United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE RANER C. COLLINS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT
before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Amended
Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6),
(“Motion to Dismiss”) (Doc. 48), Motion for
Sanctions (Doc. 32), and Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Doc.
48 at 16.) The Plaintiff's First Verified Amended
Complaint (“Amended Complaint”) asserts the Court
has federal question jurisdiction over this matter under the
Fair Labor Standards Act with supplemental jurisdiction over
all state claims. (Doc. 36 at 2.) Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss argues Amended Complaint fails to assert a viable
claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §201-219, because
Plaintiff has failed to plead necessary facts to establish
either enterprise or individual coverage, and he has failed
to plead necessary facts to establish Defendants were his
employers. (Doc. 48 at 1-2.)
Court will deny Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, deny
Defendants' Motion for Sanctions, and dismiss without
prejudice Defendants' Motion for Attorneys' Fees.
Pleading Standards for FLSA Claim
plaintiff is required to give a short and plain statement of
the grounds for the Court's jurisdiction, a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, and a demand for relief sought.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1-3). The Supreme Court has expanded on
those criteria, requiring a plaintiff also to plead
sufficient alleged facts to support the claim. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(holding that a claim must also be more than “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action”); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (holding that a claim must be supported by
more than “mere conclusory statements.”)
order for the Court to have federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331 and supplemental
jurisdiction over the state claims within the Arizona Minimum
Wage Statute and the Arizona Wage Statute pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §1367, the Plaintiff must first meet the
FLSA's requirements to establish a claim.
establish jurisdiction under the FLSA, Plaintiff must plead
that 1) Defendants employed Plaintiff, 2) Plaintiff is
employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce
(“enterprise coverage”) or Plaintiff “is
engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for
commerce” (“individual coverage”), and 3)
Defendants failed to pay Plaintiff minimum wage. 29 U.S.C.
Factual & Procedural History for Motion to
Everett Pilkington alleges he was not paid for two weeks of
full-time work as lead production cook at Abuela's
Cocina, LLC (“Abuela's”) between around
February 11, 2018 and February 25, 2018. (Doc. 36 at 9-10.)
Plaintiff's original Complaint was dismissed by the Court
with leave to amend for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
(Doc. 22.) Plaintiff had failed to allege sufficient facts to
support his claim that he satisfied the requirements of
individual coverage or that Defendants satisfied the
requirements of enterprise coverage in order to establish
federal question jurisdiction under the FLSA. Id.
named in Amended Complaint are Abuela's, Jorge Alvarez,
David Aldecoa, John Aldecoa, and Brother John's. (Doc.
36.) To cure the defects of the original complaint, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants David and John Aldecoa were employers
of Plaintiff at Defendant Alvarez's restaurant,
Abuela's, and that the Aldecoa's restaurant, Brother
John's BBQ, LLC (“Brother John's”), was
under common control with Abuela's. Id. at 7.
Defendants David Aldecoa, John Aldecoa, and Brother
John's filed another Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 48),
contending that Plaintiff had not cured the defects of his
original Complaint and his alleged facts continued to be
insufficient to support subject matter jurisdiction under the
FLSA. Defendants also asserted that, regardless of the
Court's jurisdiction, the Amended Complaint should be
dismissed for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) because Plaintiff could not properly allege the
Aldecoas had been his employers. (Doc. 48 at 11.)
Motion to Dismiss
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
motion to dismiss challenging subject matter jurisdiction
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) may be “facial” or
“factual.” See Safe Air for Everyone v.
Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). A facial
attack contends the allegations of a complaint are
“insufficient on their face to invoke federal
jurisdiction.” Id. Comparatively, a factual
attack is one which challenges the truth of the allegations
which would invoke federal jurisdiction. Id. The
allegations of a complaint are taken as true when a court
considers a facial attack. Courthouse News Service v.
Plant, 750 F.3d 776, 780 (9th Cir. 2014). Regarding a
factual attack on federal jurisdiction, a court “may
review evidence beyond the complaint without converting the
motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment . . .
[and] [t]he court need not presume the truthfulness of the
plaintiff's allegations.” Safe Air, 373
F.3d at 1039 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
instant case, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss both
factually and facially attacks the jurisdiction of the Court
based on the Amended Complaint. Facially, Defendants assert
that Plaintiff has not pleaded sufficient facts alleging that
Plaintiff was engaged in commerce (for individual coverage)
or pleaded sufficient facts to allege that Defendants were
engaged in commerce (for enterprise coverage). Factually,
Defendants deny Plaintiff's assertion that Abuela's
and Brother John's were under common control, ...