MONIQUE HEADLEY, Plaintiff,v.SECOND NORTHWEST COOPERATIVE HOMES ASSOCIATION, INC. Defendant.
Case No.: 2021 CA 003966 B Judge: Fern Flanagan SaddlerNext Event: Initial HearingJanuary 28, 2022
PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT
COMES NOW, Plaintiff MONIQUE HEADLEY, pro se, moves to dismiss Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint in the instant case and in support thereof, states as follows:
Plaintiff is a stock-holder and member of the Defendant’s Corporation. On or about November 1, 2018, Plaintiff entered an Occupancy Agreement with the Defendant.
On or about October 29, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against the Defendant alleging that the Defendant failed to maintain common areas of the premises. Accordingly, Plaintiff alleged losses and/or harm suffered including water damage. Further, as a result of Defendant’s actions and/or inactions, the value of Plaintiff’s property declined, to Plaintiff’s detriment. In that regard, Plaintiff alleged the following causes of action: breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, breach of quiet enjoyment, constructive eviction, breach of implied warranty of habitability, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotion distress.
On or about December 20, 2021, Defendant wrote Plaintiff seeking Plaintiff’s position regarding the relief Defendant intended to request in the Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff denied the relief and indicated that she would oppose the said Motion.
On or about December 28, 2021, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint.
Plaintiff hereby files this Opposition to the said Motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The standard applicable to motions pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 12(b)(6) to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted was correctly articulated by the trial judge in her order granting the motion: In deciding a motion to dismiss, the [c]ourt accepts as true all allegations in the Complaint and views them in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Owens v. Tiber Island Condominium Ass’n, 373 A.2d 890 (D.C. 1977). Dismissal is impermissible unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of her claim, which would entitle her to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 41-45, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957); Abdullah v. Roach, 668 A.2d 801 (D.C. 1995).
Further, “[t]o survive a 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.’ ” Potomac Dev. Corp. v. District of Columbia, 28 A.3d 531, 544 (D.C.2011) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)).
RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS
Breach of Contract
Defendant alleges that Plaintiff failed to state a valid claim for breach of contract. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 4-5). Specifically, Defendant contends that Plaintiff failed to cite specific sections of the Agreement that Defendant breached. Further, Defendant alleges that the Agreement contains no provision or duties regarding “common areas”.
Under Article 9 of the Agreement entered between Plaintiff and Defendant, Defendant stated that it will “provide necessary management, operation, and administration of the project”. (See the Occupancy Agreement).
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Defendant alleges that Plaintiff has not provided any factual basis to show that the Defendant has a duty to maintain any common areas. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 6-7).
Defendant alleges that Plaintiff failed to state a claim that Defendant acted negligently. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 7-8). Specifically, Defendant alleges that Plaintiff has not shown how Defendant breached the duty of care. Defendant further alleged that the Plaintiff’s negligence claim is similar to the breach of fiduciary duty claim, and that it should be dismissed in that regard.
The mission statement of the Defendant raises several obligations of the Defendant. Notably, the mission statement provides thus: “to maintain buildings and property that are safe, secure, accessible, and affordable; to upgrade when necessary the existing units, buildings/building systems, grounds and appliances.” (See Defendant’s Mission, Vision, and Value Statement, p.1). The mission also provides that the Defendant shall “improve the quality of the business operation”. Id. Further, the Defendant commits itself to “respond to concerns of staff and members and deal with them in a reasonable time frame”. Id.
The Defendant’s vision statement also states thus: “we believe that all members should be treated with respect”. (See Defendant’s Mission, Vision, and Value Statement, p.1). Defendant further states the following in their vision statement “we will exercise honesty and integrity in all relationships with members, employees and community.” Id. Interestingly, the value statement proceeds to state “we believe that a healthy environment is crucial to sustaining the quality of our lives and community.” Id.
Breach of Quiet Enjoyment
Defendant alleges that failed to state a claim to support a finding of breach of quiet enjoyment because Plaintiff continues to stay in the same property. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 8-9). Defendant further alleges that there was no eviction or disturbance that justify Plaintiff’s claim.
Under Article 6 of the said Agreement, the Defendant committed to ensure the Plaintiff has peaceful possession of the property.
Defendant alleges that failed to state a claim that she was constructively evicted from the property. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 9-11). Specifically, Defendant alleges that the acts alleged by Plaintiff did not deprive Plaintiff of the enjoyment of the property.
Breach of Warranty of Habitability
Defendant alleges that it is not subject to the warrant of habitability. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 11-13). Defendant further alleges that it is a housing cooperative, not a landlord, and is therefore not subject to the DC Housing Regulations.
The Defendant’s “Second Northwest New Member’s Orientation Information Material” provides expressly that “the individual is both a tenant because of their lease with the corporation, and an owner because of their stock ownership and participation in group governance.” (See Second Northwest New Member’s Orientation Information Material- Exhibit B). Further, the Defendant’s Handbook provides expressly that the Occupancy Agreement is “similar to a rental lease.” (See Cooperative Handbook, p. 9).
Article VIII of the Defendant’s By-Laws provides that the Defendant is subject to the rights, powers, and privileges of HUD. (See By–LawsSecond Northwest Cooperative Homes Association). Further, under Section 8 of Article XI, the Defendant committed itself to monitor the services it offers by the Professional Management Agent of the housing development. Id.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Defendant alleges that the Plaintiff fails to provide facts to show that the Defendant’s conduct amounted to an intentional infliction of emotional distress. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 13-14).
Negligent infliction of emotional distress
Defendant alleges that Defendant’s relationship with Plaintiff is not of a nature that creates an obligation to care for Plaintiff’s emotional well-being. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 15-16). Defendant further claimed that it cannot reasonably be held responsible for the emotional well-being of the Plaintiff.
Defendant alleges that Plaintiff’s Complaint does not contain facts sufficient to find that Defendant’s actions have a “degree of permanence” so that they give rise to a finding that a private nuisance exists. (See Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, pp. 16-17).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, MONIQUE HEADLEY, prays that this Honorable Court enter an appropriate Order dismissing Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint. Plaintiff also prays this Honorable Court grants any other relief that the Court deems just.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
Defendant affirms that a copy of the above was served upon the Defemdamt to this action by electronic and/or U.S. mail to her respective address as stated below:
At Legal writing experts, we would be happy to assist in preparing any legal document you need. We are international lawyers and attorneys with significant experience in legal drafting, Commercial-Corporate practice and consulting. In the last few years, we have successfully undertaken similar assignments for clients from different jurisdictions. If given this opportunity, The LegalPen will be able to prepare the legal document within the shortest time possible. You can send us your quick enquiry ( here )