United States District Court, E.D. California
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. 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.
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.
Parties' Employment Relationship
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.
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.
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. ¶¶
and JDS/De La Cruz now move to dismiss Ms. Malaivanh's
federal claims under Rule 12(b)(6) because, they say, they