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Stevens v. Delaware State University

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

October 8, 2014

SHERLENE STEVENS, Plaintiff,
v.
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY, Defendant

Decided October 7, 2014.

For DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY, Defendant: Daniel D Mauler, REDMON PEYTON & BRASWELL LLP, Alexandria, VA.

Page 563

MEMORANDUM

Royce C. Lamberth, Judge.

Before the Court is defendant's Motion to Dismiss, June 2, 2014, ECF No. 10. Upon consideration of defendant's motion, plaintiff's opposition, ECF No. 7, defendant's reply, ECF No. 8, applicable law, and the record in this case, the Court will GRANT defendant's motion to dismiss and will DISMISS plaintiff's claims.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Sherlene Stevens, acting pro se, filed a Complaint against her former school, Delaware State University (" the University" ). The University's main campus is in Dover, Delaware, with satellite campuses in Wilmington, Delaware, and Georgetown, Delaware. Thomas P. Preston Decl. ¶ 2. Plaintiff filed her Complaint in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia on April 28, 2014. The University timely removed the case to this Court on May 28, 2014. ECF No. 2.

Plaintiff seeks $450,000 for a breach of contract. Compl. Although her Complaint is less than clear, it generally alleges that while she was a student, her major was discontinued and the University lost its accreditation. Id. In her opposition, she asserts new facts and alleges negligence and intentional emotional distress. See generally Opp'n.

The University sought dismissal of the Complaint due to this Court's lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2), and also because Stevens failed to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Mot. Dismiss 2. Alternatively, the University sought a more definite statement from the Plaintiff regarding her claim pursuant to Rule 12(e). Id. The University now adds that Stevens' contract claims are time-barred because the applicable statutes of limitation have long since lapsed. Def.'s Response to Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 3 (" Def.'s Response" ).

II. LEGAL STANDARD

On a motion to dismiss made pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the court's personal jurisdiction over a defendant. FC Inv. Grp. LC v. IFX Mkts., Ltd., 529 F.3d 1087, 1091, 381 U.S.App.D.C. 383 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

To assert personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant, service of process must be authorized by statute and must comport with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Page 564

Cohane v. Arpeja--California, Inc., 385 A.2d 153, 158 (D.C. 1978). The District of Columbia's long-arm statute extends as far as the Due Process Clause allows, so the Court need only consider whether exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this case would comport with due process. Thompson Hine, LLP v. Taieb, 734 F.3d 1187, 1189, 407 U.S.App.D.C. 145 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (" Because we have interpreted these words to provide jurisdiction to the full extent allowed by the Due Process Clause[,] the statutory and ...


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