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Millenia Productions, LLC v. Dhat

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

April 30, 2019

MILLENIA PRODUCTIONS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
MA VIN DHAT, d/b/a KDS NAIL PRODUCTS Defendant.

          ORDER

          STEPHEN R. BOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Ma Vin Dhat's Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, Motion to Strike, or, in the Alternative, Motion for a More Definite Statement. (Doc. #21). For the following reasons the motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 31, 2019, Defendant Ma Vin Dhat, doing business as KDS Nail Products (“KDS”), filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike certain of Plaintiff Millenia Productions, LLC's (“Millenia”) claims against KDS and portions of Millenia's Complaint. On March 11, 2019, this Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part the Motion. The Court ordered Millenia to file an amended complaint correcting the specified deficiencies. On March 18, 2019, Millenia timely filed its First Amended Complaint, correcting some, but not all deficiencies set forth in this Court's March 11 Order. Specifically, the First Amended Complaint includes Count 4, which was dismissed. KDS moves the Court to again dismiss Count 4, or, in the alternative, to strike the claim from the First Amended Complaint or, in the alternative, to order Millenia to file a more definite statement. Additionally, KDS moves the Court to dismiss Count 5, Millenia's common law trademark infringement and unfair competition claim. Finally, KDS moves to strike Millenia's requests for punitive damages set forth in paragraph 9 of the First Amended Complaint and paragraph 8 of its Prayer for Relief.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Dismissal for Failure to State a Claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)

         A complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). A claim may be dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal citations omitted) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Zink v. Lombardi, 783 F.3d 1089, 1098 (8th Cir. 2015). “A claim has facial plausibility when the [complainant] pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inferences that the [opposing party] is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ash v. Anderson Merchs., LLC, 799 F.3d 957, 960 (8th Cir. 2015) (internal quotations omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The Court must consider all facts alleged in the complaint as true when considering a motion to dismiss. See Data Mfg., Inc. v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 557 F.3d 849, 851 (8th Cir. 2009). However, allegations that are “legal conclusions or formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action . . . may properly be set aside.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677).

         B. Striking of Immaterial and Impertinent Matter under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) provides that “[t]he court may strike from a pleading . . . any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” District courts “enjoy[] liberal discretion under Rule 12(f).” Nationwide Ins. Co., v. Cent. Mo. Elec. Coop., Inc., 278 F.3d 742, 748 (8th Cir. 2001). “Despite this broad discretion however, [m]otions to strike . . . are viewed with disfavor and are infrequently granted.” Stanbury Law Firm v. I.R.S., 221 F.3d 1059, 1063 (8th Cir. 2000) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices

         KDS argues Millenia's unfair and deceptive trade practices claim in Count 4 should be removed from the First Amended Complaint because this Court dismissed the claim in the March 11 Order. Millenia acknowledges the claim was dismissed and states it included the claim in its First Amended Complaint only because Millenia did not interpret the Court's Order as directing Millenia to eliminate the claim from the First Amended Complaint. Given that this claim has already been dismissed without prejudice, KDS's motion to dismiss Count 4 is again granted without prejudice to Millenia's ability to seek leave of Court to amend the Complaint in the future. Although the Court is granting the dismissal of Count 4, Millenia need not file a new Complaint.

         B. Common Law Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition

         KDS argues Millenia's common law trademark infringement and unfair competition claim in Count 5 should be dismissed because Millenia does not specify in its First Amended Complaint under which state's common law it is proceeding. Millenia indicates that Missouri common law is implicated and applies to Count 5 because the First Amended Complaint alleges infringing conduct occurred in Missouri. Millenia further states ...


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