United States District Court, District of Columbia
Kessler, United States District Judge
March 28, 2016, Defendants Dahlquist Studios, Inc. and
Jeffrey Dahlquist ("Dahlquist" or
"Defendants") filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment against Plaintiffs Federica
Mennella and Dr. Luca Gattinoni, M.D., her husband
("Plaintiffs") [Docket No. 5]. Defendants request
that the Complaint be dismissed pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6)
and 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. On April 12,
2016, Plaintiffs filed an Opposition [Dkt. No. 6], and on
April 19, 2016, Defendants filed their Reply [Dkt. No. 7].
are suing Defendants for $ 100, 000 because of
dissatisfaction with a custom-made bookcase which was priced
at $12, 400. The Court concludes that the Motion should be
denied for the following reasons.
November, 2014, Plaintiffs commissioned Inscape Studios, Inc.
("Inscape") to design a j custom built bookcase to
be constructed and then installed at their residence located
in the District of Columbia.
quoted an amount of $12, 400 which Plaintiffs accepted and,
as agreed, paid Dahlquist Studios $6, 200 so that it could
purchase the necessary materials to manufacture the bookcase
at its shop in Virginia.
became dissatisfied with the bookcase before and after it was
installed and, thereafter, contacted another contractor to
review Defendants' work. The second contractor inspected
the project and indicated that some of the flaws could not be
according to the Managing Principal of Inscape, Gregory
Kearley, Dahlquist Studios manufactured the bookcase in
conformity with (a) Inscape's design; (b) its approved
shop drawings, and (c) industry standards for architectural
millwork. Plaintiffs have refused to pay the remaining $6,
200 they owed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion to Dismiss, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), "tests
the legal sufficiency of a complaint." Browning v.
Clinton. 292 F.3d 235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The Supreme
Court has ruled that the pleading must contain "a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief...." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In ruling on a Motion
to Dismiss, the Court "may consider only the facts
alleged in the complaint, documents attached as exhibits or
incorporated by reference in the complaint, and matters about
which the court may take judicial notice." EEOC v.
St. Francis Xavier Parochial School. 117 F.3d 621, 624
(D.C. Cir. 1997). In addition, "[t]he court must
construe the complaint liberally in the plaintiffs favor and
credit plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable inferences
deriving from the complaint." Kruger v. Cogent
Commc'ns. Inc.. 2016 WL 125783, *3 (D.D.C., March
30, 2016) (citing Kowal v. MCI Commc'ns. Corp..
16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion for Summary Judgment
argue that the document filed by Defendants is not a Motion
to Dismiss, but a Motion for Summary Judgment. In particular,
Plaintiffs point out that with regard to a Motion to Dismiss,
the Court "may consider only the facts alleged in the
complaint, any documents either attached to or incorporated
in the complaint, and matters of which [the court] may take
judicial notice." EEOC v. St. Francis Xavier
Parochial School. 117 F.3d 621, 624-25 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
However, Plaintiffs point out that Defendants did not
restrict their claims to the allegations contained within the
four corners of the Complaint, and instead relied on nine
exhibits, seven of which were either not attached to the
Complaint or incorporated in it. Those exhibits were referred
to often in Plaintiffs' "Factual Background."
Thus, it is clear that Defendants did not comply with the
ruling in St. Francis Xavier.
even if the Court treats the Motion as a Motion for Summary
Judgment, Defendants still do not prevail because Local Rule
7(h)(1) requires that "[e]ach motion for summary
judgment shall be accompanied by a statement of material
facts as to which the moving party contends there are no
genuine issues, which shall include references to the parts
of the record relied on to support the statement." LCvR
7(h)(1) (2016). Defendants did not comply with any of these
requirements. There are numerous factual issues either in
dispute or not clear from the Complaint. For example, it is
not at all clear why Plaintiffs became dissatisfied
and what they were dissatisfied about. ...