United States District Court, C.D. California
DR. SUJATA VYAS, an individual, Plaintiff,
BHASKAR VYAS, an individual; NANCY BUNN, an individual; LOCKHEED MARTIN PENSION PLAN AND CHAMBERS QDRO CONSULTING SERVICES, LLC; CHARLES SCHWAB AND SCHWAB RETIREMENT PLAN SERVICES COMPANY AS PLAN ADMINISTRATOR; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS OF DEFENDANT BHASKAR VYAS
AS TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [FRCP 12(B)(1) AND 12(B)(6)]
Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew Senior U.S. District Judge
before the Court is Defendant Bhaskar Vyas’s
(“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s
First Amended Complaint  (“Motion”). The
present Motion stems from a pension and securities fraud
action arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.
(“ERISA”) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (“SEC”) Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. §
240.10b-5. Plaintiff Dr. Sujata Vyas
(“Plaintiff”) filed this Action claiming
undisclosed and undivided community assets in the form of a
Lockheed Martin Pension Plan (“Lockheed Plan”)
and Rollover Individual Retirement Accounts (“Rollover
IRAs”) that Defendant Bhaskar Vyas
(“Defendant”) allegedly concealed from Plaintiff
during their divorce proceedings in state court. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES
in part Defendant’s Motion.
is a California resident who married Defendant in 1981. First
Am. Compl. (“FAC”) 10:8-11:6, ECF No. 19. Their
divorce was finalized in 2009. Id. During their
marriage, Plaintiff and Defendant accumulated assets,
specifically in the form of the Lockheed Plan and Rollover
IRAs. Plaintiff alleges she is the alternate payee of these
ERISA assets, and Defendant is the beneficiary. Id.
December 21, 2015, the Orange County Superior Court Family
Law Division finalized the division of the parties’
marital assets, which was reflected in the Qualified Domestic
Relations Order (“QDRO”). Id. However,
neither the Lockheed Plan nor the Rollover IRAs appear on the
QDRO, because, as Plaintiff alleges, Defendant concealed
these plans from Plaintiff throughout all court-mandated
disclosures and proceedings. Id. at 10:8-12:20.
Plaintiff maintains that she only recently learned of these
plans when Nancy Bunn (“Bunn”), the jointly
stipulated QDRO attorney, discovered them whilst drafting and
filing the QDRO documents. Id. at 15:12-16:11. Thus,
the assets have not been presented to any state court.
Id. Plaintiff argues generally that
Defendant’s failure to disclose the assets violates
both ERISA and federal securities laws. Id.
August 2014, Plaintiff claims that Defendant gained
discretionary control of the Lockheed Pension Plan when he
became eligible to take a lump sum distribution or an
annuity. Id. at 13:2-23. Plaintiff contends that
this qualifies Defendant as a fiduciary with respect to this
Plan under ERISA and federal securities regulations.
Id. In addition, Plaintiff argues that Defendant is
a fiduciary of any and all undisclosed Rollover IRAs.
undisclosed date, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Objection to
the QDRO at the Orange County Family Law Court. Id.
at 18:1-17. Furthermore, Plaintiff maintains that she made
multiple attempts, to no avail, to add the missing plans by
calling Bunn. Id. On December 21, 2015, the Orange
County court finalized the QDRO. Id. at 18:18-19:2.
Plaintiff alleges that the court never provided her the
opportunity to be heard before issuing the final order.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1)
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1) allows a
litigant to seek dismissal of an action for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). A motion to
dismiss for lack of standing pertains to the Court’s
subject matter jurisdiction, and is properly raised under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). White v.
Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000). The party
bringing the action bears the burden of establishing
standing. DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S.
332, 342 (2006). If a plaintiff lacks standing, the court has
no subject matter jurisdiction over the case and must dismiss
it. See Cole v. Oroville Union High Sch. Dist., 228
F.3d 1092, 1099 (9th Cir. 2000).
facial challenge to the Court’s subject matter
jurisdiction asserts that “the allegations contained in
a complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal
jurisdiction.” Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer,
373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). When evaluating a facial
attack on the court's subject matter jurisdiction, the
court “must accept all of the plaintiff's factual
allegations as true.” Dreier v. United States,
106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotation
marks omitted). By contrast, in a factual attack, the
challenger disputes the truth of the allegations that, by
themselves, would otherwise invoke federal jurisdiction.
Safe Air, 373 F.3d at 1039.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6)
Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6) allows a party to move
for dismissal of one or more claims if the pleading fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss on 12(b)(6) grounds,
a 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) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Dismissal can be based on a “lack of a cognizable legal
theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a
cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).
ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, a court may generally consider
only allegations contained in the pleadings, exhibits
attached to the complaint, and matters properly subject to
judicial notice. Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756,
763 (9th Cir. 2007). A court must presume all factual
allegations of the complaint to be true and draw all