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Colodney v. Orr

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 9, 2015

NATHAN J. COLODNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JAY ORR; DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 14)

VIRGINIA A. PHILLIPS, District Judge.

Pro se Plaintiff Nathan J. Colodney ("Colodney") previously brought suit in this Court, complaining that the County of Riverside's actions in discharging him from its employ constituted breach of contract, wrongful termination, and violated various County ordinances.[1] Colodney's instant Complaint contains similar allegations, except Colodney now avers that Defendant Jay Orr ("Orr"), who was Acting County Executive at the time of Colodney's dismissal, committed fraud by dismissing him.

On March 4, 2015, Orr filed a Motion to Dismiss ("Motion" or "Mot."). (Doc. No. 14.) The Motion is appropriate for resolution without a hearing; the hearing was previously vacated. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After consideration of the papers filed in support of, and in opposition to, the Motion, the Court GRANTS the Motion, and dismisses this action with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Allegations in the Complaint

The allegations in Colodney's operative complaint, the First Amended Complaint ("FAC") (Doc. No. 8), are substantially similar to those in his previous action.[2] Colodney was employed as the Deputy Chief Information Officer of the United States European Command (US EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany when he interviewed for and received an offer to be the "Department Head Riverside County Information Technology and Chief Information Officer." (FAC ¶ 4.) Colodney's offer letter stated his employment "was to be at-will to the Board of Supervisors pursuant to Riverside County Board of Supervisors Management Resolution ("Management Resolution"), Section 601(E)(1)." (Id. ¶ 5.)

When Colodney arrived from Europe to start work on October 7, 2010, he was required to sign an "AT-WILL LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING" which stated that he had "been appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors." (Id. ¶ 9.) This document was signed by Orr, who was the Assistant County CEO at the time. (Id.)

On September 22, 2011, the County CEO resigned; Orr, who according to Colodney had not formally been appointed as Acting CEO, dismissed Colodney about an hour after the County CEO resigned. (Id. ¶ 11.) Colodney alleges that his discharge violated various Riverside County Ordinances and the California Government Code because the Board of Supervisors did not properly appoint him to his position, nor did it properly dismiss him. (Id. ¶¶ 12-18.) According to Colodney, Orr lacked the authority or the discretion to dismiss him. (Id. ¶ 19.)

B. Procedural History

Colodney filed this action on September 23, 2014. Orr filed the instant Motion on March 4, 2015.[3] Along with the Motion, Orr filed a Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN") (Doc. No. 15).

Colodney filed his Opposition ("Opp'n") to the Motion on March 18, 2015. (Doc. No. 22.) On March 23, 2015, Orr filed his Reply. (Doc. No. 24.)

C. Request for Judicial Notice

As noted above, Orr has requested the Court take judicial notice of various documents germane to this action. Orr requests the Court take judicial notice of: (A) the "At-will Letter of Understanding" identified in the Complaint; (B) the Court's order in dismissing Colodney's previous action, Colodney v. County of Riverside, without leave to amend ("Colodney Dismissal Order")[4]; (C) a "Notice of Return of Claim as Untimely" dated August 28, 2012; (D) a "Notice of Denial of Application to Present Late Claim" dated October 24, 2012; (E) the termination letter dated September 22, 2011, identified in the Complaint; and (F) pertinent portions of County of Riverside Resolution 2010-230, which contains Section 601, the section Colodney avers Orr violated in discharging him.

The Court may take judicial notice of facts that can be "accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned." Fed.R.Evid. 201(b)(2). A court may take judicial notice of court filings and other matters of public record. See Reyn's Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA. Inc. , 422 F.3d 741, 746 n.6 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Auth. v. City of Burbank , 136 F.3d 1360, 1364 (9th Cir. 1998)); see also Harris v. Cnty. of Orange , 682 F.3d 1126, 1132 (9th Cir. 2012) (courts may "take judicial notice of undisputed matters of public record, including documents on file in federal or state courts." (internal citation omitted)).

RJN Exhibits A and E, the documents showing that Colodney was hired and later discharged by Riverside County, are properly subject to judicial notice because they are incorporated into Colodney's pleadings by reference. United States v. Ritchie , 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003) ("A court may... consider certain materials - documents attached to the complaint, documents incorporated by reference in the complaint, or ...


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