United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. CANDI SIBLEY PLAINTIFFS
DELTA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER DEFENDANT
matter is before the Court on Defendant Delta Regional
Medical Center's motion to dismiss, Doc. 34, and motion
to strike, Doc. 51, and Relator Candi Sibley's motion for
leave to file excess pages, Doc. 53. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court finds that the motion to dismiss
should be granted on Count V of the Complaint, the motion to
strike should be granted in part and denied in part, and the
motion to dismiss should be granted.
and Procedural Background
According to the complaint, Dr. Robert Corkern is the
Emergency Department Medical Director at Delta Regional.
Compl., Doc. 16 at 13, ¶ 52. In 2012, after being
convicted in a medical kickback scheme, Corkern was placed on
an excluded provider list, which prohibited him from billing
the government for services provided to Medicaid patients.
Id. at 14, ¶53. Corkern, however, continued to
see Medicaid patients, and Delta Regional billed Medicaid by
listing other providers in their health record whenever
Corkern was the treating physician. Id. ¶ 55.
The complaint also asserts that nurse practitioners were
instructed that if they consulted Corkern on a patient, they
were to falsity the medical records by listing a physician
assistant instead. Id.
Candi Sibley filed her complain, alleging, among other
things, that this practice violated the False Claims
Delta Regional filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that
Sibley's complaint fails to state a claim for relief.
Motion to Dismiss Standard
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court is
limited to the allegations made in the complaint and any
documents attached to the complaint. Walker v. Webco
Indus., Inc., 562 Fed.Appx. 215, 216-17 (5th Cir. 2014)
(citing Kennedy v. Chase Manhattan Bank USA, NA, 369
F.3d 833, 839 (5th Cir. 2004)). "[A plaintiffs]
complaint therefore 'must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Phillips v. City of
Dallas, Tex., 781 F.3d 772, 775-76 (5th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129
S.Ct 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)).
is facially plausible when the pleaded factual content
"allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556, 127
S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). "[P]laintiffs must
allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action
in order to make out a valid claim." Webb v.
Morella, 522 Fed.Appx. 238, 241 (5th Cir. 2013) (quoting
City of Clinton, Ark. v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp.,
632 F.3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation
marks omitted)). "[C]onclusory allegations or legal
conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not
suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss." Id.
(quoting Fernandez-Montes v. AVied Pilots Ass'n,
987 F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993) (internal quotation marks
omitted)). "Dismissal is appropriate when the plaintiff
has not alleged 'enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face' and has failed to
'raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.'" Emesowum v. Hous. Police
Dep't, 561 Fed.Appx. 372, 372 (5th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570, 127 S.Ct
I. Motion to Strike and Motion for Leave to File
response to Delta Regional's motion to dismiss, Sibley
filed a brief three pages over the thirty-five pages allowed
by local rules. See L.U. Civ. R. 7(b)(5). Sibley
also attached several documents not referenced in her
complaint and asked this Court to treat Delta Regional's
motion to dismiss as one for summary judgment. Delta Regional
responded by filing a motion to strike the excess pages and
evidence not referenced in the complaint, Doc. 51. Sibley
then filed a motion for leave to file the excess pages Doc.
motion to dismiss is fully briefed, and Sibley's response
was only three pages over the page limit. Further, the vast
majority of Sibley's brief has; been mooted by the
Court's order on the government's motion to dismiss.
Thus, the Court does not find striking the excess pages to be
warranted here. See Thomas v. Firerock Proa., LLC,
No. 3:13-CV-00109-DMB-JMV, 2014 WL 12541627, at *1 (N.D.
Miss. Oct. 14, 2014) ("[A] single filing, even if
somewhat over the . . . page limit, is vastly preferable to a
profligacy of motions-which ... invariably triggers multiple
responses and replies, supported by escalating rounds of
overlapping arguments and duplicative exhibits.").
Delta Regional's motion to strike the evidence, the Court
finds that relief is warranted. Courts accept extra-pleading
materials and convert Rule 2 motions to Rule 56
motions when those materials are "likely to facilitate
the disposition of the action" and "will enable a
rational determination of a summary judgment motion."
Isquith for & on Behalf of Isquith v. Middle S.
Utilities, Inc., 847 F.2d 186, 194 n. 3 (5 th Cir. 1988)
(quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 1366 (1969)). Consideration of the material
Sibley submitted will not facilitate the disposition of this
action. Sibley seeks to do the opposite: she submits the
extra-pleading material to alter tie standard of review and
prevent the Court from disposing of this case. Accordingly,
Sibey's motion for leave to file excess pages is granted.
Delta Regional's motion to strike is denied with respect
to the excess pages of Sibley's response and granted with
respect to the evidence submitted by Sibley in support of her
opposition brief that is neither contained nor referenced in
her complaint. The Court will exclude that evidence from
consideration of Delta Regional's motion to dismiss.