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 “entitle[ment] 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 level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). Moreover, the
Court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.”5 Aschcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). “Only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief
survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. Thus, “a court considering a motion to dismiss can
choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can
provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.
When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity
and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. In
sum, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1949
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
5The Supreme Court in Twombly pointed out that its “plausibility” standard is not a heightened pleading standard beyond what the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure had always required. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1973 n. 14. Changes to general pleading requirements “can only be accomplished ‘by the process of amending the Federal Rules, and not by judicial interpretation.’ ” Id. (quoting Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 515, 122 S.Ct. 992, 152 L.Ed.2d 1 (2002)). The interplay between Twombly, Iqbal, and the PSLRA in terms of pleading requirements is not clear. The Second Circuit recently applied Twombly and Iqbal to a securities fraud case. See South Cherry Street, LLC v. Hennessee Group LLC, 573 F.3d 98 (2d Cir. 2009).