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Claire Headley - Defendants' Motions to Dismiss and Strike Out

Claire Headley - Defendants' Motions to Dismiss and Strike Out

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Published by Cherished
A pretty comprehensive interlocutory victory goes to the good guys.
A pretty comprehensive interlocutory victory goes to the good guys.

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categoriesBusiness/Law, Finance
Published by: Cherished on Nov 12, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/14/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
CV-90 (12/02)
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Page 1 of 11
Case No.
CV 09-3987 DSF (MANx)
Date
8/12/09
Title
Claire Headley v. Church of Scientology International, et al.Present: TheHonorableDALE S. FISCHER, United States District JudgeDebra PlatoNot PresentDeputy ClerkCourt ReporterAttorneys Present for Plaintiffs:Attorneys Present for Defendants:Not PresentNot Present
Proceedings:
(In Chambers) Order GRANTING in Part and DENYING in PartDefendant Church of Scientology International’s Motion toDismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint Pursuant toFederal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, in the Alternative, Fora More Definite Statement Pursuant to Federal Rule of CivilProcedure 12(e) (Docket No. 8), GRANTING in Part andDENYING in Part Defendant Religious Technology Center’sMotion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint Pursuant toFederal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, in the Alternative, Fora More Definite Statement Pursuant to Federal Rule of CivilProcedure 12(e) (Docket No. 5), and GRANTING in Part andDENYING in Part Motion to Strike Portions of Second AmendedComplaint (Docket Nos. 7, 10)Before the Court is Defendant Church of Scientology International’s (“CSI”)Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, in the Alternative, For a More Definite Statement Pursuantto Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e) and Defendant Religious Technology Center’s(“RTC”) Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, in the Alternative, For a More Definite Statement Pursuantto Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e). Also before the court is CSI’s Motion to StrikePortions of Second Amended Complaint. RTC joins in the Motion to Strike.For the following reasons, the Court: (1) GRANTS in Part and DENIES in PartCSI’s Motion to Dismiss or For a More Definite Statement; (2) GRANTS in Part andDENIES in Part RTC’s Motion to Dismiss or For a More Definite Statement; (3)
Case 2:09-cv-03987-DSF-MAN Document 32 Filed 08/12/2009 Page 1 of 11
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
1
The Court accepts the allegations in the SAC as true for purposes of this motion only.
CV-90 (12/02)
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Page 2 of 11
GRANTS in Part and DENIES in Part the Motion to Strike.
I. BACKGROUND
On January 20, 2009, Plaintiff Claire Headley filed this action against CSI andRTC (collectively “Defendants”). Headley filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”)on May 19, 2009. She was employed by Defendants from 1991 to January 2005. (SAC ¶6.)
1
Headley claims that Defendants forced her to work for below minimum wage anddenied overtime pay. (Id. ¶ 19.) Headley alleges: (1) restitution of wages underCalifornia Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.; (2) unfair business practicesunder § 17200; and (3) violations of California and federal prohibitions against forcedlabor.
II. LEGAL STANDARDA. Motion to Dismiss
A motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure teststhe legal sufficiency of the pleadings. “When a federal court reviews the sufficiency of acomplaint, before the reception of any evidence by affidavit or admissions, its task isnecessarily a limited one. The issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail butwhether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.” Scheuer v.Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Harlow v. Fitzgerald,457 U.S. 800 (1982).“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only a short and plain statementof the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Specific facts are not necessary;the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and thegrounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93
 
(2007) (internalquotation marks omitted). Dismissal is appropriate only if the plaintiff fails to assert acognizable legal theory or to allege sufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory.Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). But the Rule“requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555(2007). Moreover, the court need not accept legal conclusions as true. Ashcraft v. Iqbal,__ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).The plaintiff bears the burden of pleading sufficient facts to state a claim. Courts
Case 2:09-cv-03987-DSF-MAN Document 32 Filed 08/12/2009 Page 2 of 11
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
CV-90 (12/02)
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Page 3 of 11
will not supply essential elements of a claim that are not initially pled. Richards v.Harper, 864 F.2d 85, 88 (9th Cir. 1988). “[W]hen ruling on a defendant’s motion todismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in thecomplaint.” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94. “The court need not, however, accept as trueallegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice or by exhibit. Nor isthe court required to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranteddeductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal citations omitted).When a party moves to dismiss a complaint on statute of limitations grounds, thefact that the dates as alleged in the complaint fall outside of the limitations period is notenough for dismissal. The motion “can be granted only if the assertions of the complaint,read with the required liberality, would not permit the plaintiff to prove that the statutewas tolled.” Cervantes v. City of San Diego, 5 F.3d 1273, 1275 (9th Cir. 1993) (citationand internal quotation marks omitted).
B. Motion for a More Definite Statement
A court may order a more definite statement and “require such detail as may beappropriate in the particular case . . . .” McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir.1996). See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e) (“A party may move for a more definite statementof a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague orambiguous that a party cannot reasonably prepare a response.”). Motions for a moredefinite statement are disfavored. In re American Int’l Airways, Inc., 66 B.R. 642, 645(Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1986). “[W]here the information sought by the moving party isavailable and/or properly sought through discovery the motion should be denied.”Famolare, Inc. v. Edison Bros. Stores, Inc., 525 F. Supp. 940, 949 (E.D. Cal. 1981).
C. Motion to Strike
 A court “may order stricken from any pleading any insufficient defense or anyredundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f).“‘Immaterial’ matter is that which has no essential or important relationship to theclaim for relief . . . being pleaded.” Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty, 984 F.2d 1524, 1527 (9thCir. 1993) (citation omitted), rev’d on other grounds, Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U. S.517 (1994). “‘Impertinent’ matter consists of statements that do not pertain, and are notnecessary, to the issues in question.Id. Allegations may be stricken as scandalous ithey “bear[] no possible relation to the controversy or may cause the objecting partyprejudice.” Talbot v. Robert Matthews Distributing Co., 961 F.2d 654, 664 (7th Cir.1992). “Scandalous” matter includes statements that impugn the character of defendants,
Case 2:09-cv-03987-DSF-MAN Document 32 Filed 08/12/2009 Page 3 of 11

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