Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly

In Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, U.S. 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), the Court explained that "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." Id. at 1964-65. Thus, the key distinction is between a bare-bones complaint asserting only the elements of a claim and a complaint asserting not only legal elements, but also facts to support those elements. Courts are well-suited to distinguish between the two. Indeed, we do so all the time when reviewing questions of fact, mixed questions of law and fact, and questions of law. It is not a controversial assertion that, while a plaintiff need not assert detailed facts, a plaintiff must assert some facts. "Without some factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only `fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also `grounds' on which the claim rests." Id. at 1965 n. 3. Thus, at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage, "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)." Id. at 1965.