Prince’s Briefcase: Ashcroft v. Iqbal (Glannon Civil Procedure)

Glannon Civil Procedure: Pleadings

Here is a case from my Civil Procedure course which explains the correct way to plead a claim. No longer will a court hear “Basic Pleadings” or grievance complaints like Dioguardi v. Durning. This is also known as the “Well-Pleaded” standard or the “Twombly” Standard

Case Name, Citation Number, Author
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), Supreme Court of The United States

prince's briefcase (princesdailyjournal)Procedural History
District court dismiss Iqbal’s motion, relying on the Conley Standard (like Dioguardi v. Durning but needs facts, Go to Notes) saying that there was no set of facts on which Iqbal would be entitled to relief; Iqbal appealed the decision. The Court of Appeals then found that the pleading was adequate and said that the Twombly rule (enough to show claim is plausible, Go to Notes) does not apply universally–meaning only a few cases (Iqbal was straightforward: race discrimination). Supreme Court then granted certiorari–meaning they heard the case.

–Iqbal was a citizen of Pakistan and got arrested and detained by federal officials (Ashcroft) were investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks
–Iqbal was supposedly tortured and claimed that his treatment while in detention violated his constitutional rights.
–Iqbal sued FBI Director Mueller, and Attorney General Ashcroft
–Iqbal claims that the FBI designated him because of his race, religion, and national origin.
–There was a statistic which showed thousands of Arab Muslim men being arrested and detained

Did Iqbal adequately plead his claim of injustice and racial discrimination?


An allegation is “well-pleaded” when it is more than a “mere conclusory statement”—more than just a “threadbare recital of the elements of the cause of action.”

–Iqbal’s case was a restatement of an element in the discrimination claim= It was conclusory and generic. This is not enough for the court to hear your claim.
–Iqbal need to give facts plausibly showing that Ashcroft purposefully detained him because of his race, religion, or national origin. There was nothing to show for it.
–The court will still accept the factual allegations of the complaint as true but only if the court can assume its veracity.
–His pleading contained no facts–just a basic grievance to grant him relief under the law.

Reversed and Remanded to lower court

–Conley Rule: “a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim, unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.
–Twombly Rule: Plaintiffs must allege enough to show that their claim is “plausible” not just conceivable
–There was no jury trial because the claim was not “well-pleaded”. The Judge(s) gave the verdict and not the jury
–Dissenting opinion: The court isn’t supposed to consider whether the allegations are probably true–they are supposed to take them as true. Meaning Judges can’t enforce red-tape!

Prince’s Takeaway
A plaintiff must not only show that Defendant violated her rights, but must also allege supporting evidence of the violations. PLEAD THE “FACTS CONSTITUTINTG A CAUSE OF ACTION” RATHER THAN LEGAL CONCLUSIONS. HERESAY or the Race Card won’t cut it.
–Courts and lawyers cite Ashcroft v. Iqbal over 100 times!
–if there was an email that showed Ashcroft purposefully detaining Iqbal and other Arab Muslim men, then Iqbal’s claim would have a case!

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Throwback Thursday: My Interview w/ Dr. Aaron Bruce, Chief Diversity Officer at SDSU

Every Thursday I post a miscellaneous blog/picture/article that I have featured in the past or an interview of an extraordinary individual.

This week’s ThrowBack Thursday Edition: My interview with Dr. Aaron Bruce, Chief Diversity Officer at SDSU.

This interview was recorded in the summer of 2014 at my old alma mater San Diego State University–GO AZTECS! And in this interview, not only did I learn more about his role at SDSU, but his passion for international diversity.

2014-08-26-AaronBruceToday I had the pleasure of catching up with Dr. Bruce at SDSU, where he continues to create an inclusive and supportive environment for all SDSU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and visitors–working very closely with senior level administrators, deans, and committees throughout the campus, who are all also dedicated to diversity inclusion strategies. In our conversation, he told me that he is travelling to college campuses across the nation to give important lectures on race topics, such as “Ferguson.”

Here is an article on Dr. Bruce, from Huffington Post, urging students of color to study abroad: Dr. Aaron Bruce Urges Students of Color to Prepare to become International Leaders.

To read my original post on Dr. Aaron Bruce, click on the link below:

Prince in The City w/ Dr. Aaron Bruce, Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University

If you wish to learn more about his current activities in recruiting Staff Diversity in International Education, go to

If you wish to contact him to give lectures on diversity inclusion and important topics on race such as Ferguson, email him at or Google him.

You can also follow Dr. Aaron Bruce on Twitter @DiversityJedi and on

Daily Newsfeed

NYPD Commissioner calls for unity after the killings of two NYPD officers; Paul McCartney drafts Protest Anthems for Eric Garner Demonstrations; Veteran Politician Beji Caid Essebsi wins Tunisia’s first presidential free election; Sony still wants people to see “The Interview” ; and China indicts Jackie Chan’s son on a drug charge. To read this and more, follow the links below.

NYPD Commissioner calls for unity

Beatles Singer Paul McCartney drafts protests anthem for Eric Garner demonstrations

Essebsi wins Tunisia’s first presidential free election

Sony still wants people to see The Interview

China indicts Jackie Chan’s son on a drug charge