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Thompson v. Home Depot

September 18, 2007

JOHN THOMPSON, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF, AND ON BEHALF OF ALL PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOME DEPOT, INC. A DELAWARE CORPORATION, AND DOES 1-100, INCLUSIVE DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTS TWO AND THREE OF THE COMPLAINT [Doc. Nos. 6, 7, 8.]

Presently before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss the second and third causes of action in plaintiff's complaint. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS the motion.

BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

John Thompson ("Plaintiff") alleges that on March 30, 2007, Home Depot Inc. ("Defendant") "requested and required [that he] fill out a Home Depot, Inc. preprinted form and provide personal identification as a condition to performing a credit card transaction at Home Depot, Inc.'s retail store." (Pl. Compl. (06/08/2007) at ¶ 4.) The form in question is labeled "REFUND" and contains a space for the cardholder's name, telephone number, and signature. (Id., Exh. 2.)

B. Procedural Background

On April 24, 2007, Plaintiff filed his complaint in San Diego Superior Court, alleging, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated in California, that Defendant had committed violations of (1) the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1747.08; (2) California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.; and (3) the Consumers Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), Cal. Civ. Code § 1750, et seq. (Id. at ¶ 23-36.) Plaintiff seeks statutory penalties, an injunction prohibiting Defendant from using a credit card form with a preprinted space for the cardholder's telephone number, an order declaring that practice to be an unlawful business practice and ordering Defendant to restore personal information back to the Plaintiff and other class members, and costs of suit. (Id. at 9.)

On June 6, 2007, Defendant removed the case to this Court. (Doc. No. 1.) Subsequently, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the second and third causes of action in Plaintiff's complaint, namely the actions based on alleged violations of the UCL and the CLRA respectively. (Doc. No. 6.) Plaintiff filed an opposition (Doc. No. 7) and Defendant filed a reply. (Doc. No. 8.) The matter is now fully briefed, and the Court finds it appropriate for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1).

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in the complaint. Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6); Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 731 (9th Cir. 2001). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint generally must satisfy only the minimal notice pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2).*fn1 Porter v. Jones, 319 F.3d 483, 494 (9th Cir. 2003). A court may dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim when "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); Navarro, 250 F.3d at 732 (citing Conley); see also Haddock v. Board of Dental Examiners, 777 F.2d 462, 464 (9th Cir.1985) (a court should not dismiss a complaint if it states a claim under any legal theory, even if plaintiff erroneously relies on a different theory). In other words, a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper only where there is either a "lack of a cognizable legal theory" or "the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory." Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

In deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court's review is limited to the contents of the complaint. Campanelli v. Bockrath, 100 F.3d 1476, 1479 (9th Cir. 1996); Allarcom Pay Television, Ltd. v. General Instrument Corp., 69 F.3d 381, 385 (9th Cir. 1995). The court must accept all factual allegations pled in the complaint as true, and must construe them and draw all reasonable inferences from them in favor of the nonmoving party.*fn2 Cahill v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir.1996); Mier v. Owens, 57 F.3d 747, 750 (9th Cir.1995) (citing Usher v. City of Los Angeles, 828 F.2d 556, 561 (9th Cir.1987). In spite of the deference the court is bound to pay to the plaintiff's allegations, it is not proper for the court to assume that "the [plaintiff] can prove facts which [he or she] has not alleged." Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. v. California State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983). Furthermore, a court is not required to credit conclusory legal allegations cast in the form of factual allegations, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir.1981).

A court may dismiss a complaint without granting leave to amend only if it appears with certainty that the plaintiff cannot state a claim and any amendment would be futile. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a) (leave to amend "shall be freely given when justice so requires"); DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Systems, Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir.1992); Albrecht v. Lund, 845 F.2d 193, 195 (9th Cir. 1988); Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986) ("leave to amend should be granted unless the ...


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