United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Godbey United States District Judge
order addresses Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of
standing, ripeness, and failure to state a claim. Because
Plaintiff pled a cognizable injury ripe for adjudication and
adequately pled its breach of contract claim, the Court
denies the motion.
Origins of the Dispute
case arises from a dispute between Plaintiff William Noble
Rare Jewels (“Noble”) and Defendant Sky Global
LLC (“Sky”) regarding the marketing of three gem
stones: the Yellow Rose, the Blue, and the
Pink. Noble owns one of the stones, the Pink,
and has a contract with the owner of another, the Yellow
Rose, to sell it in exchange for a commission.
and Sky entered an oral agreement that provided Sky would
assist in locating a buyer with sufficiently deep pockets. In
exchange, Noble agreed to evenly divide profits from any sale
with Sky. Sky never found a buyer but did identify several
prospects. Noble maintains Sky did so in bad faith, shopping
the stones around excessively to illegitimate prospects in
hopes of devaluing the stones so they would be easier to
sell. Noble argues this constitutes a breach of contract
under Texas law. Sky now moves to dismiss this claim.
The Court has Jurisdiction over the Breach of Contract
moves to dismiss under Rule 12, primarily arguing that
Plaintiff Noble fails to state a claim. As mandated by Fifth
Circuit caselaw, however, the Court first addresses Sky's
contention that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(1). See Ramming v. United States,
281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Hitt v. City of
Pasadena, 561 F.2d 606, 608 (5th Cir.1977) (per
Subject Matter Jurisdiction Standard
court subject matter jurisdiction is circumscribed by Article
III and requires both constitutional and statutory
authorization. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2; Stockman
v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 138 F.3d 144, 151 (5th Cir.
1998). A court properly dismisses a case where it lacks the
constitutional power to decide it. Home Builders
Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d
1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998).
12(b)(1) movant may challenge subject matter jurisdiction
through either a facial attack, which challenges the
sufficiency of the pleadings through a Rule 12(b)(1) motion,
or a factual attack, which provides evidentiary materials in
addition to the motion. Rodriguez v. Tex. Comm'n on
the Arts, 992 F.Supp. 876, 878 (N.D. Tex. 1998). The
Court accepts as true all allegations and facts in the
complaint where, as here, the motion presents a facial
attack. Ass'n of Am. Physicians & Surgeons, Inc.
v. Tex. Med. Bd., 627 F.3d 547, 553 (5th Cir. 2010).
Plaintiff bears the burden of proof in the Rule 12(b)(1)
context, but a court should grant the motion “only if
it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove a set of
facts in support of his claim that would entitle plaintiff to
relief.” Ramming, 281 F.3d at 161 (citing
Home Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of
Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir.
Standing and Ripeness Standards
“Standing and ripeness are required elements of subject
matter jurisdiction.” Roman Catholic Diocese of
Dallas v. Sebelius, 927 F.Supp.2d 406, 415 (N.D. Tex.
2013) (Boyle, J.). Sky's motion challenges one of the
three requirements for standing, actual injury. Lujan v.
Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). To
establish a cognizable injury, “the plaintiff must have
suffered an injury in fact - an invasion of a legally
protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized,
and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical.” Id. at 560 (citations omitted).
Sky also contends that Noble's claim fails for lack of
ripeness, a related temporal requirement. “A claim is
not ripe for adjudication if it rests upon contingent future
events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not
occur at all.” Texas v. United States, 523
U.S. 296, 300 (1998) (citation and internal quotation marks
The Court Has Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Court finds Noble has established both actual injury and
ripeness. Noble alleges it owns at least one of the stones
and has a contract giving it the right to commission from the
sale of another. Taken as true, the allegation that Sky