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Stanley v. Bobo Construction, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 10, 2014

MONTY R. STANLEY, individually and doing business as NORTH WEST SURFACING, Plaintiff,
v.
BOBO CONSTRUCTION, INC., a California corporation; CITY OF ELK GROVE, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING BOBO CONSTRUCTION INC'S AND THE CITY OF ELK GROVE'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS

JOHN A. MENDEZ, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Bobo Construction, Inc.'s ("BCI") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Fifth Cause of Action of his First Amended Complaint ("FAC") (Doc. #5) and Defendant City of Elk Grove's (the "City") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's FAC (Doc. #6). Plaintiff Monty R. Stanley, individually and doing business as North West Surfacing, ("Plaintiff") opposes both motions (Doc. ##8, 9) and Defendants replied (Doc. ##13, 14).[1] For the reasons set forth below, BCI's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Fifth Cause of Action of his FAC and the City's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's FAC are granted.

I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff originally filed this action on September 9, 2013, in Sacramento County Superior Court (Doc. #1) against BCI and the City (collectively "Defendants"). This action was removed to this Court on January 6, 2014, based on federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Id . In the FAC, Plaintiff alleges five causes of action: (1) Breach of contract as to BCI; (2) deprivation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 by Defendants; (3) common counts against Defendants; (4) interference with contractual relations against the City; and (5) interference with prospective economic advantage against Defendants (Doc. #1).

According to the allegations in the FAC, the City awarded BCI a contract for a public works construction project, the Special Waste Collection Center and Disposal Lane Project ("Project") in May 2012. FAC ¶¶ 7-8. In or about May 2012, BCI and Plaintiff entered into a subcontract agreement, under which Plaintiff was to furnish and perform site demolition work at the Project. Id . ¶ 9. Plaintiff alleges that beginning in or about August 2012 and continuing through September 21, 2012, the City and BCI discharged him as a subcontractor because he complained about potentially hazardous and toxic contaminants at the Project site and requested that appropriate protective measures be taken. Id . ¶ 19. On or about August 31, 2013, Plaintiff presented a written claim for economic damages to the City. Id . ¶ 16.

II. OPINION

A. Judicial Notice

The City requests judicial notice of the government claim made by Plaintiff to the City dated August 31, 2013 ("August 31 Government Claim"). August 31 Government Claim, Ex. A, Def.'s Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN"), Doc. #7. Courts may consider extrinsic evidence when the plaintiff's claim depends on the contents of a document and the parties do not dispute the authenticity of the document. See, e.g., Sherman v. Stryker Corp. , 2009 WL 2241664, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 30, 2009) (citing Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001) and Fed.R.Evid. 201). Here, Plaintiff refers to the government claim in the FAC and Plaintiff does not dispute the authenticity of the government claim. Accordingly, the Court grants the City's request for judicial notice.

Plaintiff also requests judicial notice of the government claim made by Plaintiff dated February 19, 2014. Ex. A, Pl.'s Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN"), Doc. # 9-2. For the same reasons mentioned above, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for judicial notice.

B. Evidentiary Objections

The City objects to the Declaration of John J. Rueda submitted by Plaintiff with his opposition to the City's motion to dismiss. Objections, Doc. #15.

Generally, courts may not consider materials beyond the pleadings in ruling on a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion. Lee v. City of Los Angeles , 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001) (citing Branch v. Tunnell , 14 F.3d 449, 453 (9th Cir. 1994)). There are two exceptions to this rule: First, a court may consider "material which is properly submitted as part of the complaint" on a motion to dismiss. Id . Second, under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, "a court may take judicial notice of matters of public record.'" Id . (citing Mack v. South Bay Beer Distrib. , 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986)).

In this case, as part of his opposition, Plaintiff submitted a declaration by his counsel. This declaration was not attached to the complaint nor has Plaintiff requested judicial notice of it; therefore, this declaration is outside the pleadings. Accordingly, the ...


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