The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court
Order Denying Defendant Darbun Enterprises, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss and Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment [Docs. 6 and 7];Granting Ex Parte Application [Doc. 11]
Defendant Darbun Enterprises, Inc. moves the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or, alternatively, for summary judgment.*fn1
Plaintiffs have filed an opposition,*fn2 and Defendant has filed a reply.*fn3 The Court finds Defendant's motion appropriate for submission on the papers and without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), and the March 30, 2009 hearing was previously VACATED. For the reasons explained below, Defendant's motion is DENIED.
This is an action by Plaintiffs for enforcement of a foreign judgment pursuant to the Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1713 et seq.*fn4
According to the Complaint, Plaintiffs are all residents of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, who were employed by Soluciones Tecnologicas de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. [Complaint, ¶¶ 2-21, 24.] Plaintiffs allege Defendants Darbun Enterprises, Inc. and OEM Solutions, LLC, both of which are California companies, were part of a production unit responsible for the payment of wages to the employees of Soluciones Tecnologicas de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. [Complaint, ¶ 25.]
Plaintiffs were not paid their wages due by Soluciones Tecnologicas de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. As a result, on May 31, 2000, Plaintiffs commenced an action against Soluciones Tecnologicas de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., as well as OEM Solutions, LLC and Darbun Enterprises, Inc., before the Number One Special Local [Labor Relations] and Conciliation and Arbitrage Local Authority of the City of Tijuana (the "Labor Relations Board"). [Complaint, ¶ 2 and Exhibit 5 (Labor Dispute Judgment Award).] The Mexican Consulate General in San Diego, California, gave notice of such action to Darbun Enterprises at the corporate address listed with the California Secretary of State. [Complaint, ¶ 27.]
On May 3, 2001, Darbun Enterprises, Inc. granted Hector Cervantes Sanchez, Esq. and Jose Guadalupe San Miguel Torero, Esq., a General Power of Attorney to act on its behalf with regard to the Plaintiffs' litigation before the Labor Relations Board. [Complaint, ¶ 28 and Exhibit 1.] Darbun voluntarily appeared before the Labor Relations Board through its attorneys on May 7, 2001. [Motion to Dismiss, Doc. No. 6, p. 3, line 9.] As reflected in the Labor Relation Board's Judgment, however, the Board considered Darbun Enterprises, Inc. to be in default because of its failure to appear at the first hearing on February 23, 2001. As a result, the Board deemed all claims against Darbun were admitted. [Labor Dispute Judgment Award, Exhibit 5 to the Complaint, pp. 8, 9, 28.]
On April 29, 2005, the Labor Relations Board entered a judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and against Darbun Enterprises and OEM. On July 1, 2008, the Labor Relations Board updated the amount of the Judgment to include daily wages due under Mexican Law from April 29, 2005 through July 1, 2008. [Complaint, ¶ 40 and Exhibit 7.] As of July 1, 2008, the Judgment in favor of Plaintiffs against Defendants totaled 40,827,990.57 Mexican pesos. [Complaint, ¶ 43.] The Judgment continues to grow at the rate of 16,996.12 Mexican pesos per day, representing per diem wages for each of the Plaintiffs until the judgment is paid in full. [Complaint, ¶ 44.] As a result, as of January 8, 2009, the Mexican Judgment totaled $3,250.714.00 in U.S. dollars. [Complaint, ¶ 46.] Plaintiffs, by this action, seek enforcement of such judgment.
Defendant Darbun Enterprises, Inc. moves to dismiss the Complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a claim and may be granted "only if 'it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief'." Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-56 (1957)). In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider materials which are properly submitted as part of the complaint. Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001).
In its motion, Defendant Darbun Enterprises, Inc. asserts four grounds justifying dismissal of Plaintiffs' Complaint: (1) the Mexican Judgment imposes a penalty which may not be enforced pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1715(b)(2); (2) the Complaint fails to allege the Judgment is enforceable in Mexico; (3) the Complaint shows the Judgment is expired in ...