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Anderson v. Blockbuster Inc.

May 4, 2010

KENNETH ANDERSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC SIMILARLY SITUATED, AND AS AGGRIEVED EMPLOYEE PURSUANT TO THE PRIVATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL ACT (PAGA), PLAINTIFF,
v.
BLOCKBUSTER INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint brought by Defendant Blockbuster, Inc. ("Defendant") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendant has also concurrently filed a Motion to Strike pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be granted with leave to amend.

BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff, a former employee of Blockbuster, worked as a "Shift Supervisor" from January 2008 through January 2009. Plaintiff alleges that he was entitled to receive certain wages for overtime compensation, all rest periods or payment of one additional hour of pay, full reimbursement for all business-related expenses and costs, at least minimum wages for compensation, and complete and accurate wage statements. He alleges that he did not receive these entitled benefits, nor did other persons similarly situated, who he seeks to join as class members, under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a), (b)(2), and (b)(3).

Plaintiff originally filed this class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Sacramento. The case was removed to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1441, 1446, and 1453.

On March 11, 2010, after Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss along with a request that certain portions of the complaint be stricken, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint ("FAC").

The FAC alleges eight causes of action for violations of California Labor Code §§ 510 and 1198 (unpaid overtime), California Labor Code § 226.7 (unpaid rest period premiums), California Labor Code §§ 2800 and 2802 (unpaid business expenses), California Labor Code §§ 1194, 1197, and 1197.1 (unpaid minimum wages), California Labor Code §§ 201 and 202 (wages not timely paid upon termination), California Labor Code § 204 (wages not timely paid during employment), California Labor Code § 226(a) (non-compliance with wage statements), and California Business and Professions Code § 17200 (unfair competition).

STANDARD

On a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b) (6), all allegations of material fact must be accepted as true and construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) (2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," in order to "give the defendant fair notice of what the...claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957). While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b) (6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the "grounds" of his "entitlement to relief" requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.

Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations and quotations omitted). Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.

Id. (citing 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004) ("The pleading must contain something more...than...a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action"). Assertions that are mere "legal conclusions," are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

If the court grants a motion to dismiss a complaint, it must then decide whether to grant leave to amend. The court should "freely give[]" leave to amend when there is no "undue delay, bad faith[,] dilatory motive on the part of the movant,...undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of...the amendment, [or] futility of the amendment...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a); Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Generally, leave to amend is only denied when it is clear that the deficiencies of the complaint cannot be cured by amendment. DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992).

The Court may strike "from any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). "(T)he function of a 12(f) motion to strike is to avoid the expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues by dispensing with those issues prior to trial...." Sidney-Vinstein v. A.H. Robins Co., 697 F.2d 880, 885 (9th Cir. 1983).

Immaterial matter is that which has no essential or important relationship to the claim for relief or the defenses being pleaded. Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty, 984 F.2d 1524, 1527 (9th Cir. 1993) (rev'd on other grounds Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U.S. 517, 114 S.Ct. 1023, 127 L.Ed. 2d 455 (1994)) (internal citations and quotations omitted). Impertinent matter ...


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