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Doan v. San Ramon Valley School District

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 27, 2014

HOA DOAN, Plaintiff,
v.
SAN RAMON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

CHARLES R. BREYER, District Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Hoa Doan brought suit against Defendant San Ramon Valley Unified School District ("SRVUSD" or "Defendant"), alleging race and disability discrimination in connection with his employment. See generally First Amended Complaint ("FAC") (dkt. 21). Defendant now moves to dismiss. The Court GRANTS the motion, with leave to amend.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that, in 2006, SRVUSD failed to interview him, although he had received good referrals and evaluations in his previous position with the same school district. See FAC ¶ 1. Plaintiff also states that Mr. Anderson, possibly his supervisor, occasionally gave him heavy work, although he could only work light duties, due to a disability. Id . ¶ 1-2. Anderson yelled at him and failed to resolve harassment issues between Plaintiff and his co-workers. Id. ¶¶ 3, 5. Plaintiff worked through lunch and other breaks, and once worked overtime hours without receiving overtime pay. Id . ¶¶ 2-4.

Plaintiff's arm had been hurting and he had to see an acupuncturist, but Anderson told Plaintiff that he did not have the proper doctor's paperwork. Id . ¶ 4. However, it is unclear whether Anderson would let Plaintiff take time off to see the acupuncturist. Id . Anderson also screamed at Plaintiff on another occasion after he came back from taking sick leave in November 2010. Id . ¶ 4.

Plaintiff brought suit in Federal District Court of the Northern District of California in August 2013. See generally Compl. (Dkt. 1). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which the Court granted on November 4, 2013. See generally MTD Compl. (Dkt. 12). On December 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed the FAC. The FAC includes causes of action for discrimination based on disability and race. See FAC. Defendant moves to dismiss the FAC.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the claims alleged in a complaint. Ileto v. Glock, Inc. , 349 F.3d 1191, 1199-1200 (9th Cir. 2003). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, a complaint must include sufficient facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

Yet, pro se documents are to be liberally construed, and "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus , 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); see also Balisteri v. Pacifica Police Department Dept., 901 F.2d 296, 699 (9th Cir. 1990) (noting that "pro se pleadings are liberally construed, particularly where civil rights are involved"). But, a liberal interpretation "may not supply essential elements of the claim that were not initially pled." Pena v. Gardner , 976 F.2d 469, 471 (9th Cir. 1992) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

Furthermore, a complaint should not be dismissed without leave to amend unless there is strong evidence that an amendment will result in "undue delay, bad faith... repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed... [or] futility of amendment...." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15; Sonoma Cnty. Ass'n of Retired Employees v. Sonoma Cnty. , 708 F.3d 1109, 1117 (9th Cir. 2013). In determining the futility of an amendment, the court should examine whether the complaint could be amended to cure the defect "without contradicting any of [the] original complaint." Reddy v. Litton Indus. , 912 F.2d 291, 296 (9th Cir. 1990). A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course, but in "all other cases, it may amend its only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave, which the court should freely grant when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Plaintiff's Untimely Opposition

Both parties agree that Plaintiff filed an untimely opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. See Opp'n to MTD FAC at 1, ln 4 (dkt. 23); Reply re MTD FAC at 1 (dkt. 24). Nonetheless, courts have discretion in enforcing such deadlines, and court policies favor resolution of cases on the merits. See Ghazali v. Moran , 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995); see also Canady v. Erbe Elektromedizin ...


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