United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
GREGORY A. PRESNELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss for
Lack of Jurisdiction (Doc. 11) and the Motion to Dismiss
Count III (Doc. 12) filed by Defendant Jeanne Hibbard, as
well as the responses in opposition to those motions (Doc.
26, 28) filed by the Plaintiff, the Estate of Richard Brookes
Hibbard (henceforth, the “Estate”), and Jeanne
Hibbard's reply (Doc. 39) to those responses.
Brookes Hibbard died on October 3, 2016. At the time, he was
residing in Florida. Shortly thereafter, his estate was
opened in Volusia County. Five years earlier, while living in
New Hampshire, he had purchased an annuity from Defendant
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
(“Allianz”), naming his then-wife, Jeanne
Hibbard, as the beneficiary. In July 2013, the Hibbards -
still residing in New Hampshire - were divorced.
Brookes Hibbard never changed the beneficiary designation on
the Allianz annuity. Shortly after the death of her former
husband, Jeanne Hibbard obtained approximately $97, 000 from
his account with Allianz. On January 10, 2018, the Estate
filed the instant suit claiming, inter alia, that a
Florida statute had automatically revoked the beneficiary
designation of the Allianz annuity at the time of the
divorce, meaning that Jeanne Hibbard was not entitled to the
$97, 000. By way of the instant motions, Jeanne Hibbard
contends that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over this case and, in the alternative, that the Florida
statute did not apply to the beneficiary designation of the
Subject Matter Jurisdiction Challenges
on subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) take two
forms: facial or factual. Facial attacks on the complaint
merely require that the court look and see if the plaintiff
has sufficiently alleged a basis of subject matter
jurisdiction, and the allegations in the complaint are taken
as true for the purposes of the motion. Lawrence v.
Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990). Factual
attacks, on the other hand, challenge the existence of
subject matter jurisdiction in fact, irrespective of the
pleadings, and matters outside the pleadings, such as
testimony and affidavits, are considered. Id.
Rule 12(b)(6) motions
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief” so as to give the defendant fair
notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests, Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47, 78 S.Ct.
99, 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957), overruled on other
grounds, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). A Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
merely tests the sufficiency of the complaint; it does not
decide the merits of the case. Milburn v. United
States, 734 F.2d 762, 765 (11th Cir.1984). In ruling on
a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the factual
allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. SEC v. ESM Group,
Inc., 835 F.2d 270, 272 (11th Cir.1988). The Court must
also limit its consideration to the pleadings and any
exhibits attached thereto. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c); see also
GSW, Inc. v. Long County, Ga., 999 F.2d 1508, 1510 (11th
plaintiff must provide enough factual allegations to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1966, and to
indicate the presence of the required elements, Watts v.
Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1302 (11th Cir.
2007). Conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual deductions
or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not prevent
dismissal. Davila v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 326 F.3d
1183, 1185 (11th Cir. 2003).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173
L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), the Supreme Court explained that a
complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations,
“but it demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading
that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of
further factual enhancement.” Id. at 1949
(internal citations and quotations omitted). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged - but it has not ‘show[n]' - ‘that
the plaintiff is entitled to relief.'” Id.
at 1950 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).