United States District Court, D. Arizona
Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge.
issue is Defendant ADT LLC of Delaware (FN)'s motion for
judgment on the pleadings, which is fully briefed. (Docs. 10,
16, 19.) For the following reasons, the motion is granted.
Sandra Zinn, an Arizona resident, claims several individuals
intruded on her residence in Pinnacle Peak Country Club
Estates on April 24, 2016. Plaintiff claims the intrusion
resulted in damage to her personal property and emotional
distress-totaling at least $200, 000 in damages. Prior to the
intrusion, Plaintiff entered into a Residential Services
Contract (“Contract”) with Defendant. The
Contract stipulated that Defendant would provide security
services, including an alarm system, to Plaintiff's
residence in exchange for a monthly fee of $40.99. Defendant,
however, did not detect or respond to an intrusion on April
13, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action in state court claiming
that Defendant acted negligently with respect to its duty to
provide alarm services, and that Defendant's negligence
proximately caused Plaintiff's injuries. Defendant
removed the action pursuant to this Court's diversity
jurisdiction. Defendant now seeks judgement in its favor
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c).
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c)
“is properly granted when, taking all the allegations
in the non-moving party's pleadings as true, the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fajardo v. Cnty. of L.A., 179 F.3d 698, 699 (9th
Cir. 1999). “Rule 12(c) is ‘functionally
identical' to Rule 12(b)(6) and . . . ‘the same
standard of review' applies to motions brought under
either rule.” Cafasso v. Gen. Dynamics C4
Sys., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054 n.4 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d 1188,
1192 (9th Cir. 1989)). Thus, a motion for judgment on the
pleadings should not be granted if the complaint is based on
a cognizable legal theory and contains “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted).
when ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings,
“the scope of review . . . is limited to the contents
of the complaint.” Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d
445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). Other evidence may be considered,
however, “[i]f the documents' ‘authenticity .
. . is not contested' and ‘the plaintiff's
complaint necessarily relies' on them.” Lee v.
City of L.A., 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Parrino v. FHP, Inc., 146 F.3d 699, 705-06 (9th Cir.
1988)). Accordingly, in ruling on Defendant's motion the
Court will consider the Contract because its authenticity is
not contested, and Plaintiff's complaint necessarily
relies on its terms and conditions.
argues that Plaintiff's negligence claim fails as a
matter of law both because Arizona recognizes no common law
duty under these circumstances and because Plaintiff's
claim is untimely. The Court agrees.
claims that Defendant owed her a duty of care based on
Defendant's relationship to her as her home security
provider. Plaintiff further asserts that Defendant breached
that duty by failing to detect or respond to the home
intrusion. Defendant argues that Plaintiff's negligence
claim fails as a matter of law because Defendant did not have
a duty to provide alarm services independent of the Contract.
Arizona, “a breach of contract is not a tort unless the
law imposes a duty on the relationship created by the
contract which exists apart from the contract.” See
Flores v. ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., No. CIV 10-036-TUC-FRZ
(GEE), 2010 WL 6389598, at *5 (D. Ariz. June 28, 2010)
(quoting Aspell v. Am. Contract Bridge League, 595
P.2d 191, 194 (Ariz.Ct.App. 1979). Arizona law does not
impose a duty on the relationship between a provider of
security services and a contracting residence owner.
Id.; see also Valenzuela v. ADT Sec. Servs.,
Inc, 475 Fed. App'x 115, 117 (9th Cir. 2012)
(affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment
on the plaintiff's gross negligence claim because the
alarm service provider's duty to provide security
services “arose solely from its contractual
relationship . . . not form any duty independent of the
parties' contract.”). Accordingly, Defendant is
entitled to judgment on Plaintiff's negligence claim
because Arizona imposes no duty of care on Defendant
independent of the Contract.