This [fraudulent joinder] standard differs from the standard applicable to a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. To survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. This plausibility standard asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. In contrast, all that is required to defeat a fraudulent joinder claim is a possibility of stating a valid cause of action.
Nothing in our precedents concerning fraudulent joinder requires anything more than conclusory allegations or a certain level of factual specificity. All that is required are allegations sufficient to establish even a possibility that a state court would find that the complaint states a cause of action against any one of the resident defendants.
Thus, when deciding a motion to remand involving fraudulent-joinder allegations, the [court] applies a test similar to, but more lenient than, the analysis applicable to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
Although the Court applies the standards governing allegations of fraudulent joinder to this case rather than the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards, those cases usefully illustrate the inadequacy of Plaintiff's conclusory allegations to rebut uncontroverted affidavit testimony denying [the defendant distributor’s] knowledge of the . . . Device’s alleged defects.
- When considering fraudulent joinder, a court “ordinarily conducts a Rule 12(b)(6)-type analysis, looking initially at the allegations of the complaint to determine whether, under state law, the complaint states a claim against the in-state defendant.” Id. at *4.
- “Thus, while some courts in this district have suggested that a defendant alleging fraudulent joinder bears a particularly heavy burden, it seems simplest to treat the inquiry as a modified version of a motion to dismiss, asking whether a state court complaint states a plausible claim.”
- In assessing whether plaintiff’s tortious interference and defamation claims were viable against the non-diverse defendant, the court explicitly applied TwIqbal. Id. at *9-10.
- First, the court notes that “[s]tandards applied [to fraudulent joinder] run the gamut from a summary judgment standard in which documents outside the pleadings are considered, . . . to a Rule 12(b)(6) standard . . . ” Id. At *8-9.
- Then, citing Twombly, the court found: “While acknowledging that the above standard has been established in reference to Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, it is equally applicable here. Id. at *11-12.
- The court found a “dearth of facts” sufficient to state a claim against the non-diverse defendant. Id. at *12.