United States District Court, N.D. California
December 12, 2005.
EVA M. KEISER, Plaintiff,
LAKE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARTIN JENKINS, District Judge
ORDER RE MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Pending before the Court are: (1) Defendants Wiley Price &
Radulovich, LLP ("WPR") and Barbara Armanino's Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. #11); (2) Defendant County of Lakes's "Rule 12(b)(6) Motion
for Failure to State a Claim" (Doc. #17); and (3) Defendants
William Jaynes and the Superior Court of California's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. #20). Plaintiff pro per Eva Keiser has filed
Oppositions in response to each of the pending Motions (Docs.
##23, 24, 25), and Defendants have filed Replies*fn1 (Docs.
#26 (County Reply), #27 (Mr. James and Superior Court), #28 (WPR
and Ms. Armanino).) The Court now rules as follows.
I. Legal Standard Motion to Dismiss
A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal
sufficiency of a claim. Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732
(9th Cir. 2001). Because the focus of a 12(b)(6) motion is on
the legal sufficiency, rather than the substantive merits of a
claim, the Court ordinarily limits its review to the face of the complaint. See Van Buskirk v. Cable News Network, Inc.,
284 F.3d 977, 980 (9th Cir. 2002). Generally, dismissal is
proper only when the plaintiff has failed to assert a cognizable
legal theory or failed to allege sufficient facts under a
cognizable legal theory. See SmileCare Dental Group v. Delta
Dental Plan of Cal., Inc., 88 F.3d 780, 782 (9th Cir. 1996);
Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
Cir. 1988); Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc.,
749 F.2d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 1984). Further, dismissal is appropriate
only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no
set of facts in support of a claim. See Abramson v. Brownstein,
897 F.2d 389, 391 (9th Cir. 1990). In considering a 12(b)(6)
motion, the Court accepts the plaintiff's material allegations in
the complaint as true and construes them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. See Shwarz v. United States,
234 F.3d 428, 435 (9th Cir. 2000).
II. Plaintiff's Allegations
Plaintiff filed her Complaint against Defendants on June 7,
2005. (Doc. #1.) The material allegations, taken as true and
construed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, are
summarized as follows.*fn2
In October 1994, Plaintiff was hired on a 900-hour contract
basis with the Superior Court of California, County of Lake.
Later, in February 2005, Plaintiff obtained a permanent position
as a County Court Clerk. In 2000, Plaintiff applied for a
competitive selection position offered by the County's Local
Agency Merit System, and was selected for the position of
judicial secretary. In early 2001, in addition to her judicial
secretary position, Plaintiff was appointed to a Courthouse
Safety Officer position. Additionally, beginning in 2001, and
again in 2002, Plaintiff was appointed as Grand Jury Commissioner
for the Superior Court, County of Lake.
Plaintiff alleges that in 2002, Court Manager, Barbara
Mallinen, informed Plaintiff that her office area would be used
as an office lounge/break area for court staff. Plaintiff opposed
the change, claiming it was intrusive and disruptive to her work
area. Ms. Mallinen responded that the change was necessary to
monitor all conversations. Plaintiff, however, avers that the
change was "an attempt to `spy' on the activities of Plaintiff and the Grand Jury."
Plaintiff alleges that in January 2002, she "began experiencing
and documenting an escalation of harassment directed at [her],
namely a probate secretary, Doe." Plaintiff claims that the
probate secretary challenged Plaintiff's "by the book" procedures
and called Plaintiff profanities. As a result, Plaintiff
complained to Mr. William Jaynes, the Court Executive
Officer,*fn3 and Ms. Mallinen. Neither took any action.
Plaintiff alleges that, "[d]uring the next four months harassment
against Plaintiff escalated in the form of work procedure
sabotage (changing procedures without cause or necessity),
increase in work load (from coworker's backlog by order of court
manager), name calling, subordinates without any authority giving
Plaintiff orders, ultimatums over requested sick leave, pointed
emails, and disparate treatment by manager in front of
coworkers." (Id. at ¶ 22.)
In 2002, following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the
County Safety Council appointed Plaintiff to the position of
Courthouse Building Evacuation Coordinator. Plaintiff alleges
that around that time the courthouse was under alert status and,
pursuant to orders from the State Office of Emergency Services,
she had to evacuate the courthouse as part of emergency
preparation drills. According to Plaintiff, "[t]hese drills were
highly resented by Court Management  as it gave access and
authority to Plaintiff to order anyone from the building and
search without prior notice, as well as, cite anyone refusing to
cooperate." In particular, Plaintiff claims that Ms. Mallinen
"let Plaintiff know, in no uncertain terms, how much she resented
having to take orders from Plaintiff." She also alleges that
court management failed or refused to report safety incidents and
would delay notifying Plaintiff about emergency situations.
Subsequently, in May 2003, Plaintiff was assigned the
responsibility of coordinating court reporters and interpreters
in five departments. She alleges that Ms. Mallinen repeatedly
told her to conceal unequal wages, treatment, and reimbursement
rates of overtime and mileage among the court reporters. Because
Plaintiff suspected that these procedures were illegal and
violated wage and labor laws, she refused to comply. Plaintiff
further alleges that she "believed that these unfair labor
practices were wide spread within the rank of the non[-]merit
system employees and began to organize these employees in an
effort to standardize their pay under equal pay for equal work
standards." In response to these efforts, Plaintiff alleges that the court
management*fn4 advised employees that they should "be
careful with whom they had lunch." According to Plaintiff, her
efforts "to standardize the wages of court reporters was
protected and presented an obstacle to the ensuing labor
negotiation of the Defendants."
In June 2003, Plaintiff continued to advocate on behalf of the
court employees, and in anticipation of the implementation of the
Trial Court Employment Protection and Governance Act ("TCEPGA"),
assisted in establishing a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable
organization, pursuant to California Government Code § 71632.
On September 23, 2003, Plaintiff received a disciplinary notice
seeking her termination on the ground that she was one day late
in scheduling a second fingerprinting for a background check. On
September 26, 2003, Plaintiff filed a grievance with Lake County,
but the Lake County Personnel Director informed Plaintiff that
she had no right to grievance through the County. Plaintiff then
retained counsel to defend against the disciplinary action.
"Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' act in serving notice of
adverse action five days before the mandated implementation of
the TCEPGA was a pretext to prevent Plaintiff from utilizing the
protection provision of retained rights and status upon
implementation of the TCEPGA."
On September 28, 2003, the TCEPGA went into effect. Plaintiff
alleges that, "[i]t was in and about this time that Plaintiff
became aware of the efforts by Defendants to reclassify Plaintiff
to make her status in the confidential unit an excluded position,
and suspected a plan to combine that unit with the management
bargaining unit." Plaintiff opposed the reclassification, but was
not offered a transfer because she was facing a disciplinary
On November 12, 2003, Plaintiff claims that the Defendants
attempted to use the disciplinary proceedings to convince her
that she had no protection under the TCEPGA because she was an
excluded employee under the TCEPGA. On November 25, 2003,
Plaintiff prevailed at the disciplinary hearing, and all charges
against her were dismissed.
Thereafter, on December 4, 2003, Plaintiff alleges that a union
representative approached her and asked her to sign a document. Plaintiff signed the document,
but after realizing that it was a loyalty oath for labor
relations, withdrew her signature. She alleges that her refusal
to sign was a protected activity.
Plaintiff alleges that throughout December 2003 and January
2004, she continued to experience further acts of hostility and
harassment from court management and other subordinate workers.
She claims that this hostility and harassment escalated every
time she expressed her dissatisfaction over her suspected
placement. At the end of 2004, Plaintiff began to inquire about
transferring to another position.
On February 3, 2004, Plaintiff received a disciplinary notice
indicating that she had allegedly committed fraud in securing
employment with the court. At this time, security escorted
Plaintiff out of the building and took her keys. Plaintiff
believes that Defendants "conspired and violated Labor Code §
432.7 to bring this action against Plaintiff in an effort to
prevent her defecting from the newly formed management bargaining
group that was being used to exclude Plaintiff from her retained
rights through [the court's] implementation of the TCEPGA."
Thereafter, a disciplinary hearing was held, which resulted in
Plaintiff's discharge. After Plaintiff appealed, her employment
was reinstated, and she returned to work on May 25, 2004.
However, Plaintiff did not receive her back wages of
approximately $6,000; she therefore appealed. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants held these wages as a penalty for engaging in the
protected activity of advocating that an agency shop fee of
unrepresented objectors should be allowed to paid to a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization of an employee's choice.
On May 5, 2004, Plaintiff accepted Defendant's*fn5
reinstatement benefits package. She states that, as an act of
good faith, she did not file any claim against Defendants, but
did appeal the wage taking by writ. On May 25, 2004, Plaintiff
returned to work in accordance with the reinstatement
order.*fn6 At that time, she received another disciplinary
notice terminating her employment based on job performance. It
was at this point that Plaintiff discovered that Ms. Mallinen and
the probate secretary had raided Plaintiff's office, and that Defendants had no intention of
allowing her to return to work. Security then escorted Plaintiff
out of the building and took her keys. Plaintiff asserts that the
motivation for this action "was based on bias and prejudice
against Plaintiff's gender and esteemed career status."
On May 28, 2004, June 15, 2004, and June 18, 2004, Plaintiff
wrote former presiding Judge David Herrick, and requested that he
remove Mr. Jaynes from his position as CEO. Plaintiff alleges
that, on July 1, 2004, Mr. Jaynes "stepped aside rather than
defend against Plaintiff's charge of bias and
prejudice."*fn7 In an effort to appeal her termination,
Plaintiff contacted the court to obtain the procedures for the
selection of an impartial hearing officer under the court
policies and the TCEPGA. On July 1, 2004, Plaintiff received a
letter from the court indicating that, based on her
classification, she was not entitled to a evidentiary hearing. On
July 30, 2004, Plaintiff appealed the decision of discharge. The
court referred Plaintiff's appeal to WPR,*fn8 which the
court previously retained as counsel in Plaintiff's wage appeal.
On August 30, 2004, Plaintiff filed an unfair practice charge
with the Public Employment Relations Board ("PERB"). Plaintiff
claims that after she filed her charge, WPR contacted her to
propose submitting her claim to arbitration. Plaintiff rejected
WPR's proposal, and submitted requests for discovery. On February
14, 2005, Plaintiff claims that WPR wrote her, stating that
"Defendants" would make no further effort to provide a hearing.
On February 28, 2005, Plaintiff requested reinstatement to a
court position that was being advertised. On March 2, 2005, Mr.
Jaynes rejected Plaintiff's request, citing the third adverse
employment action. Plaintiff thereafter filed an appeal with the
PERB for an evidentiary hearing, which Plaintiff states is under
review by an administrative law judge.
Based on the foregoing events, Plaintiff alleges that "[f]rom
January 2003 to present, [she] has suffered retaliation and
deprivation of her fundamentally vested right of employment."
(Compl. at ¶ 50.) She states that, "[s]he has been harassed,
perjured, conspired against, humiliated, deceived, defrauded,
insulted, defamed, libeled, slandered, exposed to emotional and
physical distress, ridiculed, suffered bias and prejudice against her gender, privacy invaded, [experienced]
disparate treatment, and held against her will in a pattern of
perpetual disciplinary discharge procedures which ultimately
amount[ed] to [the] constructive discharge of her employment on
September 23, 2003, February 3, 2004, May 25, 2004, and July 30,
As a result, Plaintiff asserts the following claims against
Defendants: (1) violation of her constitutional rights
(42 U.S.C. § 1983); (2) refusal to prevent interference with deprivation of
constitutional rights (42 U.S.C. § 1986); (3) age discrimination
(29 U.S.C. § 623); (4) retaliation for political activity (Labor
Code § 1101 and § 1105); (5) intentional misrepresentation; (6)
breach of contract; (7) breach of covenant of good faith and fair
dealing; (8) defamation; (9) discharge in violation of public
policy; and (10) intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Each of the Defendants has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
on the ground that Plaintiff has failed to state any claim upon
which this Court may grant relief.
