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Linda K. Salter v. Carlos Hernandez

January 25, 2013

LINDA K. SALTER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CARLOS HERNANDEZ, BETTY RODRIGUEZ, RUSS PETTIS, AND DOES 1-25,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. 11)

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Linda K. Salter ("Salter") has brought suit against Defendants Carlos Hernandez, Betty Rodriguez, Russ Pettis, and unnamed Does (collectively "Defendants") for violations of due process and the Fourth Amendment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for various state claims. Defendants timely removed this action to this Court from Madera County Superior Court. Now pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Salter's complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Salter opposed the motion, and Defendants have filed a reply. Upon careful consideration of the parties' arguments, the Court DISMISSES in part with leave to amend Salter's complaint and ORDERS Salter to file and serve either an amended complaint or a statement agreeing to dismissal of her federal claims.

BACKGROUND

A.Facts

Salter worked as a Correction Counselor for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") from 1990 until 2008 and again from 2011 until her retirement in 2012. At the relevant times during her employment, Salter worked at the Valley State Prison for Women ("VSPW"). Salter alleges that she was injured on the job on August 27, 2003, when she fell while pushing her file cart. Salter alleges that Hernandez, a Correction Counselor II at VSPW and Salter's direct supervisor, failed to complete an accident/injury report despite being notified that he needed to complete the report and advising Salter that he would complete the report.

Salter alleges she visited Rodriguez, a Return to Work Coordinator at VSPW, to request to see a doctor on September 15, 2003 for the August 27, 2003 accident. Dr. Allen T. Nassar diagnosed Salter with neck and back strain and later instructed her not to use her left arm. Salter alleges no accommodations were made for her at work other than having someone else push her file cart in late October 2003.

Salter alleges that, in November 2003, Rodriguez notified a California Public Employees' Retirement System ("Cal-Pers") investigator that Salter would soon file a fraudulent claim. Salter further alleges Rodriguez notified the California State Compensation Insurance Fund ("State Fund") that Rodriguez was suspicious of Salter because Salter waited to see a doctor for her injuries from the August 27, 2003 accident. The State Fund investigated Salter and declined to prosecute her in November 2004.

In August 2007, Salter was arrested by Pettis and charged with fourteen felony counts of fraud and theft related to her injury. Salter's employment with VSPW was terminated on April 21, 2008. In January 2011, the charges against Salter were dismissed. Salter's employment with VSPW was reinstated in February 2011.

After an unsuccessful disability retirement hearing with Cal-Pers in April 2007, Salter received clearance for disability retirement in May 2012. Salter's worker's compensation claim remains pending.

B.Procedural History

Salter filed a complaint on October 5, 2012 in Madera County Superior Court alleging sixteen causes of action -- four relate to the United States Constitution and federal statutes and twelve are based on the California Constitution and California law. On November 5, 2012, Defendants timely removed this action to federal court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction for the causes of action related to federal law and supplemental jurisdiction over the state law causes of action. Defendants filed the instant motion to dismiss on December 20, 2012. Salter opposed the motion on January 10, 2013 and voluntarily dropped her sixth, ninth, and tenth causes of action. Defendants filed a reply on January 17, 2012.

Having considered the parties' arguments and the relevant law, the Court issues this order.

DISCUSSION

Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. ...


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