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Hall v. Apollo Group, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

September 2, 2014

APOLLO GROUP, INC., et al., Defendants.


LUCY H. KOH, District Judge.

Currently before the Court is Defendants Apollo Group, Inc. ("Apollo") and University of Phoenix, Inc.'s ("UOP") (collectively, "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss Krislee Cardinal Hall's ("Hall") Complaint. ("Mot.") ECF No. 8. Also before the Court is Hall's Request to Schedule Rule 16 Scheduling Conference. ECF No. 39. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court concludes that this matter is appropriate for determination without oral argument and accordingly VACATES the hearing and case management conference scheduled for September 4, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. Having considered the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss without prejudice. Hall's Request to Schedule Rule 16 Scheduling Conference is DENIED.


A. Factual Background

Defendant Apollo provides educational programs at the high school, college, and graduate levels. ("Compl.") ¶ 5, ECF No. 203. Apollo's subsidiary, Defendant UOP, offers associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs in a number of fields, including criminal justice. Id. ¶ 6. Hall received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Phoenix in 2006 and "completed online classes for Masters of Justice and Security Administration" in 2008. Id. ¶ 4. However, Hall was unable to obtain a job in the criminal justice field. Id. ¶¶ 20-21. On March 26, 2014, Hall, proceeding pro se, filed the present action, asserting claims against Apollo and Phoenix for: (1) fraud; (2) breach of contract; (3) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (4) concealment; (5) reliance; (6) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (7) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (8) false promise; (9) intentional misrepresentation; (10) negligent misrepresentation; (11) opinions as statement of fact; and (12) invasion of privacy. Id. at 1.

The facts underlying all twelve of Hall's asserted causes of action are essentially the same. Specifically, Hall alleges that Defendants made various misrepresentations to her regarding the nature and value of her criminal justice degrees. Hall alleges that prior to enrolling at UOP in June of 2004, Robert Jacobs, "an employee and authorized agent of [D]efendants], " informed Hall that "credits obtained from education at defendants[] institutions were and would be transferrable to any university or college, " and that Hall would have lifetime access to UOP's "Student Resource Center[s]." Id. ¶¶ 10-11. Hall alleges that Joan Rodrigues, the "manager/director" of UOP's Fremont campus, similarly represented that credits from UOP would be transferable to any other learning institution. Id. ¶¶ 15, 28. Hall further alleges that Rodrigues and various UOP professors told her at various times during Hall's time as a student at UOP that a degree in criminal justice from UOP would enable Hall to get a job as an FBI special agent. Id. ¶¶ 16-19, 28.

Hall maintains that these representations were false. Hall contends that upon applying for a job with the FBI, which Hall claims to have done in 2008, 2009, and 2010, she discovered that her degrees from UOP did not qualify her for a position as an FBI special agent. Id. ¶ 28. Hall further contends that she discovered that her credits from UOP were not transferable to "any university or college" in October 2011, when she unsuccessfully attempted to transfer her credits to law school. Id. Hall also claims that she was prevented from using a UOP student resource center for personal business in spite of Defendants' representation that she would enjoy lifetime access to these centers. Id. ¶ 30.

Hall identifies additional purported misrepresentations made by UOP employees. Hall claims that Joan Rodrigues claimed to have an MBA when she did not. Id. ¶ 34. Hall also alleges that several of her professors lied about their academic credentials and professional achievements. Id. ¶¶ 16-18.

B. Procedural History

Hall filed the Complaint in this action on March 26, 2014. ECF No. 1. The Complaint is nearly identical to a Second Amended Complaint filed in Bernstein v. Apollo Group, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-01701.[1] Compare id., with Case No. 13-CV-01701, ECF No. 203. Accordingly, upon motion of Defendants, Case No. 13-CV-01701, ECF No. 210, the Court related the Bernstein and Hall cases on April 28, 2014. ECF No. 19.[2]

Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint on April 21, 2014.[3] Mot. Hall filed an "Opposition" to the Motion on April 23, 2014, in which Hall principally objected to Defendants' contention that the Bernstein and Hall actions were related. See ECF No. 13. Hall's April 23 filing also objected to Defendants', apparently erroneous, title of their Motion as a Motion to Dismiss a "Second Amended Complaint" on the ground that Hall had filed only one complaint. See id.

On April 29, 2014, Hall filed a "Response to Opposition" that again objected to the title of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. See ECF No. 23. The April 29 filing also stated that pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed and that Hall should be given leave to amend in the event the Complaint is dismissed. See id. Also on April 29, 2014, Hall filed "Objections" to the Court's order relating the Bernstein and Hall actions. ECF No. 24.

Defendants filed a Reply in support of the Motion to Dismiss on May 12, 2014. ECF No. 34. Hall responded with a "Surreply to Reply" on May 13, 2014. ECF No. 35. On May 16, 2014, Hall filed a Request to Schedule Rule 16 Scheduling Conference. ECF No. 39.

Since the inception of this case, Hall has also filed numerous motions seeking to compel discovery. See ECF Nos. 36-37, 42-43, 45-46, 55. Magistrate Judge Grewal denied these motions without prejudice to their renewal pending this Court's ...

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