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Parker v. Employment & Training Agency

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

May 6, 2013



CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.


On April 26, 2011, plaintiff Petra Ann Parker, proceeding pro se, filed suit against defendants Employment & Training Agency (SBETA) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Plaintiff alleges that in 2008, she received notice that SBETA, in the city of San Bernardino, California, was offering an examination that would allow the applicant to work for the U.S. Census in 2010. Compl. § 4.[1] Plaintiff allegedly took the exam three times for "several different jobs" and passed the test all three times, but the Census Bureau never called her for employment. Id . The first and second tests were taken in 2008 and 2009 at SBETA; she took the third exam in early 2010 at EDD Work Source in Compton, California. Id.

Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (CDFEH) on August 11, 2010, naming "EDD at Work Source" as the entity that discriminated against her. Compl. Ex. A (Agency Charge No. 480-2010-2097). Therein, she alleges that she applied to work as a Census Worker in February 2010, bur that she "was told that [she] was not hired because of something that happened at the San Bernardino office." Id . Plaintiff further alleges that she believes she was discriminated against due to her race, sex, and "in retaliation for filing a prior charge of discrimination against the Respondent." Id . This same charge of discrimination was also presented to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sent plaintiff a dismissal and notice of her right to sue. Compl. Ex. B (referencing same Agency Charge No.). On August 18, 2010, CDFEH issued a write to sue notice as well. Id.

Plaintiff brings claims for violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.), as well as violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.) against SBETA and the U.S. Census Bureau. Compl. §§ 5-6. She seeks $30, 000, 000 in damages against each defendant.

On April 1, 2013, defendant SBETA filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Dkt. No. 14. Plaintiff filed a declaration with respect to defense counsel's compliance with Local Rule 7-3 but did not otherwise address any of the substantive points made in defendant's motion. Dkt. No. 15.[2] The Court held a hearing on May 6, 2013. After considering the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.


A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in a complaint. "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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[F]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

In considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, as well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn from them. Pareto v. F.D.I.C. , 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998). The complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors , 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); Parks Sch. of Bus., Inc. v. Symington , 51 F.3d 1480, 1484 (9th Cir. 1995). However, "[i]n keeping with these principles a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009); Moss v. United States Secret Service , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[F]or a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.") (citing Twombly and Iqbal); Sprewell , 266 F.3d at 988; W. Mining Council v. Watt , 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). Ultimately, "[d]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. at 1950.

Furthermore, unless a court converts a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into a motion for summary judgment, a court cannot consider material outside of the complaint (e.g., facts presented in briefs, affidavits, or discovery materials). In re American Cont'l Corp./Lincoln Sav. & Loan Sec. Litig. , 102 F.3d 1524, 1537 (9th Cir. 1996), rev'd on other grounds sub nom Lexecon, Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach , 523 U.S. 26 (1998). A court may, however, consider exhibits submitted with or alleged in the complaint and matters that may be judicially noticed pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 201. In re Silicon Graphics Inc. Sec. Litig. , 183 F.3d 970, 986 (9th Cir. 1999); Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th Cir. 2001).

For all of these reasons, it is only under extraordinary circumstances that dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v. City of Redwood City , 640 F.2d 963, 966 (9th Cir. 1981).

As a general rule, leave to amend a complaint which has been dismissed should be freely granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). However, leave to amend may be denied when "the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency." Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co. , 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986); see Lopez v. Smith , 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000).


The Court finds that plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed for two reasons. First, plaintiff fails to allege that she has exhausted her administrative remedies with respect to defendant SBETA. "[T]he general rule [is] that Title VII claimants may sue only those named in the EEOC charge because only they had an opportunity to respond to charges during the administrative proceeding." Sosa v. Hiraoka , 920 F.2d 1451, 1458 (9th Cir. 1990). However, charges may be brought against persons not named in an administrative complaint where those persons "were involved in the acts giving rise to the EEOC claims." Id. at 1459 (quoting Wrighten v. Metropolitan Hosp. , 726 F.2d 1346, 1352 (9th Cir. 1984)). In addition, "where the EEOC or defendants themselves should have ...

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