A. Preemption under the Trial Court Employment Protection and
Defendants first urge the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's claims
because under the TCEPGA,*fn9 the PERB has exclusive
jurisdiction over disputes regarding wages, hours, and terms and
conditions of employment. Particularly, Defendants argue that
Article 3 of the Act provides:
A complaint alleging any violation of this article or
of any rules and regulation adopted by a trial court
pursuant to Section 71636 shall be processed as an
unfair practice charge by the [PERB]. The initial
determination as to whether the charge of unfair
practice is justified and, if so, the appropriate
remedy necessary to effectuate the purposes of this
article, shall be a matter within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the board.
Cal. Gov't Code § 71639.1(c). Based on this provision, Defendants
argue that "the Act requires that complaints by trial court
employees alleging unfair labor practices must be presented
only to PERB." Thus, Defendants advance that, to the extent
Plaintiff alleges she was treated unfairly because she engaged in
protected labor-related and/or union-related activities, this
Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate those matters because such
claims are within PERB's exclusive jurisdiction.
In support, Defendants cite El Rancho Unified School District
v. National Education Association, 33 Cal. 3d 946 (Cal. 1983). In that case, the California Supreme
Court addressed whether the PERB had exclusive jurisdiction over
a school district's state court tort action for damages resulting
from a teachers' strike led by four employee organizations none
of which had been recognized as the exclusive representative of
the district's teachers under the Education Employment Relations
Act ("EERA"). Id. at 948. To determine whether the district's
claims were preempted, the court first assessed whether the
activity complained of arguably constituted an unfair practice
under the EERA. On this factor, the court found that at least two
theories supported the conclusion that the unions' strike was
prohibited under EERA's unfair practice provisions. The court
then proceeded to analyze whether the controversy presented to
the state court was identical to or different from that which the
district could have brought before the PERB. The court found
that, if presented to the PERB, the issue would have been whether
the strike was unlawful because it violated a section of the
EERA. Similarly, in the state trial court action, the district
was challenging the legality of the strike, which required the
Court to examine the strike under the EERA. The court therefore
concluded that the controversy presented in both forums was the
same. Accordingly, the court held that the EERA divested the
trial court of jurisdiction to adjudicate the district's
complaint, and the district was restricted to litigating its
claims before the PERB.
Here, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims are based on
essentially the same underlying conduct as that which she alleged
in her PERB charge, or which she could have alleged in a PERB
charge, and are therefore preempted. Defendants proffer that
Plaintiff has alleged: (1) that her "activity to standardize the
wages of court reporters was protected" (Compl. at ¶ 23); (2)
that she engaged in "protected activity regarding working
conditions and right to choice of representation" by Superior
Court employees (Id. at ¶ 24); (3) that Defendants' act of
serving her with a disciplinary notice was a "pretext to prevent"
her from the protections to which she was purportedly entitled
under the Act (Id. at ¶ 27); (4) that she complained about her
placement in the management bargaining unit (Id.); (5) that her
refusal to sign a union "signature document" was a "protected
activity" (Id. at ¶ 30); (6) that she suffered "hostility and
harassment" by Superior Court employees because her concerns
about her "placement in management" (Id. at ¶ 31); (7) that she
was subjected to discipline "in an effort to prevent her from
defecting from the newly formed management bargaining group"
(Id. at ¶ 32); (8) that she suffered wage loss during her disciplinary suspension "as a form
of penalty for engaging in protected activity" (Id. at ¶¶
33-34); (9) that because she was allegedly denied an "evidentiary
due process hearing" following her termination, she filed an
unfair practice charge with PERB (Id. at ¶¶ 40-41); and (10)
that her challenge of the Superior Court's policies "adopted in
plaintiff's absence" resulted in adverse employment action
(i.e., her termination) (Id. at ¶ 43). (Doc. #20 at 5.)
While the Court agrees with Defendants that Plaintiff
previously asserted similar claims to the PERB, Defendants have
failed to cite any authority indicating that the TCEPGA precludes
Plaintiff from concurrently or subsequently bringing federal
claims based on the same conduct underlying her PERB charge. In
El Rancho School District, the Supreme Court held that the
plaintiffs could not seek damages in state court based on state
law tort claims because the claims fell within the scope of the
EERA, and were therefore within the PERB's exclusive
jurisdiction. Here, in contrast, Plaintiff is asserting claims
alleging that the various Defendants acted to deprive her of her
federally-protected constitutional rights and discriminated
against her in violation of federal law. While the conduct
supporting her claims is the same as that alleged in her charge
filed with the PERB, Defendants have failed to cite any
authority, and the Court has found none, indicating that the
TCEPGA or any similar statute preempts an individual's civil
rights claims under federal law. Absent citation to such
authority, the Court declines to find that Plaintiff is precluded
from bringing her federal claims in this lawsuit.
Nor does it appear that any of Plaintiff's state law claims, at
least as currently plead, fall within the ambit of the TCEPGA. As
indicated above, the TCEPGA vests exclusive jurisdiction over
disputes concerning wages, hours, and terms and conditions of
employment in the PERB. While Plaintiff's allegations surely
rest, in part, on her union-related activities, her claims for
retaliation, intentional misrepresentation, breach of contract,
breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, defamation,
discharge in violation of public policy, and intentional
infliction of emotional distress claims are premised on conduct
and theories which exceed the wages, hours, and terms and
conditions of Plaintiff's employment. However, because
Plaintiff's Complaint is difficult to decipher, and the true
nature of Plaintiff's claims may only be distilled after
discovery, the Court will deny Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's state law claims based on TCEPGA-preemption without
prejudice. Accordingly, the Court turns to Defendants' alternate
arguments. B. Plaintiff's Federal Claims
As detailed above, Plaintiff has alleged three claims arising
under federal law: a § 1983 claim; a § 1986 claim; and a claim
under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). Because
the Court's subject matter jurisdiction hinges on the presence of
these claims, the Court turns to them first.
1. Section 1983 claim
In her First Cause of Action, Plaintiff asserts a claim
pursuant to Section 1983 for deprivation of her constitutional
rights.*fn10 Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that, beginning
on June 30, 2003, and continuing through July 30, 2004, she
"began exercising her rights to freedom of speech and association
by publicly voicing her and other employee's [sic] rights and
entitlements under the Trial Court Employment Protection and
Governance Act," by meeting with other employees during lunch and
by phoning employees after work "to secure representation of an
employees association or union of their choice." As a result of
these efforts, Plaintiff alleges that on February 3, 2004, and
again on May 25, 2004, she was "wrongfully locked out of her
office and removed from her government job." Thus, Plaintiff
avers that "Defendant(s) intentionally deprived [her], and
other employees, [of] the rights of free speech and association
to prevent Plaintiff's ability to exercise a protected activity
in securing employment representation, rights, and protection
afforded by the [TCEPGA]." She alleges that, "Defendants' 
conduct of seeking removal by unfounded disciplinary actions was
pretextual and in violation of the First Amendment of the
Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants promised to
reinstate her employment on May 25, 2004, but "immediately
deprived Plaintiff of her fundamentally vested right of
employment absent countervailing state interest of overriding
significance in violation of their own policies, and the
Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution." She
alleges that from June 2004, through July 2005, "Defendants
refused to afford her the opportunity to be heard by denying
Plaintiff the right to be heard orally at a meaningful time and
manner." Similarly, she alleges that, she "was denied the
opportunity to be heard before she was deprived of her
fundamentally vested right of employment, and was discharged by a
hearing officer who by [g]overnment [s]tatute was prohibited from
making such decision."
Based on these actions, Plaintiff charges that Defendants have
violated her rights under the United States and California
Constitutions, including her rights to equal protection of the
laws; right to due process; and her rights of free speech and
association under the First Amendment.
Each of the Defendants has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Section
1983 claim. The Court will assesses each of their challenges, in
a) The County
The County moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim on
the ground that Plaintiff has failed to allege any "state action"
by the County that deprived her of a constitutional right.
Rather, the County argues that the only actions that Plaintiff
has alleged relate to the disciplinary measures taken against her
and the termination of her employment. According to the County,
because it neither disciplined nor terminated Plaintiff's
employment, Plaintiff has failed to allege any County conduct
amounting to a civil rights violation under Section 1983.
In response, Plaintiff contends that she has alleged that on
September 26, 2003, she filed for grievance with the County
personnel director, who told her that she had no right to
grievance. Because the County would not process her grievance,
Plaintiff argues she was forced to proceed with the "Skelly
hearing" before the PERB. Thus, Plaintiff claims that the County
deprived her of her due process rights.
The County, however, argues that Plaintiff has not alleged that
she was employed by the County, and thus has not pled any basis
for a right to a grievance under County personnel policies.
Additionally, the County proffers that it properly rejected
Plaintiff's grievance "presumably because a new procedure and
system was being implemented to handle such complaints."
Specifically, the County argues that because the contract between
the courts and the union had expired, the TCEPGA provided the
mechanism for resolving Plaintiff's claims. However, to dismiss
Plaintiff's claim against the County based on the County's
defense that it had no duty to process Plaintiff's grievance, the
Court would have to look beyond the four corners of Plaintiff's
Complaint, which it cannot do in the context of a 12(b)(6)
motion. As it stands, Plaintiff has alleged that the County
wrongfully refused to process her grievance and thereby denied
her of her right to due process. Further, although there is some
ambiguity as to when and if the County was Plaintiff's employer,
Plaintiff has alleged that the County terminated her employment because she was engaging in conduct protected by the
First Amendment. Accordingly, Plaintiff has pled a cognizable
Section 1983 claim against the County.
b) Defendants Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes
In their Motion, the Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes contend that
Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against them is barred by the
Eleventh Amendment. With respect to the Superior Court, the Ninth
Circuit has recognized that "a suit against the Superior Court is
a suit against the State, [and is therefore] barred by the
Eleventh Amendment." Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness,
Inc. v. Zolin, 812 F.2d 1103, 1110 (9th Cir. 1987).
Accordingly, the Court grants the Superior Court's request to
dismiss Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against it.
With respect to Mr. Jaynes, however, the answer is not as
straight-forward. Specifically, Mr. Jaynes argues that because
the Superior Court is an arm of the state, and because he was
acting in his official capacity as CEO, he is entitled
Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit. The Court agrees with Defendant
Jaynes that, to the extent that Plaintiff has sued him in his
official capacity, he is immune from suit under the
Eleventh Amendment.*fn11 See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) ("[N]either a State or its officials
acting in their official capacities are "persons" under [Section]
1983."). Accordingly, the Court will grant Mr. Jaynes's request
to dismiss Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against him in his
Nevertheless, Plaintiff has also sued Mr. Jaynes in his
individual capacity. Generally, "state officials, sued in their
individual capacities, are `persons' within the meaning of
[Section] 1983. The Eleventh Amendment does not bar such suits,
nor are state officers absolutely immune from personal liability
under [Section] 1983 solely by virtue of the `official' nature of
their acts." Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 30 (1991).
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against Mr. Jaynes in
his individual capacity survives.
c) WPR and Ms. Armanino Defendants WPR and Ms. Armanino argue that Plaintiff's Section
1983 claim against them fails as a matter of law. First, WPR
argues that Plaintiff has not alleged that it was acting under
color of state law. In response, Plaintiff states that,
"Defendant, WPR, as described in [Complaint paragraphs 9 and 40]
acted under color of authority named in [Complaint paragraphs 37
and 39] and committed acts in [Complaint paragraphs 40, 41, 42,
43, 45, 50]." (Resp. at 2.) The Court has reviewed these
paragraphs, and finds that none of them allege or can be
construed as alleging that WPR committed any actions under color
of state law that deprived Plaintiff of her federally-protected
rights. Accordingly, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's Section
1983 claim against WPR.
Next, Ms. Armanino argues that she is protected from
Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim by Eleventh Amendment immunity.
Based on the reasoning set forth above, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against Ms. Armanino in her
official capacity is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. However,
Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim against Ms. Armanino in her
individual capacity falls outside the protection of the
Eleventh Amendment. The Court therefore denies Ms. Armanino's request to
dismiss Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim, at least as it is
asserted against her in her personal capacity.
2. Section 1986 Claim
In her Second Claim for Relief, Plaintiff asserts a claim for
"Refusal to Prevent Interference with Deprivation of Civil
Rights" under 42 U.S.C. § 1986. This section imposes liability on
every person who knows of an impending violation of §
1985,*fn12 and has the power to prevent or aid in preventing
the violation, but neglects or refuses to do so. Each of the
Defendants has moved to dismiss this claim on various theories.
The County argues that Plaintiff's second claim for violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 fails because Plaintiff has not asserted a
claim for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985, which is required to
maintain a claim under § 1986. Plaintiff, however, asserts that
the County was in a position to prevent a conspiracy, and was
therefore negligent. She argues that, because negligence is
sufficient to maintain a claim under § 1986 claim, the Court
should deny the County's Motion with respect to her § 1986 claim.
The Court, however, agrees with the County.
"A claim can be stated under section 1986 only if the complaint
contains a valid claim under section 1985." Karim-Panahi,
839 F.3d at 626. Because Plaintiff has not asserted a claim under §
1985, she cannot maintain a claim under § 1986. Consequently, the
Court dismisses Plaintiff's Section 1986 claim against all
3. Violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
In her Third Cause of Action Plaintiff has asserted a claim for
violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"),
29 U.S.C. § 623.*fn14 She alleges that, "[b]y doing the
action complained of above, Defendant, County of Lake Superior
Court[,] has discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her
age, over 40[.]"*fn15
Defendant Superior Court argues that Plaintiff's claim for age
discrimination is fatally flawed because Plaintiff failed to
exhaust her administrative remedies. Specifically, it argues that
Plaintiff concedes in her Complaint that she has not received a
right to sue letter from either the Department of Fair Employment
and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thus,
the Superior Court argues that Plaintiff cannot maintain her
claim because she has not exhausted her administrative remedies.
However, unlike claims under Title VII, the ADEA does not require
a claimant to first obtain a right to sue letter before
initiating a lawsuit. Rather, 29 U.S.C. § 626(d) provides that,
"No civil action may be commenced by an individual under this
section until 60 days after a charge alleging unlawful discrimination has been filed with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission." In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that
she has filed such a charge with both the EEOC and California's
Department of Fair Employment and Housing, this the Court rejects
the court's argument.
The Superior Court also argues that Plaintiff has failed to
allege sufficient facts to support her age discrimination claim.
However, as Plaintiff correctly notes in her Opposition, she has
alleged that she is over 40 years of age, and that she suffered
an adverse employment action based on her age. These allegations,
while minimal, are sufficient to put Defendant on notice of
Plaintiff's ADEA claim. See Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A.,
534 U.S. 506, 514 (2002). The Court therefore declines to dismiss
Plaintiff's ADEA claim against the Superior Court.
C. Plaintiff's State law claims
1. Fourth Cause of Action: Retaliation for Employee's
In her Fourth Cause of Action, Plaintiff asserts that, "after
she was refused membership in the recognized employee
organization, Lake County Employees' Association, by the
employees' union representatives appointed by the Defendant,
employer . . . Plaintiff proceeded to organize her own non-profit
organization, under 501(c)(3) to pay all agency shop fees
required for continued employment under any new Collective
Bargaining Agreement as yet unknown to Plaintiff." She further
alleges that, between October 2002, and June 30, 2003, Mr. Jaynes
"proposed policies and changes and engaged in labor negotiations
that affected Plaintiff's terms and conditions of employment."
Specifically, she alleges that, "Defendant by his conduct
demonstrated that his new policy was to harass, discharge, and
discriminate against terms and conditions of employment of any
employee who engaged in protected activity in opposition." Thus,
Plaintiff claims that "Defendants" violated Labor Code Sections
1101 and 1105.
a) Legal Standard
Labor Code Section 1101 provides:
No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule,
regulation, or policy:
(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging
or participating in politics or from becoming
candidates for public office.
(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control
or direct the political activities or affiliations of
employees. As used in Section 1101, "[t]he term `political
activity' connotes that espousal of a candidate or a
cause, and some degree of action to promote the
acceptance thereof by other persons." Mallard v.
Boring, 182 Cal. App. 2d 390, 394 (Cal.Ct.App.
Similarly, Section 1102 states: "No employer shall coerce or
influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through
or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt
or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular
course or line of political action or political activity." To
enforce these provisions, Section 1105 provides: "Nothing in this
chapter shall prevent the injured employee from recovering
damages from his employer for injury suffered through a violation
of this chapter."
b) Defendants Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes
Unlike the other Defendants, there is no dispute that the
Superior Court was Plaintiff's employer. Thus, it is subject to
Sections 1101 and 1105. In its Motion, the Superior Court argues
that Plaintiff's retaliation claim fails because Plaintiff has
not alleged that she engaged in any political conduct that would
be protected under Section 1101, or that the Superior Court
engaged in any conduct somehow preventing her from, or
interfering with her right to, participate in politics. Reviewing
Plaintiff's Complaint, she has alleged that after she began to
organize her own non-profit organization, she was harassed,
discriminated against, and, ultimately, discharged. However, as
the Superior Court notes, such activity does not constitute
"political activity" under Section 1101 because it does not
advocate a particular view or encourage support for a particular
candidate. See Smedley v. Capps, Staples, Ward Hastings &
Dodson, 820 F. Supp. 1227, 1230 n. 3 (N.D. Cal. 1993) (noting
that "the courts have traditionally interpreted [Section 1101] as
being intended to defend employees engaged in traditional
political activity from reprisal by their employer"); Lockheed
Aircraft Corp. v. Superior Court, 171 P.2d 21, 25 (1946)
(holding that Section 1101 concerned activities related to or
connected with the orderly conduct of government and the peaceful
organization, regulation, and administration of the government).
Accordingly, the Court agrees with the Superior Court that
Plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action for retaliation.
The Court therefore dismisses Plaintiff's retaliation claim as to
2. Fifth Cause of Action: Intentional Misrepresentation by
Making Promises Without Intent to Perform
In her Fifth Cause of Action, Plaintiff asserts that from April
27 to May 25, 2004, "Defendants" promised her that they would reinstate her employment, with the
same title, status, salary, benefits, and entitlements.
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that "this promise was implied in
the form of a benefits packet sent by the Defendants via
certified mail to Plaintiff's home on May 5, 2004," which
Plaintiff accepted "by her act of completing the benefit packet
and personally returning it to the Defendant(s), employer, on May
11, 2004." Plaintiff alleges that at the time Defendants made the
promise, they lacked the intent to perform, and that she "was
unaware of Defendants' intention not to perform their promise
during the time that she relied upon them." According to
Plaintiff, she later discovered that at the time Defendants made
the promises, Defendants "had already `raided' Plaintiff's office
in an attempt to obtain material to fire Plaintiff upon return."
Thus, when she returned to work on May 25, 2004, she "was
immediately escorted out of the building on an alleged
performance based adverse action under new policies created in
her absence and placed on admin-leave."
a) The County
The County moves to dismiss Plaintiff's intentional
misrepresentation claim against it on the ground that Plaintiff
has not alleged that the County was a party to any employment
contract or promise regarding reinstatement to her position with
the Superior Court. The Court agrees. Plaintiff has not alleged
that the County made any promise that Plaintiff could return to
work as a Superior Court employee. Further, because the County
does not have such authority, this is not an allegation that
Plaintiff may cure by further pleading. Accordingly, the Court
will dismiss Plaintiff's intentional misrepresentation claim
against the County with prejudice.
b) WPR and Ms. Armanino
WPR and Ms. Armanino move to dismiss Plaintiff's intentional
misrepresentation claim against them because they were not
parties to any agreement between Plaintiff and her employer
regarding her reinstatement after she was terminated.
Specifically, WPR argues that, "[i]t is clear from the face of
the Complaint . . . that WPR is not Plaintiff's employer, but
rather a `Contract Service Provider' for the Superior Court."
Thus, it argues that Plaintiff's claim fails. The Court agrees.
Accordingly, the Court will dismiss this claim against WPR.
Ms. Armanino argues that Plaintiff's intentional
misrepresentation claim against her fails because officials of a
public entity are immune from such claims under California
Government Code Section 820.2. This Section provides:
[A] public employee is not liable for any injury
resulting from his act or omission where the act or
omission was the result of the exercise of the
discretion vested in him, whether or not such
discretion be abused.
As Superior Court Manager, Ms. Armanino argues that she is a
public employee under Section 820.02, and is therefore entitled
to governmental immunity for personnel decisions that are
entrusted to her judgment. The Court agrees. To the extent that
Plaintiff is claiming that Ms. Armanino misrepresented that
Plaintiff would be reinstated to her position, such acts
constituted a discretionary personnel action within the scope of
Ms. Armanino's authority. Accordingly, she is protected from suit
under Section 820.02. The Court will therefore dismiss
Plaintiff's intentional misrepresentation claim against Ms.
c) The Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes
The Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes urge the Court to dismiss
Plaintiff's intentional misrepresentation claim against because
it fails as a matter of law. Specifically, like Ms. Armanino, Mr.
Jaynes argues that he is entitled to governmental immunity from
Plaintiff's intentional misrepresentation claim. The Court
agrees. Accordingly, it will dismiss Plaintiff's intentional
misrepresentation claim against Mr. Jaynes.
In its Motion, Defendants Superior Court and Jaynes also argue
that, as the public entity that Mr. Jaynes served, the Superior
Court is "protected by the governmental immunity afforded under
Section 820.02." The Court agrees. See Sanborn v. Chronicle
Publ'g. Co., 134 Cal. Rptr. 402, 414 (Cal 1976); Widdows v.
Koch, 263 Cal App. 2d 228, 238 (Cal.Ct.App. 1968).
Accordingly, the Court therefore grants the Superior Court's
request to dismiss Plaintiff's intentional misrepresentation
claim against it.
3. Sixth Cause of Action: Breach of Contract and Seventh Cause
of Action: Breach of Covenant of Good Faith an Fair Dealing
In her Sixth Cause of Action, Plaintiff alleges that she and
"Defendant" entered into an employment contract "that was oral,
written, and implied-in-fact," and which lasted through her nine
and a half years of employment. According to Plaintiff, "[t]he
basic terms of the agreement were that [her] employment would be
secure for as long as the company's personnel manual and policies
disseminated to [her] were followed, that any complaint of
harassment or retaliation would be investigated and resolved promptly and fairly, that [she] would
not be terminated or forced to quit without good cause, and
Plaintiff having been hired on the State Personnel Local Agency
Merit System would earn merit raise increases, longevity raise,
retirement, and fringe benefits." She alleges that she accepted
employment and performed according to the terms of the agreement,
until Defendants prevented her further performance. Specifically,
she alleges that "[b]eginning in about July 2003 and through
October 2004, Defendants . . . breached the . . . employment
agreement by failing to investigate and resolve Plaintiff's
complaint of workplace harassment, hostile work environment,
disparate treatment, and retaliation fairly and promptly."
Additionally, she charges that "[o]n July 30, 2004, Defendants
breached the . . . employment agreement by discharging Plaintiff
without good cause and despite her continued satisfactory
Relatedly, in her Seventh Cause of Action, Plaintiff asserts a
claim for breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing. She
alleges that Defendants "had the legal duty to act fairly and in
good faith towards Plaintiff in connection with the employment
agreement and the [TCEPGA]." (Id. at ¶ 90.) According to
Plaintiff, "[s]ometime before June 30, 2004 and through July 30,
2004, Defendants . . . breached these duties imposed by law in
connection with the employment agreement and the TCEPGA by
failing to investigate and promptly resolve Plaintiff's complaint
of workplace harassment, hostile work environment, disparate
treatment, relation, and violation of the governing statutes
within the TCEPGA by further retaliation of discharging Plaintiff
with a dishonest and bad faith motive."
Defendants argue that Plaintiff's contract-based claims fail
because public employment in California is not contractual in
nature.*fn16 Thus, they argue that a public employee cannot
state a claim against an employer for breach of an alleged
employment contract or of the covenant of good faith and fair
dealing. The Court agrees.
In California, "public employment is not held by contract but
by statute and that, insofar as the duration of such employment
is concerned, no employee has a vested contractual right to
continue in employment beyond the time or contrary to the terms
and conditions fixed by law." Miller v. State of Cal., 135 Cal. Rptr. 386, 389 (1977). Accordingly, "[the
California] Supreme Court has made it clear that civil service
employees cannot state a cause of action for breach of contract
or breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing." Kim v. Regents of univ. of Cal., 95 Cal. Rptr. 2d 10,
12 (Cal.Ct.App. 2000). Plaintiff's claims for breach of
contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair
dealing therefore fail as a matter of law. The Court thus
dismisses these claims against all Defendants without leave to
4. Eighth Cause of Action: Defamation
In her Eighth Cause of Action Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
"negligently, reckless, and intentionally caused excessive and
unsolicited internal and external publications of defamation, of
and concerning Plaintiff, to third persons and to the community."
According to Plaintiff, "[t]hese false and defamatory statements
included expressed and implied accusations that Plaintiff
violated company policies; that she was such a poor performer,
that she deserved disciplinary [sic] or had done a serious act of
misconduct calling for her immediate removal; that she was
incompetent; and was dishonest."
Each of the Defendants has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's
defamation claim on various theories. Reviewing Plaintiff's
Complaint, she repeatedly alleges that "Defendants" engaged in
certain conduct. To date, Plaintiff has named five separate
defendants. Because she has failed to specify which Defendants
made the purportedly defamatory statements, the Court is unable
to assess the validity of Defendants' challenges. More
importantly, although a defamation claim does not require
Plaintiff to meet any heightened pleading requirement, it also
does not excuse Plaintiff from complying with the minimal notice
pleading standard set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a). Here, it is impossible to determine which of the five
Defendants Plaintiff is claiming made defamatory statements, when the statements were made, the form of the defamatory
statements, or to whom the Defendant(s) made the statements.
Indeed, in her Complaint Plaintiff acknowledges that she does not
know when the purportedly defamatory publications were made, and
fails to identify to whom they were published. Thus, the Court
finds that Plaintiff's conclusory allegations fail to comply with
the pleading standard of Rule 8(a) and fail to put Defendants on
notice of what conduct Plaintiff claims gives rise to her
defamation claim. The Court will therefore dismiss Plaintiff's
defamation claim with leave to amend.*fn18
5. Ninth Cause of Action: Discharge in Violation of Public
In her Ninth Cause of Action, Plaintiff alleges that "[b]y
terminating Plaintiff as described in the preceding causes of
action, Defendants and Does 1-50, [have] terminated Plaintiff in
violation of the public policies of the United States and the
State of California, as those policies are designed to prevent
retaliation against, and discrimination against, employees[.]"
a) WPR and Ms. Armanino
WPR and Ms. Armanino move to dismiss Plaintiff's claim for
discharge in violation of policy because: (1) it is barred by
PERB's exclusive jurisdiction (except to the extent Plaintiff
claims that her termination was based on age discrimination); (2)
it is precluded as to WPR and Ms. Armanino because neither one
was Plaintiff's employer; and (3) individual and non-employer
defendants cannot be liable on a claim for wrongful termination.
The Court finds the last argument dispositive. Under California
law, "[o]nly an employer can be liable for tortious discharge,
and fellow employees cannot be held accountable for tortious
discharge on a conspiracy theory." Jacobs v. Univ. Dev. Corp.,
53 Cal. App. 4th 692, 704 (1997). Accordingly, because neither
WPR nor Ms. Armanino were Plaintiff's employer, the Court grants
their Motion to Dismiss with respect to Plaintiff's claim for
discharge in violation of public policy.
b) The County
The County has also moved to dismiss Plaintiff's claim for
discharge in violation of public policy on the ground that, because the County was not Plaintiff's
employer, it cannot be held liable under this theory. Because the
Court cannot discern based on Plaintiff's Complaint if and when
the County employed Plaintiff, it will deny the County's Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff's Ninth Cause of Action against it without
c) The Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes
Similarly, Mr. Jaynes urges the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's
discharge in violation of public policy claim against him because
he was not Plaintiff's employer. Because it is undisputed that
Mr. Jaynes was not Plaintiff's employer, the Court grants his
request to dismiss Plaintiff's Ninth Cause of Action against him.
In their Motion, Defendants Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes also
argue that, because Plaintiff has failed to establish a violation
of any of the public policies she cites as underlying her claim,
her claim for discharge in violation of public policy fails as a
mater of law. The Court disagrees. Because Plaintiff has alleged
a viable claim under the ADEA, dismissal of her wrongful
discharge in violation of public policy claim is premature at
this juncture. The Court therefore denies the Superior Court's
Motion with respect to Plaintiff's wrongful discharge claim.
6. Tenth Cause of Action: Intentional Infliction of Emotional
In her Tenth Cause of Action, Plaintiff asserts a claim for
intentional infliction of emotional distress ("IIED"). She
alleges that "Defendants and Does 1-50 as described throughout
this Complaint, in particular, their discriminatory actions, were
extreme and outrageous and beyond the bounds of common decency."
As result of Defendants' conduct, Plaintiff alleges that she has
sustained and continues to suffer emotional distress.
a) Legal Standard
Under California law, to state a cause of action for
intentional infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must
show: (1) outrageous conduct by the defendant; (2) the
defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the
probability of causing emotional distress; (3) the plaintiff's
suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (4) actual
and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the
defendant's outrageous conduct. See Braunling v. Countrywide
Home Loans, Inc., 220 F.3d 1154, 1158 (9th Cir. 2000);
Trerice v. Blue Cross of Cal., 209 Cal. App.3d 878, 883 (1989).
