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Crosby v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 3, 2014

KAREN CROSBY, an Individual, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. doing business as Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking, and Does 1 through 25, inclusive, Defendants

For Karen Crosby, Plaintiff: Kenneth P Roberts, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Offices Kenneth P Roberts APLC, Woodland Hills, CA.

For Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., doing business as, Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking, Defendant: Danielle Leah Levine, Paul Berkowitz, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Thomas R Kaufman, Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

Page 1344

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PARTIAL JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

MANUEL L. REAL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Bank N.A.'s Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Finding the matter suitable for decision on the papers, the Court took it under submission on August 26, 2014.

For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS the Motion without leave to amend.

Plaintiff Karen Crosby alleges that Wells Fargo terminated her employment on February 19, 2013, but violated California Labor Code § 201 by not paying her commissions earned at the time of her discharge. Ms. Crosby has also asserted a representative claim under the California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act, which allows an aggrieved employee to recover a civil penalty for violations of other Labor Code provisions.

Ms. Crosby was employed as a Private Mortgage Banker at Wells Fargo and received a portion of her compensation as a commission on loans and mortgages that she originated. Ms. Crosby alleges that her duties as related to the loans virtually concluded once the loan received preliminary approval; however, her commission was not paid until the loan was actually funded and closed. At the time of her termination, Ms. Crosby alleges that she had originated several loans that received preliminary approval, but, because the loans had not yet been funded at the time of her departure, she was not paid a commission on the loans. Ms. Crosby refers to these loans as " Pending Approved Loans."

Ms. Crosby's compensation agreement with Wells Fargo contains a specific provision related to a commission on the Pending Approved Loans: After her termination, Ms. Crosby would be paid only on those loans that were funded within " thirty (30) days after termination of employment, or in accordance with state law." Because certain of the Pending Approved Loans were not funded more than 30 days after Ms. Crosby's termination, Wells Fargo denies that it owes Ms. Crosby a commission for these loans.

On February 11, 2014, Plaintiff sent a letter to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (the " LWDA" ) setting forth the basis for her belief that Wells Fargo violated the Labor Code by refusing to pay these commissions. On March 11, 2014, the LWDA gave Ms. Crosby notice that while it was not going to investigate her allegations, she could instead proceed with a private action under PAGA to collect civil penalties. Wells Fargo seeks judgment on the pleadings with respect to Ms. Crosby's PAGA claim.

" After the pleadings are closed--but early enough not to delay trial--a party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). " Judgment on the pleadings is properly granted when, taking all allegations in the pleading as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Knappenberger v. City of Phx., 566 F.3d 936, 939 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Merchants Home Delivery Serv., Inc. v. Frank B. Hall & Co., 50 F.3d 1486, 1488 (9th Cir. 1995)).

On a Rule 12(c) motion, the court must accept as true all the material facts alleged in the complaint and must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving

Page 1345

party. Fleming v. Pickard, 581 F.3d 922, 925 (9th Cir. 2009). In ruling on a Rule 12(c) motion, the court may not consider extrinsic evidence unless the motion is converted into a Rule 56 summary judgment. Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c); Bonilla v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 697 F.2d 1297, 1301 (9th Cir. 1982)). However, a court may consider facts that are contained in materials of which the court may take judicial notice when considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings. ...


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