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Malaivanh v. Humphreys College

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 11, 2017

LEANNA MALAIVANH, Plaintiff,
v.
HUMPHREYS COLLEGE; JESSE DE LA CRUZ; JDS CONSULTATION, INC.; and, DOES 1 through 100 inclusive, Defendants. [1]

          ORDER

         Plaintiff Leanne Malaivanh brings claims for sexual harassment, retaliation, sexual assault, and negligence against Humphreys College (“Humphreys”) and two other defendants. Humphreys now moves to dismiss the complaint and, in the alternative, moves for a more definite statement.[2] Humphreys Mot., ECF No. 8. Defendants Jesse De La Cruz (De La Cruz) and JDS Consultation, Inc. (JDS) also jointly move to dismiss. JDS Mot., ECF No. 20. Ms. Malaivanh opposes both motions. Opp'n Humphreys Mot., ECF No. 10; Opp'n JDS Mot., ECF No. 22. Humphreys replied, ECF No. 13, but JDS and De La Cruz did not.

         On January 13, 2017, the court held a hearing on both motions; Phillip Mastagni appeared for plaintiff; Loren Lunsford for defendants Jesse De La Cruz and JDS; and William Trinkle for defendant Humphreys. Mins, ECF No. 26. As explained below, the court GRANTS both motions to dismiss.

          I. BACKGROUND

         A. Parties' Employment Relationship

         Ms. Malaivanh studied criminal justice at Humphreys, a private college in Stockton, California. See generally Compl., ECF No. 1. Ms. Malaivanh does not allege that she ever worked directly for Humphreys. Rather, she alleges, on information and belief, she “was employed by all three defendants, id. ¶ 15, and the named defendants were “the agents, representatives, servants and/or employees of every other [d]efendant, who was a principal, master, and/or employer of each other [d]efendant, and every [d]efendant was acting within the course and scope of said agency, authority, and/or employment, ” id. ¶ 9.

         While a student at Humphreys, Ms. Malaivanh briefly worked as an assistant to Jesse De La Cruz, who she alleges does business on defendant corporation JDS's behalf. Id. ¶ 6. Ms. Malaivanh asserts the assistant position was “held out as both an internship for school credit and as a paid part time job” and as an “opportunity toward advancement in the study of [c]riminal [j]ustice.” Id. ¶ 16. The complaint does not state the length of employment, but describes it as “general clerical and reception duties such as appointment scheduling, photo copying, making travel arrangements, and answering phones.” Id. ¶ 6.

         B. Claims

         Ms. Malaivanh alleges that beginning in August 2015, De La Cruz repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted her. Id. ¶ 18 A-G. She then alleges Humphreys retaliated against her after she complained about De La Cruz's conduct. Id. ¶ 19. On May 20, 2016, she filed suit against Humphreys, De La Cruz and JDS, pleading ten claims:

. Harassment (First Claim) and retaliation (Second Claim) against all three defendants under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000.
. Harassment (Third Claim) and retaliation (Fourth Claim) against all three defendants under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Cal. Gov't Code § 12940 et seq.
. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (Fifth Claim), Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (Sixth Claim), and Negligence (Seventh Claim) against all three defendants.
. Sexual Battery (Eighth Claim) and False Imprisonment (Ninth Claim) against De LaCruz and JDS.
. Aiding and abetting harassment under the FEHA (Tenth Claim) against Humphreys. Compl. ¶¶ 23-85.

         Humphreys and JDS/De La Cruz now move to dismiss Ms. Malaivanh's federal claims under Rule 12(b)(6) because, they say, they are ...


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