To be "outrageous," conduct must be so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that
usually tolerated in a civilized society. Id. "Conduct which
exhibits mere rudeness and insensitivity does not rise to the
level required for a showing of intentional infliction of
emotional distress." Braunling, 220 F.3d at 1158.
b) The County
In its Motion, the County argues that the Court should dismiss
Plaintiff's IIED claim against it because Plaintiff has failed to
allege extreme or outrageous conduct by the County. Specifically,
the County argues that, "all that the County did was tell
[P]laintiff that she could not file a grievance with the County
presumably because a new procedure and system was being
implemented to handle such complaints. This was not `outrageous'
as a matter of law." Further, the County argues that Plaintiff
was never injured by the County's acts. It points out that
Plaintiff alleges that she filed an appeal and prevailed. Thus,
the County contends that even if it was mistaken in telling
Plaintiff that she could not file a grievance, there was no harm
as a result of that mistake. The Court, however, disagrees.
Plaintiff has alleged that the County denied her request to
process a grievance and that it failed to prevent her from being
discriminated against in her role as Courthouse Safety Officer.
At the pleading stage, the Court cannot say that the County's
actions do not rise to a level sufficient to sustain an IIED
claim. The Court therefore denies the County's Motion with
respect to Plaintiff's IIED claim without prejudice to the County
re-alleging its challenge based on a full evidentiary record.
c) WPR and Ms. Armanino
Defendants WPR and Ms. Armanino argue that Plaintiff's IIED
claim fails as a matter of law, and is therefore subject to
dismissal. Particularly, they argue the IIED claim: (1) is barred
by PERB's exclusive jurisdiction; (2) is precluded as to both
Defendants because neither Defendants is Plaintiff's employer;
(3) is barred as to WPR because the only conduct attributed to
WPR is absolutely privileged under California Civil Code Section
47(b); and (4) is barred because Plaintiff's exclusive remedy for
this claim is under worker's compensation law.
As to Defendant's first argument, the Court fails to see how
Plaintiff's tort claim for IIED falls within the scope of claims
relating to the wages, hours, or terms and conditions of
Plaintiff's employment, or otherwise constitutes a violation of
the TCEPGA. Accordingly, the Court finds that PERB does not have
exclusive jurisdiction over it. Second, the fact that neither WPR
or Ms. Armanino was Plaintiff's employer does not preclude Plaintiff from
asserting an IIED claim against them. Particularly, the basis of
Plaintiff's IIED claim appears to extend beyond the act of her
The Court also rejects Defendants' argument that Plaintiff's
exclusive remedy is workers' compensation law. To the contrary,
"a plaintiff can recover for infliction of emotional distress
if he or she has a tort cause of action for wrongful termination
in violation of public policy or wrongful termination in
violation of an express statute because [in such cases],
emotional distress damages are simply a component of compensatory
damages." Phillips v. Gemini Moving Specialists,
74 Cal.Rptr.2d 29, 38 (Cal Ct. App. 1998). Here, Plaintiff has stated a viable
wrongful termination claim, which may support her IIED claim
against the Superior Court.
However, because Plaintiff has failed to plead sufficient facts
identifying what conduct Defendant WPR engaged in that amount to
extreme or outrageous conduct, the Court will grant WPR's Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff's IIED claim against it.*fn19 As to Ms.
Armanino, however, because Plaintiff still has stated a viable
claim against Ms. Armnanino in her personal capacity, the facts
supporting such claim may also support an IIED claim against her,
as well. Accordingly, the Court denies without prejudice Ms.
Armanino's request to dismiss Plaintiff's IIED claim against her.
d) The Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes
The Superior Court and Mr. Jaynes also argue that the Court
should dismiss Plaintiff's IIED claim because: (1) it is within
PERB's exclusive jurisdiction; (2) because Defendant Jaynes is
not Plaintiff's employer; and (3) because Plaintiff's exclusive
remedy is under workers' compensation law. For the reasons
discuss above, the Court rejects each of these arguments.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and
DENIES IN PART the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss as follows:
With respect to the County of Lake's Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
#17), the Court DENIES its request to dismiss Plaintiff's
Section 1983 claim, discharge in violation of public policy
claim, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.
The Court GRANTS the County's request to dismiss all other claims.
With Respect to Defendant WPR's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #11),
the Court GRANTS its request to dismiss all of Plaintiff's
claims against it.
As to Defendant Armanino, the Court GRANTS her Motion (Doc.
#11) with respect to Plaintiff's Section 1986 claim; ADEA claim;
retaliation claim; intentional misrepresentation claim; breach of
contract claim; breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing
claim; defamation claim; and claim for discharge in violation of
public policy. It DENIES Defendant Armanino's Motion with
respect to Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim in her personal
capacity and Plaintiff's intentional infliction of emotional
As to Defendant Jaynes the Court GRANTS his Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. #20) Plaintiff's Section 1986 claim; ADEA claim;
retaliation claim; intentional misrepresentation claim; breach of
contract claim; breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing
claim; defamation claim; and claim for discharge in violation of
public policy. It DENIES Defendant Jaynes's Motion with respect
to Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim in his personal capacity and
Plaintiff's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.
As to Defendant Superior Court the Court GRANTS its Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. #20) Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim; Section 1986
claim; breach of contract claim; breach of covenant of good faith
claim; retaliation claim; and defamation claim. It DENIES the
Superior Court's Motion to Dismiss with respect to Plaintiff's
ADEA claim; discharge in violation of public policy claim, and
intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.
Further, Plaintiff is granted leave to amend with respect to
her Section 1986 claim, her defamation claim, and her IIED claim
against WPR to cure the deficiencies outlined in this Order.
Plaintiff shall file any amended complaint within 20 days of the
filing date of this Order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
© 1992-2006 VersusLaw Inc.