United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
For the Plaintiff: LAW OFFICES OF MEGHA D. BHOURASKAR, P.C., By: Megha Bhouraskar, Esq.
For the Defendants: RICHARD PU, By: Richard Pu, Esq.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Denis R. Hurley United States District Judge
Plaintiff the Resource Mine (“Resource”) commenced this action against defendants Gravity Microsystem LLC (“Gravity USA”), Gravity Microsystem Private Limited (“Gravity India”), Vinay Prakash Sing (“Vinay”), Vivek Gaur (“Vivek”), and Naveen Kharb (“Naveen”) alleging claims of conversion, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. On December 12, 2013, this Court referred plaintiff’s motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 15 to amend the complaint to add a fourth claim for tortious interference of contract against all defendants to Magistrate Judge Wall. On June 27, 2014, Judge Wall issued a Report and Recommendation granting plaintiff’s motion with respect to the tortious interference claim against Naveen, but denying it with respect to all other defendants. Presently before the Court is Naveen’s July 7, 2014 objections to Judge Wall’s ruling. For the reasons set forth below, Naveen’s objections to Judge Wall’s ruling are denied.
The Court assumes familiarity with the facts and procedural history as set forth in Magistrate Judge Wall’s Report and Recommendation.
I. Legal Standard
Rule 72(b)(3) provides that “a district judge must determine de novo any part of [a] magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3);
see also 28 U .S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The Court may “accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). “The de novo review requires the district court neither to ‘rehear the contested testimony’ nor to ‘conduct a new hearing on contested issues.’ ” Gutman v. Klein, 2010 WL 4916722, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 24, 2010) (quoting United States v. Raddatz,
447 U.S. 667, 67475 (1980)). Moreover, even on a de novo review, a district court will generally “refuse to consider arguments, case law and/or evidentiary material which could have been, but was not, presented to the magistrate judge in the first instance.” Kennedy v. Adamo, 2006 WL 3704784, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2006) (quoting Haynes v. Quality Markets, 2003 WL 23610575, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 2003)) (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted).
With respect to the portions of Magistrate Judge Wall’s Report and Recommendation that have not been objected to, the Court’s review has been for clear error, and having found none, those portions are adopted. See Benicorp Ins. Co. v. Nat’l Med. Health Card Sys., Inc., 447 F.Supp.2d 329, 331 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)).
II. Naveen’s Objections
Naveen “objects to the recommendation that [Resource] be permitted to amend its complaint to add a tortious interference claim against [Naveen].” (Mem. in Obj. (“Obj.”) at 1.) Naveen argues that such an amendment would be futile because plaintiff’s proposed amended complaint (“PAC”) against him fails to state a plausible claim for tortious interference of contract. “[T]he standard for futility with respect to a motion to amend under Rule 15 is identical to the standard for a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” Crippen v. Town of Hempstead, 2009 WL 803117, at *1 n. 1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 25, 2009).
In recent years, the Supreme Court has clarified the pleading standard applicable in evaluating a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). First, in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), the Court disavowed the well-known statement in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45–46 (1957) that “a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561. Instead, to survive a motion to dismiss under Twombly, a plaintiff must allege “only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570.
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative ...