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Christie Justice v. Albertsons Corp.; Albertsons # 6713; Danny Baker; Jeremy

February 2, 2012

CHRISTIE JUSTICE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALBERTSONS CORP.; ALBERTSONS # 6713; DANNY BAKER; JEREMY
CLUGSTON, ET AL., CLUGSTON AND BAKER'S DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge United States District Court

ORDER (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS UNDER 12(B)(6); (2) DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT UNDER 12(E); AND (3) GRANTING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DISMISS FOR INSUFFICIENT SERVICE OF PROCESS UNDER 12(B)(4) & 12(B)(5)

On December 30, 2011, Plaintiff filed her second amended complaint. (Doc. No. 55.) On January 6, 2012, Defendants New Albertson's, Inc., Danny Baker, and Jeremy Clugston filed a motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(4) and 12(b)(5) for insufficient service of process, and, in the alternative, a motion under 12(e) for a more definite statement. (Doc. No. 57.)

The Court, pursuant to its discretion under Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), determines these matters to be appropriate for resolution without oral argument, submits it on the parties' papers, and vacates the motion hearing set for February 6, 2012. For the following reasons, the Court denies in part Defendants' motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), grants in part Defendants' motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), denies Defendants' motion for a more definite statement, and grants Defendants Clugston and Baker's motion to dismiss for insufficient service of process.

Background

On September 28, 2011, Plaintiff Christie Justice, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint arising out of the termination of her employment with Defendants Albertson's Corp. and Albertson's # 6713. (Doc. No. 1.) On October 19, 2011, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss or strike portions of the complaint, or for a more definite statement. (Doc. No. 9.) On October 21, 2011, Plaintiff filed her response in opposition to the motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 14.) On October 26, 2011, Plaintiff filed her first amended complaint. (Doc. No. 17.) On November 2, 2011 and November 3, 2011, Plaintiff submitted two new documents entitled "amended complaint." (Doc. Nos. 21 & 23.) On November 8, 2011, in light of the amended complaint, the Court denied as moot Defendant's motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 25.)

On November 8, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file exhibits with her amended complaint. (Doc. No. 27.) On November 21, 2011 and November 29, 2011, Plaintiff filed two additional motions seeking to submit exhibits to her complaint. (Doc. Nos. 37 & 45.) On December 5, 2011, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss with leave to amend and denied as moot Plaintiff's additional motions. (Doc. No. 53.)

On December 30, 2011, Plaintiff filed her second amended complaint. (Doc. No. 55.) On January 6, 2012, Defendants Albertson's, Inc., sued as Albertsons # 6713 and Albertsons Corp., Danny Baker, and Jeremy Clugston filed their motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or, in the alternative, a motion for a more definite statement, and their motion to dismiss for insufficient service of process. (Doc. No. 57.) The Court issued a scheduling order on January 26, 2012 requesting Plaintiff to respond to Defendants' motion to dismiss by February 1, 2012. (Doc. No. 58.) Plaintiff did not file a response.

Discussion

I. Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6)

A motion to dismiss a complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in the complaint. Navarro v. Black, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). Rule 8(a)(2) requires that a pleading stating a claim for relief contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." The function of this pleading requirement is to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "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." Id. A complaint does not "suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing 5 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, 235--36 (3d ed. 2004)). "All allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to plaintiff. However, conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim." Epstein v. Wash. Energy Co., 83 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 1996); see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

A. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint

1. Wrongful Termination, Gender Discrimination, and Family Medical Leave Act

After reviewing Plaintiff's second amended complaint, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has met the pleading standard and provided notice to Defendants of the claims against them and the grounds on which they rest. As Defendants noted in their motion to dismiss, Plaintiff pleads wrongful termination, gender discrimination, and a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. (Doc. Nos. 55 & 57.) Further, Plaintiff provides details that inform Defendants of the facts underlying Plaintiff's causes of action. (Doc. No. 55.) Defendants' arguments regarding these causes of actions are better suited for a motion for summary judgment. Therefore, the Court denies in part Defendants' motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6) based on Plaintiff's pleading of wrongful ...


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