In the case, Mediacom Southeast LLC v. BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Kentucky, No. 10-6117 (2012), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently issued an opinion addressing the Iqbal and Twombly plausibility standard for pleadings. In this case, the City of Hopkinsville and the Kentucky League of Cities had brought suit against AT&T Kentucky seeking a declaration that AT&T Kentucky’s Commonwealth-wide phone franchise did not permit it to offer a video television service through its phone lines without first seeking a cable franchise from the City.
The City settled this suit, but shortly after settlement, Mediacom Southwest LLC intervened and sought a declaration on the same issue. AT&T Kentucky moved to dismiss Mediacom’s intervening complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), arguing that its video service was governed by its phone franchise. The district court granted AT&T’s motion finding that Mediacom had failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Id. at *4.
On appeal, the Sixth Circuit discussed the Twombly/Iqbal standard and found that the district court had “failed to apply the appropriate standard of review for a motion to dismiss, improperly assigning the burden of proof to the non-moving party.” Id. at *4. The Court faulted the district court for its finding that Mediacom’s complaint was “unpersuasive.” Id. at *5. It also found that the district court credited the defendant’s version of the facts, which “unduly raises the pleading standard beyond the heightened level of Iqbal and Twombly, forcing the plaintiff’s well-pleaded facts to be not only plausible, but also persuasive.” Id. at *7 (emphasis added). The Court found this burden was not proper for a motion to dismiss. Instead, the Court found that Mediacom’s complaint went beyond conclusory statements and was not speculative, thus satisfying Twombly/Iqbal. Id. at p. *5.
The judgment of the district court was reversed and the matter remanded for further hearing.
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 Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). « Back to news