cir. 1994); American Inter-Fidelity Exch. v.
American Re-Insurance Co., 17 F.3d 1018, 1021-22 (7th
Cir. 1994); Hrubec v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger
Corp., 981 F.2d 962, 963-64 (7th Cir. 1992);
Swofford v. Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549 (7th Cir.
1992); Early v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 959
F.2d 75, 79 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court concludes that the
additional facts contained in the Response, essentially that
Daniels ignored court orders and conspired with Defendant
Cakor to keep Plaintiff from her daughter, are consistent
with the allegations in the complaint. Notably, Daniels makes
no argument that these facts would be insufficient to state a
claim. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has
cleared the low bar of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), and that dismissal is not warranted.
reasons set forth above, Daniels' Motion to Dismiss is
DENIED. Daniels is hereby ordered to file an answer or other
responsive pleading to ...