Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., No. C 07-06044 JW.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
Writing for the CourtJames Ware
Citation555 F.Supp.2d 1066
PartiesRhonda FARRAH, Plaintiff, v. MONTEREY TRANSFER & STORAGE, INC., Defendant.
Docket NumberNo. C 07-06044 JW.
Decision Date23 May 2008
555 F.Supp.2d 1066
Rhonda FARRAH, Plaintiff,
v.
MONTEREY TRANSFER & STORAGE, INC., Defendant.
No. C 07-06044 JW.
United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division.
May 23, 2008.

Page 1067

Dean Browning Webb, Dean Browning Webb Esq., Vancouver, WA, for Plaintiff.

Gregg S. Garfinkel and Leslie A. Blozan, Stone Rosenblatt & Cha, Woodland Hills, CA, for Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE

JAMES WARE, District Judge.


I. INTRODUCTION

Rhonda Farrah ("Plaintiff) brings this action against Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc. ("Defendant") for alleged violation of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 14706. Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, (hereafter, "Motion," Docket Item No. 9.) The Court conducted a hearing on April 7, 2008. Based on the papers submitted to date and oral arguments of counsel, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss with prejudice.

II. BACKGROUND

In a First Amended Complaint filed on February 1, 2008, Plaintiff alleges as follows:

Plaintiff is an individual residing in Monterey, California.1 (First Amended Complaint for Contravention of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Act ¶ 2, hereafter, "FAC," Docket Item No. 7.) Defendant is a California corporation with its principal place of business in California. (Id. ¶ 3.) Defendant provides moving and storage related services for individual consumers. (Id. ¶ 6.)

On January 11, 2002, Plaintiffs attorney, Barry K. Rothman ("Rothman"), arranged for Defendant to package, transfer, and store Plaintiffs personal belongings. (Id.) In April 2004, Defendant notified Rothman by telephone that one of the three containers holding Plaintiffs items had been lost. (Id. ¶ 10.) The value of the items in the lost vault is estimated to be $205,010.00. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff filed a claim with Defendant's insurance carrier. (Id.) Defendant's insurance carrier has neither approved nor denied Plaintiffs claim. (Id. ¶ 23.)

On the basis of the allegations outlined above, Plaintiff alleges a single cause of action for violation of the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. § 14706.

Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

III. STANDARDS

Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. A 12(b)(1) motion may be either facial, where the inquiry is confined to the allegations in the complaint, or factual, where the court is permitted to look beyond the complaint to extrinsic evidence. Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir.2004). On a facial challenge, all material allegations in the complaint are assumed true, and the question for the court is whether the lack of federal jurisdiction appears from the face of the pleading itself. See Wolfe, 392 F.3d at 362; Thornhill Publishing Co. v. General Telephone Electronics, 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir.1979). When a defendant makes a factual challenge "by presenting affidavits or other evidence properly brought before the court, the party opposing the motion must furnish affidavits or other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction." Safe Air For Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir.2004). The court need not

Page 1068

presume the truthfulness of the plaintiff's allegations under a factual attack. White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir.2000); Augustine v. United States, 704 F.2d 1074, 1077 (9th Cir.1983). However, in the absence of a full-fledged evidentiary hearing, disputes in the facts pertinent to subject matter are viewed in the light most favorable to the opposing party. Dreier v. United States, 106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 1996). The disputed facts related to subject-matter jurisdiction should be treated in the same way as one would adjudicate a motion for summary judgment. Id.

IV. DISCUSSION

Defendant moves to dismiss on the ground that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Defendant contends that the Interstate Commerce Act does not apply to goods transported within a state. (Motion at 2.)

Under the Interstate Commerce Act, a carrier may be held liable for goods lost or damaged during transit.2 49 U.S.C. § 14706 However, the reach of § 14706 is defined by reference to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board. 49 U.S.C. § 14706(a)(1). The Surface Transportation Board has jurisdiction over goods transported between "a place in a State and a place in another State" or, between "a State and another place in the same State through another State." 49 U.S.C. § 13501(1)(A), (B). A plaintiff may sue under § 14706 in either state or federal court; however, district courts have original jurisdiction only if the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1337(a).

Whether transportation is interstate or intrastate under the Interstate Commerce Act "is determined by the essential character of the commerce, manifested by the shipper's fixed and persisting transportation intent at the time of the shipment, and is ascertained from all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the transportation." S....

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4 practice notes
  • In re Packaged Seafood Prods. Antitrust Litig., Case No.: 15-MD-2670 JLS (MDD)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 5, 2018
    ...of the non-moving party. Dreier v. United States , 106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 1996) ; Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc. , 555 F.Supp.2d 1066, 1067-68 (N.D. Cal. 2008). Alternatively, in a facial challenge, the defendant asserts the insufficiency of the complaint's allegations to ......
  • SCHARRINGHAUSEN v. US, Case No. 06cv2167.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 29, 2009
    ...favor of the non-moving party. Dreier v. United States, 106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir.1996); Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F.Supp.2d 1066, 1067-68 (N.D.Cal.2008). In the facial challenge, the defendant asserts the insufficiency of the complaint's allegations to invoke federa......
  • Stabler v. Fla. Van Lines, Inc., CIVIL ACTION 11-0103-WS-N
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Southern District of Alabama
    • January 6, 2012
    ...to claims for loss of or damage to household goods in an intrastate move. See, e.g., Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F. Supp.2d 1066, 1068 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (Carmack Amendment does not apply where "Plaintiff alleges that she arranged for Defendant to package and transfer her......
  • Burkett v. Fox Moving And Storage Of Tenn. LLC, Case No. 3: 10-0933
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • December 15, 2010
    ...claims concern a carrier who has merely transported property within a state. 4 Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F. Supp. 2d 1066, 1068 (N. D. Cal. 2008) ("When goods are shipped entirely within a state, the Interstate Commerce Act does not apply. "), cited in Starling v. Gro......
4 cases
  • In re Packaged Seafood Prods. Antitrust Litig., Case No.: 15-MD-2670 JLS (MDD)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 5, 2018
    ...of the non-moving party. Dreier v. United States , 106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir. 1996) ; Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc. , 555 F.Supp.2d 1066, 1067-68 (N.D. Cal. 2008). Alternatively, in a facial challenge, the defendant asserts the insufficiency of the complaint's allegations to ......
  • SCHARRINGHAUSEN v. US, Case No. 06cv2167.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • September 29, 2009
    ...favor of the non-moving party. Dreier v. United States, 106 F.3d 844, 847 (9th Cir.1996); Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F.Supp.2d 1066, 1067-68 (N.D.Cal.2008). In the facial challenge, the defendant asserts the insufficiency of the complaint's allegations to invoke federa......
  • Stabler v. Fla. Van Lines, Inc., CIVIL ACTION 11-0103-WS-N
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Southern District of Alabama
    • January 6, 2012
    ...to claims for loss of or damage to household goods in an intrastate move. See, e.g., Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F. Supp.2d 1066, 1068 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (Carmack Amendment does not apply where "Plaintiff alleges that she arranged for Defendant to package and transfer her......
  • Burkett v. Fox Moving And Storage Of Tenn. LLC, Case No. 3: 10-0933
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • December 15, 2010
    ...claims concern a carrier who has merely transported property within a state. 4 Farrah v. Monterey Transfer & Storage, Inc., 555 F. Supp. 2d 1066, 1068 (N. D. Cal. 2008) ("When goods are shipped entirely within a state, the Interstate Commerce Act does not apply. "), cited in Starling v. Gro......

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