Arcure, et al. v. Meeker, et al.
ORDER on 98 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, signed by District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 4/14/2014. David Corral is DISMISSED. (Marrujo, C)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
YVONNE ARCURE, KEVIN COOK, & JOSEPH
ORDER ON MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
12 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF
DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES, JEFFREY
13 BRADLEY, DOUGLAS LOEHNER, DAVID
CORRAL, & MICHAEL FLORES.
Plaintiffs Yvonne Arcure, Kevin Cook, and Joseph Fessenden (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) allege
20 sex discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims against defendants California Department of
21 Developmental services (“DDS”) and four of its employees, Jeffrey Bradley, Douglas Loehner, David
22 Corral, and Michael Flores (collectively, “Defendants”). This Court previously granted with leave to
23 amend Defendants‟ motion to dismiss the fourth cause of action against Corral under Rule 12(b)(6).
24 Plaintiffs have filed a further amended complaint again alleging a cause of action against Corral.
25 Before the Court is Defendants‟ motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the claims against Corral
26 pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). For the reasons discussed below, this Court GRANTS Defendants‟
27 motion for judgment on the pleadings.
DDS is a California state agency that operates five developmental service centers throughout
the state of California including a center in Porterville. Plaintiffs and the individual defendants were
employed by DDS as law enforcement officials at the Porterville Center.
On September 21, 2012, Corral petitioned for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There were no assets to
distribute. On December 20, 2012, the bankruptcy court issued an order discharging Corral from all
10 his debts. A final decree was issued and the bankruptcy case closed on December 21, 2012.
Plaintiffs brought this action on April 13, 2013. In the operative complaint, Plaintiff Arcure
12 alleges that Corral is liable for sexual harassment against her in violation of California Fair
13 Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”), Cal. Gov. Code § 12940(j). Plaintiffs seek declaratory relief,
14 compensatory and punitive damages, attorney‟s fees and costs, and pre- and post-judgment interest
15 against Defendants as well as injunctive relief against DDS.
Defendants filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the claims against
17 Corral on March 11, 2014. Plaintiffs did not file an opposition.
“The standard for assessing a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is the same as
21 the standard for a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” United States v. In re Seizure of One Blue Nissan
22 Skyline Auto., & One Red Nissan Skyline, 683 F. Supp. 2d 1087, 1089 (C.D. Cal. 2010). “A district
23 court will render a „judgment on the pleadings when the moving party clearly establishes on the face of
24 the pleadings that no material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that it is entitled to judgment as
25 a matter of law.‟” Enron Oil Trading & Transp. Co. v. Walbrook Ins. Co., Ltd., 132 F.3d 526, 529 (9th
26 Cir. 1997) (quoting George v. Pacific–CSC Work Furlough, 91 F.3d 1227, 1229 (9th Cir. 1996); Yanez
27 v. United States, 63 F.3d 870, 872 (9th Cir. 1995)). “Judgment may only be granted when the
28 pleadings show that it is „beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his
claim which would entitle him to relief.‟” Id. (quoting B.F. Goodrich v. Betkoski, 99 F.3d 505, 529 (2d
Cir. 1996); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45–46 (1957)). “In considering a motion for judgment on
the pleadings, a court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint and must construe
those allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Seizure, 683 F. Supp. 2d at 1089
(citing Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro v. Lerner, 31 F.3d 924, 928 (9th Cir. 1994)). “A court should grant
a motion for judgment on the pleadings only when the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Id. (citing Fajardo v. County of Los Angeles, 179 F.3d 698, 699 (9th Cir.1999)).
Defendants argue, without opposition by the Plaintiffs, that Corral is entitled to judgment on
10 the pleadings due to his prior bankruptcy filing and discharge of debt. This Court agrees.
Under 11 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2), a discharge of debt “operates as an injunction against the
12 commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect, recover
13 or offset any such debt as a personal liability of the debtor[.]” Here, Corral obtained a discharge of
14 debt on December 20, 2012. (Doc. 100 Exh. C). The injunction was therefore in place at the time
15 Plaintiffs filed their first complaint on April 16, 2013. See, e.g., Gold v. Oster, D055946, 2010 WL
16 4879196 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 1, 2010) (affirming the trial court‟s grant of the defendant‟s demurrer on
17 the grounds that the discharge of the defendant‟s debts in bankruptcy precluded the plaintiff from
18 maintaining the action) (citing 11 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2)). Moreover, Plaintiffs provide no arguments or
19 evidence that their claim against Corral was not discharged by the December 20, 2012 decree or why
20 their action against Corral otherwise should be maintained in light of the bankruptcy injunction.
Plaintiffs as a matter of law are precluded from maintaining this action against Corral. 11
22 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2). Therefore, Defendants‟ motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the claims
23 against Corral is GRANTED.
IV. CONCLUSION AND ORDER
For the reasons discussed above, this Court:
Defendant David Corral pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c);
GRANTS Defendants‟ motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the claims against
DISMISSES David Corral as a defendant in this action;
ORDERS the Clerk of Court to enter judgment in favor of Defendant David Corral and
against Plaintiff Yvonne Arcure.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Lawrence J. O’Neill
April 14, 2014
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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