United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Brian M. Vincent, Plaintiff,
Rex A. Voils d/b/a Rex Voils Homes, Defendant.
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
pending before the Court is Plaintiff Brian M. Vincent's
Motion to Dismiss Counterclaim, [Filing No. 11]. Mr.
Vincent seeks dismissal of Defendant Rex A. Voils's
Counterclaim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or, in the
alternative, for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court agrees that Mr.
Voils's Counterclaim does not arise out of a common
nucleus of operative fact with Mr. Vincent's Complaint
and therefore falls outside of the Court's supplemental
jurisdiction. Accordingly, as explained below, the Court
GRANTS Mr. Vincent's Motion to Dismiss
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows a party to move to
dismiss a claim for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.” Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of
Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th
Cir. 2009). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(1), the Court accepts the allegations in the
plaintiff's complaint as true and draws all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Long v.
Shorebank Dev. Corp., 182 F.3d 548, 554 (7th Cir. 1999).
The burden is on the plaintiff to prove, by a preponderance
of the evidence, that subject-matter jurisdiction exists for
his or her claims. See Lee v. City of
Chicago, 330 F.3d 456, 468 (7th Cir. 2003).
February 6, 2019, Mr. Vincent filed a Complaint against Rex
A. Voils d/b/a Rex Voils Homes, asserting a Fair Standards
Labor Act (“FLSA”) claim for alleged
unpaid regular and overtime wages. [Filing No. 1 at
1.] Mr. Vincent alleges that Mr. Voils was his employer
and that Mr. Voils failed to withhold payroll taxes, failed
to pay the employer's portion of Social Security and
Medicare taxes, failed to make unemployment insurance
compensation payments, and failed to return Mr. Vincent's
personal property. [Filing No. 1 at 1; Filing
No. 1 at 3.]
March 26, 2019, Mr. Voils filed a Counterclaim asserting
claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”) and defamation. [Filing No.
10 at 4-5.] Mr. Voils alleges that Mr. Vincent has
intentionally and maliciously taunted, ridiculed, and
threatened Mr. Voils via text messages, all while Mr. Voils
has been suffering from cancer. [Filing No. 10 at
4.] The text messages from Mr. Vincent to Mr.
Voils's brother discuss Mr. Voils and include statements
such as, “[Mr. Voils's] crooked ways need
extinguished. I'm doing that, and won't stop until
he's 6 feet under. . . . [Mr. Voils] is about to write
the biggest check of his life…..im [sic] out to
destroy him. I won't stop. It's a race between me,
and cancer.” [Filing No. 14-1 at 2-3.] Mr.
Voils also alleges that Mr. Vincent has made defamatory
statements about Mr. Voils that were intended to demean Mr.
Voils and “impute misconduct by [Mr. Voils] in his
course of business.” [Filing No. 10 at 4.]
April 2, 2018, Mr. Vincent filed the pending Motion to
Dismiss Counterclaim, seeking the dismissal of Mr.
Voils's Counterclaim based on lack of subject matter
jurisdiction or, in the alternative, failure to state a
claim. [Filing No. 11.]
memorandum in support of his motion, Mr. Vincent acknowledges
that this Court has original jurisdiction over his FLSA
claim. [Filing No. 12 at 2.] However, Mr. Vincent
asserts that this Court does not have supplemental
jurisdiction over Mr. Voils's defamation and IIED claims
because they do not constitute part of the same case or
controversy as Mr. Vincent's FLSA claim, due to those
claims having not arisen from a common nucleus of operative
fact. [Filing No. 12 at 2-3.] Mr.
Vincent argues that, on the face of the Counterclaim, there
is no connection between his FLSA claim and Mr. Voils's
claims for IIED and defamation. [Filing No. 12 at
response, Mr. Voils argues that the Counterclaim has a
“sufficient nexus” to the FLSA claim because Mr.
Vincent's statements and conduct forming the basis for
the IIED and defamation claims show the nature of the
relationship between the parties and the character of Mr.
Vincent. [Filing No. 14 at 3.] Mr. Voils attached to
his response brief the two text messages sent by Mr. Vincent
described above, and he argues that the statements in
these text messages “relate to why [Mr. Vincent] is no
longer working for ...