United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO.
A. WESTMORE United States Magistrate Judge.
April 21, 2016, Plaintiff Patricia Jordan filed the instant
case against Defendants Presidio Trust and the United States
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"),
alleging that she was terminated from her position with the
Presidio Trust based on her age and gender. (Compl., Dkt. No.
1.) On January 30, 2017, the Court granted Defendants'
motion to dismiss the complaint. (Dkt. No. 49.) Plaintiff
filed an amended complaint, which brought two causes of
action for declaratory relief and injunctive relief, based on
whether Plaintiff's claims are subject to the
"Presidio Trust Procedures Related to Claims of
Workplace Discrimination." (First Amended Compl.
("FAC") ¶¶ 67, 77, Dkt. No. 51.)
Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
(Defs.' Mot., Dkt. No. 63.)
Court deemed the matter suitable for disposition without
hearing pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and vacated the
hearing previously set for July 6, 2017. (Dkt. No. 73.)
Having considered the papers filed by the parties and the
relevant legal authority, the Court GRANTS Defendants'
motion because Plaintiff only brings two causes of action for
declaratory relief and injunctive relief; these, however,
"are not independent causes of action, but
remedies." Hayes v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.,
Case No.: 3-13-cv-420 KAW, 2013 WL 4117050, at *7 (N.D. Cal.
Aug. 12, 2013); see also Rosenfeld v. JPMorgan Chase
Bank, N.A., 732 F.Supp.2d 952, 975 (N.D. Cal. 2010)
("the Court notes that declaratory and injunctive relief
are not causes of action; rather, they are remedies").
To seek declaratory relief or injunctive relief, Plaintiff
must first plead a cause of action to support such relief.
The Court therefore finds dismissal with leave to amend to be
opposition, Plaintiff appears to suggest that she is bringing
an Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") claim,
which underlies her request for declaratory relief and an
injunction. (Plf.'s Opp'n at 4, Dkt. No. 71
("the case seeks declaratory relief and an injunction
against officers of the subject agencies under
§702").) As Defendants point out, however,
Plaintiff's complaint does not in fact include an APA
cause of action, and an "argument in opposition cannot
cure a defect in the pleading." Yamauchi v.
Cotterman, 84 F.Supp.3d 993, 1009 (N.D. Cal. 2015);
see also Broam v. Bogan, 320 F.3d 1023, 1026 n.2
(9th Cir. 2003) ("In determining the propriety of a Rule
12(b)(6) dismissal, a court may not look beyond the
complaint to a plaintiff's moving papers, such as a
memorandum in opposition to a defendant's motion to
dismiss") (internal quotation omitted). Thus, if
Plaintiff intends to bring an APA claim, she must explicitly
plead such a claim in her amended complaint. The APA claim
should, at the very least, specifically identify the exact
agency actions being challenged, whether it is the
promulgation of the Presidio Trust Procedures Related to
Claims of Workplace Discrimination, the alleged
"interagency agreement" between Defendants, or some
other alleged final action.
the Court dismisses Plaintiff's complaint on the ground
that declaratory relief and injunctive relief are not causes
of action, the Court need not determine the merits of
Defendants' other arguments. The Court notes, however,
the following issues that have been raised in the
should Plaintiff bring an APA claim, there is a question of
whether the agency discretion exception applies.
(See Defs.' Reply at 3-5.) This discretion is a
"very narrow" one, which applies when
"statutes are drawn in such broad terms that in a given
case there is no law to apply." Citizens to Preserve
Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 410 (1971)
(internal quotation omitted).
there is a question of whether Plaintiff can adequately
identify an injury-in-fact by pointing to differences between
the Presidio Trust's and the EEOC's procedures.
(See Plf's Opp'n at 6.) It is not clear that
the cited differences alone are adequate to establish the
concrete and particularized injury required for standing
purposes, and what legal authority exists to support such a
again, the Court observes generally that statutory
interpretation may properly be conducted at the motion to
dismiss stage because it is a legal question. (See
also Dkt. No. 49 at 10.) The Court is unaware of any
authority which concludes that legislative history is a
matter outside of the pleadings, such that a court cannot
interpret a statute without converting a motion to dismiss
into a motion for summary judgment. Further, if the statute
itself is clear, there may be no need to analyze legislative
history or intent at all.
reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion
and dismisses Plaintiffs complaint without prejudice.
Plaintiff has thirty (30) days from the date of this order to
file the amended complaint.
 To the extent Plaintiff intends to
rely on this argument again, the Court expects Plaintiff to
cite to relevant legal ...