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Hawn v. McHugh

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

July 29, 2013

KAMINI HAWN, Plaintiff(s),
v.
JOHN McHUGH, Secretary of the Army, Defendant(s)

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [Docket Item No(s). 18]

EDWARD J. DAVILA, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

In this employment discrimination action, Plaintiff Kamini Hawn alleges she was improperly terminated on July 10, 2009, from her employment as a Hindi language instructor at the Defense Language Institute located in Monterey, California. On September 26, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants Defense Language Institute and the Department of the Army asserting, it seems, violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et. seq., the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et. seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Compl., Docket Item No. 1.

Federal jurisdiction arises pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Presently before the court is a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint filed by John McHugh, Secretary of the Army ("Defendant"), pursuant to subsections (b)(1) and (b)(6) of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12. See Docket Item No. 18. Plaintiff filed written opposition to the Motion.[1] See Docket Item No. 25. The court found this matter suitable for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and previously vacated the associated motion hearing. See Docket Item No. 30.

Having now carefully reviewed this matter, the court has determined that Defendant's arguments in favor of dismissal have merit. Accordingly, the Motion will be granted for the reasons explained below.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)

A Rule 12(b)(1) motion challenges subject matter jurisdiction and may be either facial or factual. Wolfe v. Strankman , 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004). A facial 12(b)(1) motion involves an inquiry confined to the allegations in the complaint, whereas a factual 12(b)(1) motion permits the court to look beyond the complaint to extrinsic evidence. Id . When a defendant makes a facial challenge, all material allegations in the complaint are assumed true, and the court must determine whether lack of federal jurisdiction appears from the face of the complaint itself. Thornhill Publ'g Co. v. General Tel. Elec. , 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979). "A party invoking the federal court's jurisdiction has the burden of proving the actual existence of subject matter jurisdiction." Thompson v. McCombe , 99 F.3d 352, 353 (9th Cir. 1996).

B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires a plaintiff to plead each claim with sufficient specificity 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) (internal quotations omitted). A complaint which falls short of the Rule 8(a) standard may be dismissed if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate only where the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory." Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr. , 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008). The factual allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level" such that the claim "is plausible on its face." Twombly , 550 U.S. at 556-57.

When deciding whether to grant a motion to dismiss, the court generally "may not consider any material beyond the pleadings." Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co. , 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir. 1990). The court must generally accept as true all "well-pleaded factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 664 (2009). The court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Love v. United States , 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1988). However, the court may consider material submitted as part of the complaint or relied upon in the complaint, and may also consider material subject to judicial notice. See Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 688-69 (9th Cir. 2001). "[Material which is properly submitted as part of the complaint may be considered." Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555. But "courts are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Id.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Primary Issues

The court addresses certain initial matters because their resolution assists in ...


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