United States District Court, E.D. California
MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the present class action, Plaintiffs Sean Allen, Stanley
Graham, Bradley Taylor, Juanita Wiggins, James Kirkland, Eric
Liddle, and Antonio Richardson (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) seek to recover so-called
“fair share” fees on behalf of themselves and on
behalf of a putative class of all former and current public
employees represented by Defendant Santa Clara County
Correctional Peace Officers Association
(“SCCCPOA” or the “Union”). According
to Plaintiffs, those fees were involuntarily collected under
Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, 138 S.Ct. 2448 (2018) to
pay for collective bargaining activities in violation of the
First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In
addition, Plaintiff Allen contends his constitutional rights
were further violated when, post-Janus, the Union
deducted membership dues from two of his paychecks. Finally,
Plaintiffs contend that California's exclusive
representation laws further violate their constitutional
rights. Presently before the Court are
Defendants' two Motions to Dismiss filed pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6),
which, for the following reasons, are GRANTED. ECF Nos. 32, 38.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and are
presumptively without jurisdiction over civil actions.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). The burden of establishing the contrary
rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction. Id.
Because subject matter jurisdiction involves a court's
power to hear a case, it can never be forfeited or waived.
United States v. Cotton, 535 U.S. 625, 630 (2002).
Accordingly, lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be
raised by either party at any point during the litigation,
through a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1).
Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506 (2006);
see also Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs v. Cnty.
of Plumas, 559 F.3d 1041, 1043-44 (9th Cir. 2009). Lack
of subject matter jurisdiction may also be raised by the
district court sua sponte. Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil
Co., 526 U.S. 574, 583 (1999). Indeed, “courts
have an independent obligation to determine whether subject
matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a
challenge from any party.” Id.; see
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) (requiring the court to dismiss the
action if subject matter jurisdiction is lacking).
are two types of motions to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction: a facial attack, and a factual attack.
Thornhill Publ'g Co. v. Gen. Tel. & Elec.
Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979). Thus, a party
may either make an attack on the allegations of jurisdiction
contained in the nonmoving party's complaint, or may
challenge the existence of subject matter jurisdiction in
fact, despite the formal sufficiency of the pleadings.
party makes a facial attack on a complaint, the attack is
unaccompanied by supporting evidence, and it challenges
jurisdiction based solely on the pleadings. Safe Air for
Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004).
If the motion to dismiss constitutes a facial attack, the
Court must consider the factual allegations of the complaint
to be true, and determine whether they establish subject
matter jurisdiction. Savage v. Glendale High Union Sch.
Dist. No. 205, 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n.1 (9th Cir. 2003).
In the case of a facial attack, the motion to dismiss is
granted only if the nonmoving party fails to allege an
element necessary for subject matter jurisdiction.
Id. However, in the case of a factual attack,
district courts “may review evidence beyond the
complaint without converting the motion to dismiss into a
motion for summary judgment.” Safe Air for
Everyone, 373 F.3d at 1039.
case of a factual attack, “no presumptive truthfulness
attaches to plaintiff's allegations.”
Thornill, 594 F.2d at 733 (internal citation
omitted). The party opposing the motion has the burden of
proving that subject matter jurisdiction does exist, and must
present any necessary evidence to satisfy this burden.
St. Clair v. City of Chico, 880 F.2d 199, 201 (9th
Cir. 1989). If the plaintiff's allegations of
jurisdictional facts are challenged by the adversary in the
appropriate manner, the plaintiff cannot rest on the mere
assertion that factual issues may exist. Trentacosta v.
Frontier Pac. Aircraft Ind., Inc., 813 F.2d 1553, 1558
(9th Cir. 1987) (quoting Exch. Nat'l Bank of Chi. v.
Touche Ross & Co., 544 F.2d 1126, 1131 (2d Cir.
1976)). Furthermore, the district court may review any
evidence necessary, including affidavits and testimony, in
order to determine whether subject matter jurisdiction
exists. McCarthy v. United States, 850 F.2d 558, 560
(9th Cir. 1988); Thornhill, 594 F.2d at 733. If the
nonmoving party fails to meet its burden and the court
determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the
court must dismiss the action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), all allegations of material
fact must be accepted as true and construed in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Cahill v. Liberty Mut.
Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). Rule
8(a)(2) “requires only ‘a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief' in order to ‘give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint attacked by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not require detailed factual
allegations. However, “a plaintiff's obligation to
provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. (internal citations and quotations omitted). A
court is not required to accept as true a “legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555 (citing 5 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216 (3d ed.
2004) (stating that the pleading must contain something more
than “a statement of facts that merely creates a
suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action”)).
“Rule 8(a)(2) . . . requires a showing, rather than a
blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 (internal citations and
quotations omitted). Thus, “[w]ithout some factual
allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant
could satisfy the requirements of providing not only
‘fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
‘grounds' on which the claim rests.”
Id. (citing Wright & Miller, supra, at
94, 95). A pleading must contain “only enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. If the “plaintiffs . . . have not
nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible, their complaint must be dismissed.”
Id. However, “[a] well-pleaded complaint may
proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of
those facts is improbable, and ‘that a recovery is very
remote and unlikely.'” Id. at 556 (quoting
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)).
Leave to Amend
granting a motion to dismiss a complaint must then decide
whether to grant leave to amend. Leave to amend should be
“freely given” where there is no “undue
delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, . . . undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue
of allowance of the amendment, [or] futility of the amendment
. . . .” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
(1962); Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316
F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003) (listing the Foman
factors as those to be considered when deciding whether to
grant leave to amend). Not all of these factors merit equal
weight. Rather, “the consideration of prejudice to the
opposing party . . . carries the greatest weight.”
Id. (citing DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton,
833 F.2d 183, 185 (9th Cir. 1987)). Dismissal without leave
to amend is proper only if it is clear that “the
complaint could not be saved by any amendment.”
Intri-Plex Techs. v. Crest Group, Inc., 499 F.3d
1048, 1056 (9th Cir. 2007) ...