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U n i t e d S t a t e s D i s t r i c t C o u r t
F o r t h e N o r t h e r n D i s t r i c t o f C a l i f o r n i a
defined by ERISA and in the alternative, if the Plan is exempt, such an exemption violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and is therefore void.
¶¶ 162-164. On behalf of herself and others similarly situated, Rollins seeks declaratory relief that Dignity’s Plan is not a church plan exempt from ERISA, as well as injunctive relief requiring Dignity to conform the Plan to ERISA’s requirements. She also requests that Dignity make Plan participants whole for any losses they suffered as a result of its ERISA non-compliance and that Dignity pay any other statutory penalties and fees. Dignity moves to dismiss, contending that the Plan is a church plan, exempt from ERISA as a matter of law, and therefore, that Rollins’s allegations regarding ERISA violations fail to state a claim for relief.
Dismissal is appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) when a complaint’s allegations fail “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court must “accept all material allegations of fact as true and construe the complaint in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.”
Vasquez v. Los Angeles County
, 487 F.3d 1246, 1249 (9th Cir. 2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly
, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal
, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Enacted in 1974, ERISA was designed to ensure that employees actually receive the benefits they are promised by establishing, among other requirements, minimum funding standards and disclosure obligations for employee benefits plans. Pub. L. No. 94-406, 88 Stat. 829 (1974), codified at 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001
. ERISA explicitly exempted
Case3:13-cv-01450-TEH Document84 Filed12/12/13 Page2 of 13