California Trucking Association et al v. Becerra et al

Filing 46

ORDER Granting #28 Defendants' and #29 Intervenor-Defendants' Motions to Dismiss. Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted, and this action is dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint within 60 days of the date of this Order. Signed by Judge Roger T. Benitez on 9/24/2019. (rmc) (sjt).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 10 CALIFORNIA TRUCKING ASSOCIATION, et al., 13 v. ATTORNEY GENERAL XAVIER BECERRA, et al., 14 15 16 ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ AND INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS TO DISMISS [Docs. 28, 29] Plaintiffs, 11 12 Case No.: 3:18-cv-02458-BEN-BLM Defendants, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, 17 Intervenor-Defendant. 18 19 Defendants Xavier Becerra, Andre Schoorl, and Julie Su, as well as Intervenor- 20 Defendant International Brotherhood of Teamsters move to dismiss Plaintiffs’ First 21 Amended Complaint in its entirety. Docs. 28, 29. For the following reasons, the motions 22 are GRANTED. 23 Plaintiffs California Trucking Association, Ravinder Singh, and Thomas Odom filed 24 suit on October 25, 2018, to challenge the constitutionality of and enjoin enforcement of 25 California’s Industrial Commission Wage Order No. 9, as interpreted by the California 26 Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 232 Cal. Rptr. 3d 1 27 (Cal. 2018). The Dynamex Court set forth a new standard, the “ABC test,” for determining 28 1 3:18-cv-02458-BEN-BLM 1 whether a worker qualifies as an “employee” for purposes of Wage Order 9.1 Doc. 1. 2 Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, contending 3 that Wage Order 9, as enforced under the Dynamex standard, is preempted by the Federal 4 Aviation Administration Authorization Act and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and 5 violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Doc. 25, p. 4. 6 The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that, on September 18, 2019, Governor 7 Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 5 (“AB-5”), which concerns Wage Order 9 8 and the labor standard set forth in Dynamex. See Krystal, Inc. v. China United Transport, 9 Inc., 2017 WL 6940544, at *3 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 12, 2017) (explaining that under Fed. R. 10 Evid. 201(b)(2), a court may take judicial notice of a fact that is not subject to reasonable 11 dispute because it “can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy 12 cannot reasonably be questioned”). This change in California law, at this time, raises 13 federal questions of mootness and standing, necessitating dismissal of this action without 14 prejudice. 15 AB-5’s effective date of January 1, 2020 raises standing questions related to whether 16 an imminent and concrete injury exists sufficient to confer standing on Plaintiffs. The new 17 law leaves unclear whether Defendants will enforce the Dynamex decision against 18 Plaintiffs before AB-5 takes effect. See MedImmune Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 19 127 (2007) (Standing requires the plaintiffs to show a dispute that is “definite and concrete, 20 touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests, and that it be real and 21 substantial and admit of specific relief through a decree of a conclusive character, as 22 distinguished from an opinion advising what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of 23 facts.”). 24 Moreover, the passage of AB-5 also raises questions of mootness. Article III of the 25 United States Constitution confers jurisdiction on federal courts over “cases” and 26 27 28 1 Wage Order 9 establishes minimum wage, overtime, and other basic labor standards protections for employees in the transportation industry. 2 3:18-cv-02458-BEN-BLM 1 “controversies.” A federal court does not have jurisdiction to hear cases that are neither 2 ripe for review nor “moot.” “Mootness is the ‘doctrine of standing set in a time frame: The 3 requisite personal interest that must exist at the commencement of the litigation (standing) 4 must continue throughout its existence (mootness).” 5 Blatchford, 38 F.3d 1505, 1509 (9th Cir. 1994). Here, the State of California passed a law 6 potentially affecting Wage Order 9 and the test set forth in Dynamex, which will not take 7 effect until January 1, 2020. Because of this change in the law, Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, as it is 8 currently plead, leaves the Court with “theoretical possibilities,” which it is not authorized 9 to decide. See id. at 1510 (“Federal courts are not authorized to address such theoretical 10 possibilities.”) (“A statutory change . . . is usually enough to render a case moot . . .”). 11 Accordingly, at this time, this action is dismissed without prejudice for lack of standing 12 and for mootness. Native Village of Noatak v. 13 For the previous reasons, Defendants’ motions to dismiss are GRANTED, and this 14 action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.2 Plaintiffs may file an amended 15 complaint within 60 days of the date of this Order. 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 Date: September 24, 2019 19 __________________________________ HON. ROGER T. BENITEZ United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 The Court makes no findings on the merits of the parties’ arguments within their motions to dismiss. Therefore, those arguments may be reasserted. 3 3:18-cv-02458-BEN-BLM

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