Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mennella v. Dahlquist Studios, Inc.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 28, 2016

FEDERICA MENNELLA, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DAHLQUIST STUDIOS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Gladys Kessler, United States District Judge

         On 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].

         Plaintiffs 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.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In 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.

         Defendants 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.

         Plaintiffs 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 repaired.

         However, 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.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A 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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Dismiss and/or Motion for Summary Judgment

         Plaintiffs 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.

         However, 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. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.