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S.G. v. EL Dorado Union High School District

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 25, 2019

S.G., a minor by and through her Guardian ad Litem DANIELLE MORGAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
EL DORADO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Defendants move to dismiss plaintiffs' state-law claims. Mot., ECF No. 13. Plaintiffs filed an opposition to the motion, Opp'n, ECF No. 15, and defendants replied, Reply, ECF No. 16. At the February 8, 2019 motion hearing, however, plaintiffs conceded the motion in its entirety. Noting the concession, the court GRANTS defendants' motion in full on the merits as explained below.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs bring this action for various state and federal violations, including intentional discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, failure to perform supervisory duties under California Government Code section 815.6, negligent hiring, supervision and training under Government Code section 815.2, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, assault, battery and violation of California Civil Code section 1714. Compl., ECF No. 1.

         Minor plaintiff, S.G., suffers from Elhers-Danlos Syndrome III, a group of disorders affecting the connective tissues that support the skin, bones, blood vessels and other organs and tissues. Id. ¶¶ 16-17. S.G. also suffers from a Marfan trait called Pectus Excavatum and Dysautonomia, and other conditions as well. Id. ¶ 16. S.G. was, at all relevant times, a student at El Dorado High School (“EDHS”). Id. ¶ 16. EDHS was aware of S.G.'s condition, and initially made all necessary accommodations based on her needs. Id. ¶ 17.

         In September 2016, S.G. became friends with a fellow classmate, D.C. Id. ¶ 18. This friendship upset S.G.'s other classmates, E.O. and L.C., and their ire began a nearly eight-month campaign of harassment directed at S.G. Id. ¶¶ 19-27. After fits and starts, the harassment came to a head on May 15, 2017, when E.O. and L.C. allegedly attacked S.G. during the lunch hour at school. Id. ¶¶ 26-27. S.G. was taken to the emergency room after the attack where she was treated for a concussion, rib contusions, a right hip contusion, and various bumps and bruises over her head and eye. Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiffs allege that defendants were informed of the continual harassment, yet took inadequate measures to prevent S.G.'s inevitable harm on May 15, 2017. Id. ¶¶ 15-28.

         Plaintiffs initiated this action on March 29, 2018. Compl. The complaint states, “This action is commenced less than six months after the denial of plaintiff s California Tort Claim for damages, that was timely filed with Defendant [EDHS].” Id. ¶ 33. Nonetheless, on January 3, 2019, defendants filed the pending motion to dismiss on two bases: (1) S.G. failed to comply with the California Tort Claims Act, and (2) plaintiff Danielle Morgan's individual claims are also barred for failure to comply with the Tort Claims Act. Mot. At 3-6. \

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Judicial Notice

         The court may judicially notice a fact so long as it is not subject to reasonable dispute because it “(1) is generally known within the trial court's territorial jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b). In the context of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must ordinarily confine its review to the four corners of the complaint. Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). However, the “court may properly look beyond the complaint to matters of public record [when] doing so does not convert a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to one for summary judgment.” D.K. ex rel. G.M. v. Solano Cty. Office of Educ., 667 F.Supp.2d 1184, 1188 (E.D. Cal. 2009) (citation omitted). Additionally, “[a] court may consider evidence on which the complaint necessarily relies if: (1) the complaint refers to the document; (2) the document is central to the plaintiff's claim; and (3) no party questions the authenticity of the copy attached to the 12(b)(6) motion.” Marder, 450 F.3d at 448.

         B. Motion to Dismiss

         A party may move to dismiss a complaint against it for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The motion may be granted only if the movant can show the complaint lacks a “cognizable legal theory” or if its factual allegations do not support a cognizable legal theory. Hartmann v. Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., 707 F.3d 1114, 1122 (9th Cir. 2013). Determining whether a complaint will survive a motion to dismiss is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). The court must construe the complaint in a light most favorable to a plaintiff and accept as true its factual allegations. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Judicial Notice

         Defendants ask the court to take judicial notice of the July 12, 2017 government tort claim filed by S.G., and the August 29, 2017 notice of rejection by EDHS, both of which defendants attach to their request. Judicial Notice, ECF No. 13-2. Defendants point to paragraph 33 of the operative complaint, in which plaintiffs reference their claim and the denial. Id. at 2; Compl. ¶ 33 (“This action is commenced less than six months after the denial of plaintiff's California Tort Claim for damages, that was timely filed with Defendant [EDHS].”). Defendants also argue judicial notice is necessary because plaintiffs' timeliness in filing the claim and then initiating this action after its denial is a prerequisite to initiating any state claims in this action. Id. Plaintiffs do not object to ...


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