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CORNWELL v. JOSEPH

June 18, 1998

JOANNE CORNWELL, AMERICAN HAIRBRAIDERS AND NATURAL HAIRCARE ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
RON JOSEPH; PAMELA REED; SUSAN HARRIGAN; AND DANIEL LUNGREN, Attorney General of California, all in their official capacities, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BREWSTER

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LUNGREN'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

 I. Introduction

 Plaintiffs Dr. JoAnne Cornwell and the American Hairbraiders and Natural Haircare Association (AHNHA) filed this action against California state officials, alleging that the enforcement of California's licensing requirement for hairbraiders violates the due process, equal protection and privileges and immunities clauses of both the United States and California Constitutions. The Court has jurisdiction over the federal claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

 II. Background

 Plaintiffs filed their complaint on January 28, 1997. On March 27, 1997, the defendants filed motions to dismiss. On May 2, 1997, the Court dismissed claims against the Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology based upon their Eleventh Amendment immunity. The Court also granted the motion to dismiss as to Plaintiff AHNHA, with forty-five days leave to amend, and denied the motion to dismiss as to Plaintiff Cornwell. That order and a more complete description of this case are found at Cornwell v. California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, 962 F. Supp. 1260 (S.D. Cal. 1997). On June 2, 1997, Plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint naming eleven defendants. No motions to dismiss the first amended complaint were filed. On June 12, 1998, the parties stipulated to a court order that reduced the number of defendants to four so as to reflect organizational changes in California law. *fn1"

 Plaintiff Dr. Cornwell is the owner of Sisterlocks, a sole proprietorship, which specializes in African hair styling. Plaintiff AHNHA is a non-profit nationwide organization dedicated to protecting the rights of hairbraiders and natural hair stylists. Its members are individuals and salons engaged in the business of African hair styling and natural hair care.

 Defendant Ron Joseph is the Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). DCA is established as a State and Consumer Services Agency by California Business and Professions Code § 100 to regulate various occupations. The DCA is responsible for establishing minimum qualifications and standards of competency, issuing licenses, and ensuring compliance with regulations authorized under the California Business and Professions Code. Within the DCA, Defendant Pamela Reed is the Program Administrator for the Barbering and Cosmetology Program and Defendant Susan Harrigan is the Assistant Program Administrator.

 Defendant Daniel E. Lungren is the Attorney General for the State of California. Pursuant to California Business and Professions Code § 321, the Attorney General has the authority to seek an injunction against any acts or practices in violation of any state law that the director of a regulatory agency finds may cause harm to consumers. Plaintiffs are suing these defendants in their official capacities for enforcing California's barbering and cosmetology laws and regulations.

 On January 13, 1998, Defendant Lungren filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c).

 Under the Barbering and Cosmetology Act, it is unlawful for a person to engage in barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis for compensation without a valid license. CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE § 7317. On May 16, 1982, the Attorney General issued an opinion that the practice of African hair braiding falls within the definition of "cosmetology" and requires a cosmetology license. 65 Op. Atty. Gen. 284 (May 6, 1982).

 Plaintiffs argue that the application of the licensing requirement to African hair styling violates their state and federal constitutional rights to substantive due process, equal protection, and the rights guaranteed by the privileges and immunities clauses of the federal and state constitutions. Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the licensing requirement is unconstitutional as applied to African hair styling, a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the statute and its attendant regulations, and attorney's fees and costs. In its May 2, 1997 order, the Court found that Plaintiffs adequately had alleged that there is no rational relationship between the extensive training requirements and the practice of African hair styling. See Cornwell, 962 F. Supp. at 1273. That finding is equally applicable to both Plaintiffs' allegations made in their first amended complaint.

 III. Jurisdiction Over State Law Claims

 In addition to their federal claims, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants' conduct violates their rights under the due process, equal protection and privileges and immunities clauses of the California Constitution. The Eleventh Amendment precludes federal supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims against state officers sued in their official capacities. Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67, 104 S. Ct. 900 (1984). "Whenever it appears . . . that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the ...


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