United States District Court, D. Columbia
August 22, 2005.
THOMAS G. HOULAHAN, Plaintiff,
WORLD WIDE ASSOCIATION OF SPECIALTY PROGRAMS AND SCHOOLS, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HENRY KENNEDY, District Judge
Plaintiff, Thomas G. Houlahan ("Houlahan"), brings claims of
intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,
defamation, libel, and abuse of process against six defendants.
Presently before the court is the motion of defendants World Wide
Association of Specialty Programs and Schools ("World Wide") and
Kenneth Kay for partial judgment on the pleadings as to
Houlahan's claims of abuse of process and libel pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) [Dkt #13]. Upon
consideration of the motion, the opposition thereto, and the
record of this case, the court concludes that the motion must be
Defendants' motion is grounded on a faulty premise, that
Houlahan is required to allege facts, which if proven, would
entitle him to prevail. Such is not the standard. Rather, the
standard of review for a motion brought under Federal Rule 12(c)
is the same as that for a motion brought under Federal Rule
12(b)(6). Dale v. Executive Office of the President,
164 F. Supp. 2d 22, 24 (D.D.C. 2001). Under this standard, the complaint
must be liberally construed in the plaintiff's favor, and the court must consider the facts in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. Id.; Does I through III
v. District of Columbia and MRDDA, 238 F. Supp. 2d 212, 216
(D.D.C. 2002). The motion should be granted only if "`[plaintiff]
can prove no set of facts in support of [his] claim which would
entitle [him] to relief.'" Does I through III,
238 F. Supp. 2d at 216 (citing Beverly Enterprises, Inc. v. Herman,
50 F. Supp. 2d 7, 11 (D.D.C. 1999)). Thus, while it is true that in order to
prevail on his abuse of process claim Houlahan will have to show
"`a perversion of court processes to accomplish some end which
the process was not intended by law to achieve, or which compels
the party against whom it has been used to do some collateral
thing which he could not legally and regularly be compelled to
do,'" Wiggins v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.,
153 F. Supp. 2d 16, 22 (D.D.C. 2001) (quoting Washington Medical Ctr., Inc.
v. Holle, 573 A.2d 1269, 1285 (D.C. 1990)), he is not required
to do so in order to survive a motion to dismiss. Likewise, while
in order to prevail on his libel claim against World Wide,
Houlahan will have to show, inter alia, that Wall was not an
independent contractor, no such showing or allegation is required
to survive defendants' motion.
ORDERED that defendants' motion is DENIED.
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