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Martinez v. Navy League of United States

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 12, 2014

DOLORES MARTINEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
NAVY LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STRIKE [38]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Dolores Martinez alleges in her Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") that she had a "trip and fall" accident while attending an event sponsored by Defendant Navy League of the United States ("Navy League"). (SAC ¶ 3.) Martinez is a pro se plaintiff. This Court has subject-matter jurisdiction based on diversity under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). On December 20, 2013, Navy League filed the present Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, Strike Martinez's SAC. (ECF No. 38.) This is Navy League's third motion to dismiss in this matter. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant's Motion.[1]

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The SAC lists one claim for personal injury against Navy League. Martinez alleges that she was injured while attending a Navy Week event at the Los Angeles Harbor on July 31, 2011. The Navy League was a sponsor of the event. According to Martinez, she tripped and fell over a fence bracket on her way to tour the USS Abraham Lincoln. Martinez alleges that she sustained serious injuries as a result of the fall.

The original Complaint in this action was filed on July 31, 2013. (ECF No. 1.) On September 19, 2013, the Court granted Navy League's Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint for non-opposition. (ECF No. 11.) Martinez subsequently filed a First Amended Complaint, and Navy League again moved to dismiss. (ECF Nos. 16, 24.) On November 25, 2013, the Court granted Navy League's Motion to Dismiss the FAC on the merits. (ECF No. 35.)

The instant Motion was filed by Navy League on December 20, 2013. (ECF No. 38.) Martinez filed an opposition on January 15, 2014. (ECF No. 39.) Navy League filed a Reply on January 17, 2014. (ECF No. 40.) The Court took the matter under submission on January 28, 2014.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

A court may dismiss a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for lack of a cognizable legal theory or insufficient facts pleaded to support an otherwise cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To survive a dismissal motion, a complaint need only satisfy the minimal notice pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2)-a short and plain statement of the claim. Porter v. Jones , 319 F.3d 483, 494 (9th Cir. 2003). The factual "allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). That is, the complaint must "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

The determination whether a complaint satisfies the plausibility standard is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679. A court is generally limited to the pleadings and must construe all "factual allegations set forth in the complaint... as true and... in the light most favorable" to the plaintiff. Lee v. City of L.A. , 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001). But a court need not blindly accept conclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of fact, and unreasonable inferences. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors , 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001).

An entire pleading or portions of the pleading may also be stricken under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f). Fed. Sav. & Loan v. Gemini Mgmt. , 921 F.2d 241, 243 (9th Cir. 1990). A court "may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).

IV. DISCUSSION

Navy League asks the Court to grant four alternative forms of relief. First, Navy League contends that the SAC should be dismissed for failure to comply with a court order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). Navy League also seeks dismissal of the entire SAC for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). In the alternative, Navy League moves to strike portions of the SAC pursuant to ...


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