King v. San Francisco Community College District et al

Filing 95

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS. Signed by Judge Richard Seeborg on 11/7/11. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/7/2011)

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1 *E-Filed 11/7/11* 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION 9 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Plaintiff, 11 14 15 16 17 18 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS v. 12 13 No. C 10-01979 RS AARON KING, SAN FRANCISCO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT; SAN FRANCISCO COMMUNITY COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT; LINDA R. JACKSON, in her official and individual capacity; RODNEY SANTOS, in his official and individual capacity; VICTOR NGOI, in his official and individual capacity; DON Q. GRIFFIN, in his official and individual capacity; and MARK ROBINSON, in his official and individual capacity, 19 20 Defendants. ____________________________________/ 21 I. BACKGROUND 22 Pro se plaintiff Aaron King brings this suit for sex discrimination and related claims against 23 24 the San Francisco Community College District (the “District”) and five of its employees: Linda 25 Jackson, Rodney Santos, Victor Ngoi, Don Griffin, and Mark Robinson.1 According to King, as a 26 1 27 28 Santos and Robinson have not appeared in this action. Although process receipts for them from July 2010 were docketed, they reflect only that the summons and complaint were left with a third party at the San Francisco Community College. As such, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that Santos and Robinson have been personally served. NO. C 10-01979 RS ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 1 student of the District, he made repeated complaints to its police department about a fellow student 2 who was harassing him. While no action was apparently taken against that individual, King himself 3 was eventually suspended from the college. After his attempts to pursue relief from the District’s 4 Office of Affirmative Action were unsuccessful, King initiated this action. to amend as to certain claims.2 In his second amended complaint (SAC), King brings six claims for 7 relief against various subsets of the defendants: (1) violation of Title IX; (2) violation of 42 U.S.C. 8 §§ 1981, 1983 and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act; (3) violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, 9 For the Northern District of California The Court twice granted defendants’ motions to dismiss King’s prior complaints with leave 6 United States District Court 5 the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Education Code; (4) violation of the California 10 Education Code, negligence, and emotional distress; (5) violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986; and 11 (6) fraud. Defendants now move to dismiss the SAC for failure to state a claim.3 Pursuant to Civil 12 Local Rule 7-1(b), the matter is suitable for disposition without oral argument. For the reasons 13 stated below, the motion to dismiss is granted without leave to amend. II. DISCUSSION 14 15 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a complaint must present “a short and plain 16 statement of the claim” demonstrating that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). 17 If this standard is not met, the defendant may move to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon 18 which relief can be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Under Rule 12(b)(6), dismissal is appropriate 19 if either the claimant does not raise a cognizable legal theory or otherwise fails to allege sufficient 20 facts to support a cognizable claim. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 21 1988). Thus, while a legally sufficient complaint does not require “detailed factual allegations,” it 22 must contain more than “unadorned” assertions of harm or bare legal conclusions without factual 23 support. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 24 25 26 27 28 2 See King v. San Francisco Cmty. College Dist., No. C 10-01979 RS, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110012 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 7, 2010); No. C 10-01979 RS, Docket 61. 3 As an initial matter, the document King submitted in response to defendants’ motion to dismiss purports to be his Opposition combined with a motion for partial summary judgment. As the claims in this case have not yet been established, King may not bring a motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, the Court considers his submission as representing his Opposition to the motion to dismiss. NO. C 10-01979 RS ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 2 1 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). While leave to amend is generally granted liberally, if amendment would be 2 futile, then dismissal without leave to amend is within the court’s discretion. See, e.g., Saul v. 3 United States, 928 F.2d 828, 843 (9th Cir. 1991). 4 King brings his first claim against the District for sex discrimination under Title IX of the “be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under” 7 a federally funded educational program on the basis of gender. 