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Christopher Kollenburn, An Individual v. Archdiocese of Los Angeles

June 25, 2012

CHRISTOPHER KOLLENBURN, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES, ST. CAMILLUS CENTER FOR PASTORAL CARE, CHRISTOPHER PONNET, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 20, INCLUSIVE. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew Senior, U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER Re: Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) [4]

On June 20, 2012, Defendants Archdiocese of Los Angeles, St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care, and Christopher Ponnet's ("Defendants") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) came on for regular calendar before this Court [4]. The Court, having reviewed all papers submitted pertaining to this Motion and having considered all arguments presented to the Court, NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS:

The Court hereby GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendants' Motion.

I. Background

Plaintiff Christopher Kollenburn ("Plaintiff") is a former grant writer for St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care, which is a ministry for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Both St. Camillus and the Archdiocese are named defendants. Plaintiff's supervisor was Fr. Christopher Ponnet, also a named defendant. FAC ¶¶ 2-4. During his employment, Plaintiff claims that he suffered from both physical and mental disabilities, including a knee condition and depression. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants terminated him from employment on April 30, 2009 in retaliation for taking disability leave. FAC ¶ 24.

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC") asserts four claims all related to his alleged employment discrimination. On May 8, 2012, Defendants filed the present Motion, seeking to dismiss the FAC in its entirety [4].

II. Legal Standard

In a motion to dismiss brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must presume all non-conclusory, factual allegations of the complaint to be true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Klarfeld v. United States, 944 F.2d 583, 585 (9th Cir. 1991). A dismissal can be based on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the lack of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).

III. Analysis

A. Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice

As a preliminary matter, the Court hereby GRANTS in Part and DENIES in Part Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice. The Court GRANTS Defendants' Request as it pertains to Plaintiff's Complaint to California's Department of Fair Housing and Employment (Exhibit A). The Court finds that this document is judicially noticeable because the Court may look beyond the pleadings when considering a motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust non-judicial remedies. Wyatt v. Terhune, 315 F.3d 1108, 1119-20 (9th Cir. 2003). Failure to exhaust non-judicial remedies is the grounds for dismissal of the first claim in the FAC. The Court, however, DENIES as Moot Defendants' Request as it pertains to the Archdiocese's Articles of Incorporation (Exhibit B). The Court finds that this document is not necessary to the Court's analysis.

B. Plaintiff's First Claim - Employment

Discrimination in Violation of the ADA

The Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as it pertains to Plaintiff's First Claim for Employment Discrimination under the ...


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