United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Aric W. Hall, Plaintiff,
Capella University, Defendant.
W. Hall, plaintiff pro se.
C. Hennigan, Esq. and Maslon LLP, counsel for defendant.
S. Doty, Judge
matter is before the court upon the motion to dismiss by
defendant Capella University. Based on a review of the file,
record, and proceedings herein, and for the following
reasons, the motion is granted.
dispute arises out of Capella's disenrollment of
plaintiff Aric W. Hall from its Ph.D. program in February
2012. Hall enrolled in Capella's “long-track”
Ph.D. program in 2003. Hall v. Capella Univ., No.
16-223, ECF No. 1 ¶ 5. The long-track program allowed
him to complete his doctorate over a period of seven years.
Id. Hall alleges that, in 2011, despite submitting
draft dissertation templates to an unnamed dissertation
advisor multiple times, he received no feedback or
response. Compl. ¶ 8. The dissertation advisor
also allegedly failed to sign off on Hall's milestones or
otherwise communicate with him. Id. ¶¶ 6-7.
Capella disenrolled Hall in February 2012, even though
unnamed university advisors allegedly told him, that same
month, that they would “press for an extension”
and “seek a new dissertation advisor.”
Id. ¶ 12. The complaint does not state whether
Capella provided reasons for his disenrollment.
February 1, 2016, Hall filed suit against Capella University
and Capella Education Company alleging fraud and breach of
contract based on the facts stated above as well as several
additional allegations. See Hall v. Capella Univ.,
No. 16-223, ECF No. 1. On June 21, 2016, the court found that
most of the alleged conduct was barred either by the statute
of limitations or the educational malpractice doctrine, and
it dismissed those claims with prejudice. Id. ECF
No. 25, at *3-6. The court, however, dismissed his fraud and
breach of contract claims as they pertained to his 2012
disenrollment without prejudice so that he could re- file his
complaint and plead the factual bases of his claims with more
January 4, 2018, Hall again filed suit against Capella
University alleging fraud and false advertizing based on his
disenrollment from the Ph.D. program. Capella now moves to
Standard of Review
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.'” Braden v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
[has pleaded] factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
556 (2007)). Although a complaint need not contain detailed
factual allegations, it must raise a right to relief above
the speculative level. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
“[L]abels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action” are not sufficient
to state a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted). The court notes that
Hall is pro se and, therefore, it will liberally construe his
complaint, but it will not assume facts not alleged.
Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
Motion to Dismiss
argues that both of Hall's claims must be dismissed
because he has failed to plead them with sufficient
particularity. The court agrees.