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). The Court 8 twice granted the District’s motions for a more definite statement with respect to this claim. In the 9 For the Northern District of California Educational Amendments of 1972 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Under Title IX, a student may not 6 United States District Court 5 SAC, King focuses his claim on allegations that the District did not maintain complaint procedures 10 consistent with the requirements of Title IX. In particular, 34 C.F.R. section 106.8(a) provides that 11 a recipient of funds under Title IX must designate at least one employee to coordinate compliance 12 efforts and to investigate complaints. Furthermore, section 106.8(b) requires that the recipient adopt 13 grievance procedures “for prompt and equitable resolution” of complaints. According to King, 14 despite the fact that the District designated Jackson as the person to receive notice of unlawful 15 discrimination, she failed to perform appropriate investigations in response to his complaints. 16 In a claim for sex discrimination under Title IX, however, King must allege more than that 17 the District failed to maintain effective grievance procedures. See Gebser v. Lago Vista Indep. Sch. 18 Dist., 524 U.S. 274, 292 (1998). In discussing an alleged failure to comply with section 106.8(b), 19 the Supreme Court stated: “We have never held, however, that the implied private right of action 20 under Title IX allows recovery in damages for violation of those sorts of administrative 21 requirements.” To the extent King otherwise seeks to claim that the District discriminated against 22 him, the SAC does not include sufficient factual allegations. While King asserts that his complaints 23 to Jackson included details of “unlawful racial and sexual discriminatory practices” by members of 24 the District’s police department, no detailed allegations of discrimination are presented in the SAC. 25 As the SAC represents King’s third attempt to state a Title IX claim, the motion to dismiss must be 26 granted without further leave to amend. 27 In his second and third claims, King brings federal claims for deprivation of due process 28 pursuant to section 1983 and violation of section 1981 against the individual defendants. These NO. C 10-01979 RS ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 3 1 claims also encompass alleged violations of various state laws, which are discussed separately 2 below. With respect to the federal claims, King incorporates the allegations in the preceding 3 paragraphs of the SAC. Thus, his due process and section 1981 claims apparently are based on the 4 same averments underlying the Title IX claim. As King has no private right of action to enforce 5 particular grievance procedures under Title IX, and his allegations otherwise fail to identify 6 discriminatory actions, these claims must also be dismissed without leave to amend. 7 In his fifth claim, King further asserts that defendants committed violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ For the Northern District of California 1985 and 1986. Section 1985 prohibits conspiracies to interfere with civil rights and section 1986 9 United States District Court 8 provides liability for failure to prevent section 1985 conspiracies. In the SAC, King offers only 10 conclusory allegations that various groups of the individual defendants “conspired to suppress 11 rights.” See Woodrum v. Woodward County, 866 F.2d 1121, 1126 (9th Cir. 1989) (providing that 12 conclusory allegations of a conspiracy fail to state a section 1983 claim). Moreover, a section 1983 13 conspiracy must be grounded in “an actionable” civil rights violation. See San Diego Police 14 Officers’ Ass’n v. San Diego City Employees’ Ret. Sys., 568 F.3d 725, 740 (9th Cir. 2009) (citation 15 omitted). As the SAC presents no viable predicate civil rights violation and King has not been 16 granted leave to amend any of his dismissed federal claims, the section 1985 and section 1986 17 claims must also be dismissed without leave to amend. 18 Finally, King advances a number of California statutory and common law claims against the 19 individual defendants. In his second, third, fourth, and sixth claims, King alleges various defendants 20 violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act and provisions of the California Education Code, and 21 committed negligence, emotional distress, and fraud. The Court previously dismissed the statutory 22 claims against the District without leave to amend for failure to comply with the claims presentation 23 requirements of the California Government Claims Act (Claims Act). See Cal. Gov. Code §§ 905, 24 945.4. While King was granted leave to amend with respect to the individual defendants, they now 25 move to dismiss all state law claims for similar reasons. 26 Pursuant to the Claims Act, a claim against a public employee “for injury resulting from an 27 act or omission in the scope of his employment” is barred unless the claimant first files a timely 28 claim against the public entity. See Fowler v. Howell, 42 Cal. App. 4th 1746, 1750 (1996) (quoting NO. C 10-01979 RS ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 4 1 Cal. Gov. Code § 950.2) (internal quotation marks omitted). Whether an employee acted within the 2 scope of his or her employment is construed broadly and includes “willful and malicious torts as 3 well as negligence.” Id. (citation omitted). In the SAC, all of King’s allegations relate to acts that 4 defendants undertook or failed to perform as part of their employment with the District. In response 5 to defendants’ motion to dismiss, King raises no suggestion otherwise. Accordingly, the remaining 6 state law claims must all be dismissed without leave to amend for failure to meet the requirements 7 of the Claims Act. III. CONCLUSION 8 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 Defendants’ motion to dismiss the SAC is granted without leave to amend. 10 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. 12 13 14 Dated: 11/7/11 RICHARD SEEBORG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 NO. C 10-01979 RS ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 5

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