Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Barajas v. Carriage Cemetery Services of California, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 25, 2019

YOSHIRA BARAJAS, Plaintiff,
v.
CARRIAGE CEMETERY SERVICES OF CALIFORNIA, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS DOCKET NO. 42

          EDWARD M. CHEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Currently pending before the Court is Defendant Carriage Services, Inc.’s (“CSI”) motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) or, in the alternative, for entry of judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b). The Court has reviewed the parties’ briefs and accompanying submissions and finds that this matter is suitable for disposition without oral argument. The hearing on the motion is therefore VACATED. CSI’s motion is DENIED in its entirety. The Court also orders Plaintiffs to file their second amended complaint within two days of the date of this order.

         I. DISCUSSION

         The events giving rise to CSI’s motion are as follows.

         In May 2019, CSI, along with other named defendants, moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ first amended complaint, which alleged violations of wage-and-hour laws. See Docket No. 15 (motion). The Court held a hearing on the motion on July 16, 2019. At one point during the hearing, the Court made a brief statement regarding a claim asserted by one Plaintiff, noting “I’m going to require amendment of Ms. Davis’s claim.” Docket No. 36 (Tr. at 8). More discussion followed, related to all Plaintiffs, and then the Court issued its ruling, granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss. The following exchange took place:

Court: So technically I’m going to deny the motion to dismiss with respect to the overtime claim for Ms. Barajas, but I’m going to grant it with respect to the other – the rest of the motion to dismiss, with leave to amend. Thirty days –
Plaintiffs: Sure.
Court: – enough?
Plaintiffs: Thank you.

         Docket No. 36 (Tr. at 10-11) (emphasis added). Subsequently, the Court issued a minute order which confirmed that the motion to dismiss Ms. Barajas’s overtime claim was denied (with respect to CSI) but that the motion was otherwise granted. The Court also identified allegations that would need to be made in the second amended complaint. The Court did not make any comment in the minute order as to when the second amended complaint needed to be filed. See Docket No. 34 (order).

         Thirty days after the hearing, Plaintiffs did not file a second amended complaint. They did, however, on August 16, 2019, order a transcript for the motion-to-dismiss hearing which was provided to them on the same day. See Docket No. 30 (transcript order).

         On August 27, CSI answered the first amended complaint. CSI also filed the pending motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 41(b). Rule 41(b) provides: “If the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with these rules or a court order, a defendant may move to dismiss the action or any claim against it.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) (emphasis added). According to CSI, Plaintiffs failed to file an amended complaint within thirty days as ordered by the Court at the hearing (i.e., by August 15) and therefore all claims should be dismissed, except for Ms. Barajas’s overtime claim (which was the only claim in the first amended complaint that survived the motion to dismiss).

         On September 10, Plaintiffs submitted a proposed second amended complaint, more specifically, in conjunction with their opposition to CSI’s motion to dismiss. See Villanueva Decl., Ex. D (proposed SAC).

         CSI’s Rule 41(b) motion is predicated on there being a “court order” requiring amendment by August 15. If the Court had, at the hearing on the earlier 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, clearly and unambiguously ordered Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint by August 15, then it could fairly be said that Plaintiffs failed to comply with a court order – even if the order was only made orally and not memorialized in the relevant minute order. See Yourish v. Cal. Amplifier, 191 F.3d 983, 987 (9th Cir. 1999) (noting that a default judgment as a sanction for noncompliance with a court order, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2), is permissible even where there is no written order – so long as the oral order is clear; “[j]ust as an oral order is an ‘order, ’ the noncompliance with which justifies Rule 37(b)(2) sanctions, Judge Marshall's minute order was an ‘order, ’ the disobedience of which justified dismissal under Rule 41(b)”). However, arguably, there was no clear and unambiguous order by the Court at the hearing, and thus Plaintiffs have invoked Applied Underwriters, Inc. v. Lichtenegger, 913 F.3d 884, 890 (9th Cir. 2019).[1] There, the Ninth Circuit made clear that, where a court simply gives leave to amend, but does not “mandate the filing of an amended complaint” – and does not otherwise “indicate that failure to [file an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.