United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
TINA M. BROWN, Plaintiff,
BALFOUR BEATTY COMMUNITITES, LLC, Defendant.
L. RUSSELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss, Doc. No. 7, filed by
Defendant Balfour Beatty Communities pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff responded, Doc. No.
11, and Defendant replied, Doc. No. 12. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court grants Defendant's motion.
August 13, 2019, Plaintiff commenced this wrongful
termination action in tort against Defendant in the District
Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Doc. No. 1, Ex. 4. On
October 1, 2019, Defendant removed the action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § § 1332, 1441, and 1446 on grounds of
diversity jurisdiction. Id. Defendant now seeks
dismissal arguing that Plaintiff's Complaint is vague,
ambiguous and therefore not in compliance with federal
pleading standards. Doc. No. 7. Plaintiff objects, arguing
that her Complaint is sufficient under both Oklahoma and
Federal pleading standards. Doc. No. 11.
initial matter, that Plaintiff's Complaint may be
sufficient under Oklahoma's notice pleading standard is
irrelevant. “Upon removal of this action to federal
court, the sufficiency of the allegations of the Complaint
are governed by federal pleading standards, not, as Plaintiff
contends, the Oklahoma Pleading Code.” Weist v.
Davol, Inc., No. CIV-14-668-D, 2014 WL 3928559, at *1
(W.D. Okla. Aug. 4, 2014).
reviewing Defendant's motion under the appropriate
standard in Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must determine whether
Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief may be
granted. The motion is properly granted when the Complaint
provides no “more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). The Complaint must contain enough
“facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face” and the factual allegations “must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id. at 570. The Court must accept all
the well-pleaded allegations of the Complaint as true and
must construe the allegations in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff. Alvarado v. KOB-TV, L.L.C., 493 F.3d
1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007). But the Court need not accept as
true those allegations that are conclusory in nature.
Erikson v. Pawnee Cnty. Bd. of Cnty. Comm'rs,
263 F.3d 1151, 1154-55 (10th Cir. 2001). “[C]onclusory
allegations without supporting factual averments are
insufficient to state a claim on which relief can be
based.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1109-10 (10th Cir. 1991).
has not satisfied the pleading standard set by Rule 12(b)(6).
Under Oklahoma law, a wrongful termination claim is viable
under a tort theory only “where an employee is
discharged for refusing to act in violation of an established
and well-defined public policy or for performing an act
consistent with a clear and compelling public policy.”
Burk v. K-Mart Corp., 770 P.2d 24, 29 (Okla. 1989).
“[T]o prevail in an action brought for a wrongful
discharge in violation of Oklahoma's public policy, a
plaintiff must first identify an Oklahoma public policy goal
that is clear and compelling and articulated in existing
constitutional, statutory or jurisprudential law.”
McCrady v. Okla. Dep't of Pub. Safety, 122 P.3d
473, 475 (Okla. 2005). Here, Plaintiff has failed to allege
that the termination of her employment violated Oklahoma
public policy or even refer to any purported “clear and
compelling” Oklahoma public policy goal. Therefore,
Plaintiff has failed to properly plead her claim and her
action for wrongful termination is dismissed for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See
Blough v. Rural Elec. Coop, Inc., 689 Fed.Appx. 583, 587
(10th Cir. 2017) (affirming dismissal of wrongful termination
claim because Plaintiff failed to allege that the termination
of his employment violated Oklahoma public policy).
also argues that if her Complaint is deemed insufficient,
leave to amend is the appropriate remedy-not dismissal.
Defendant objects to Plaintiff's request to amend her
Complaint. The Court will consider a properly supported
motion for leave to amend Plaintiff's Complaint that
complies with both the Western District's Local Civil
Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but will not
grant authorization premised on the request in
Plaintiff's response brief. Plaintiff is hereby granted
10 days to file for leave to amend her Complaint.
IS SO ORDERED.
 In her response to Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff attached a number of exhibits
for the Court to consider. The Court cannot, however, examine
these exhibits. See Jackson v. Integra, Inc., 952
F.2d 1260, 1261 (10th Cir. 1991) (“When
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the district court must
examine only the plaintiff's complaint . . ...