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Bailey v. Fred Finch Children's Home

October 18, 2005

JAMES BAILEY, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRED FINCH CHILDREN'S HOME, INC. D/B/A FRED FINCH YOUTH CENTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING FINCH DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR FINAL DISMISSAL AND BECH DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge

Defendants Berkeley Ecumenical Ministries Foundation (BECH), Bonnie Bonetti-Bell, Frances Townes, Hana McQuinn and Morris Wright (collectively, BECH Defendants) move for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(b). Defendants Fred Finch Children's Home, Inc., (Finch), Molly Thauwald, Geetha Ravi-Thaker, Kara Carnahan and Susana Marshland (collectively, Finch Defendants) move for an order of final dismissal and entry of judgment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). Pro se Plaintiff James Bailey, Jr., has filed a document entitled "Declaration Plaintiff, Motion for Summary Judgment," which the Court construes as an opposition to Defendants' motions.

The Court finds the motions appropriate for decision without oral argument as permitted by Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78. See also Partridge v. Reich, 141 F.3d 920, 926 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that district court may decide summary judgment issues without oral argument if parties have opportunity to submit written materials) (citing Lake at Las Vegas Investors Group, Inc. v. Pacific Malibu Dev. Corp., 933 F.2d 724, 729 (9th Cir. 1991) cert. denied, 503 U.S. 920 (1992)).

Having considered all of the papers filed by the parties, the Court GRANTS BECH Defendants' motion for summary judgment and GRANTS Finch Defendants' motion for an order of final dismissal.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on December 27, 2004, alleging that both BECH Defendants and Finch Defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against him on the bases of race and sex.

Finch Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them on the grounds, among others, that Finch and its employees are not proper parties and are not liable to Plaintiff under Title VII, and that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies against them. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Finch Defendants on those grounds, granting Plaintiff leave to file a first amended complaint (FAC) alleging, if he could truthfully do so, that an employment relationship existed between himself and Finch Defendants. April 19, 2005 Order Granting Finch Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Granting BECH Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Amended Answer. The Court also required that Plaintiff allege, if he could truthfully do so, that he exhausted administrative remedies with respect to each Finch Defendant.

Unless Plaintiff provided additional materials to support the exhaustion of administrative remedies, the Court instructed that he could not name as Defendants Geetha Ravi-Thaker, Kara Carnahan, Holly Thauwald or Susana Marshland. Id. at 7. Plaintiff was directed to file a FAC no later than May 20, 2005.

On April 25, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a FAC. The Court denied the motion as moot, explaining that Plaintiff had already been granted leave to file a FAC. April 27, 2005 Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint. The Court declined to construe the motion itself as a FAC because it did not conform either to the requirements of the Civil Local Rules or to the instructions in the April 19, 2005 Order. The Court restated those instructions and the May 20 deadline for filing a FAC.

Plaintiff then filed a "motion to amend first amended complaint" on May 2, 2005 and another "motion to file first amended complaint" on May 17, 2005. Neither motion was noticed for hearing. The May 2 motion consists of a two and a half page narrative regarding his relationship to Finch, BECH and Homeless Youth Collaborative (HYC), which he describes as "the entity that Mr. Bailey and other staff were all trained to work under in the collaborative." It is supported by a copy of the December 13, 2004 right-to-sue letter issued by the EEOC against HYC, which was also attached to Plaintiff's original complaint. The May 17 motion consists only of a cover page attached to copies of documents. In addition to an unauthenticated letter from a third party, these documents include a May 16, 2005 EEOC letter providing a right to sue Defendant Bonnie Bonetti-Bell; a May 10, 2005 letter from California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) providing a right to sue BECH; a May 16, 2005 EEOC letter providing a right to sue Finch; a May 12, 2005 EEOC letter providing a right to sue HYC; and a December 13, 2004 EEOC letter providing a right to sue HYC.

Finch Defendants now move for entry of an order of final dismissal on the grounds that (1) Plaintiff cannot truthfully allege an employment relationship with Finch Defendants and (2) Plaintiff failed to file an amended complaint by the Court's May 20 deadline.

BECH Defendants move for summary judgment on the grounds that they are not statutory employers within the meaning of Title VII, and that the complaint fails to allege the existence of the necessary employment relationship with BECH or the required exhaustion of administrative remedies. The motion was initially noticed for hearing on July 15, 2005. When Plaintiff failed to file a timely opposition, the Court vacated the hearing date and granted Plaintiff a two-week extension of time in which to file an opposition to BECH Defendants' motion for summary judgment. See July 1, 2005 Order Vacating Hearing Date and Extending Plaintiff's Deadline to File Opposition. The deadline for Plaintiff's opposition to Finch Defendants' motion for final dismissal was set for the same time. The Court concurrently issued to Plaintiff an order providing notice of the requirements for opposing a motion for summary judgment.

On July 6, 2005, Plaintiff filed an ex parte request that the Court "postpone . . . ruling on the case" due to medical and economic hardships. The Court granted the request and issued a thirty-day stay of all activity in the case, including Plaintiff's deadline to file oppositions. Plaintiff filed declarations in support of his own "motion for ...


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