Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., No. 85-5716

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore ANDERSON, PREGERSON, and WIGGINS; PREGERSON
Citation798 F.2d 1279
Parties41 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1224, 42 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 36,713, 55 USLW 2236, 6 Fed.R.Serv.3d 63 Henry G. MACK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SOUTH BAY BEER DISTRIBUTORS, INC., dba Bay Beer Distributors, a California Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 85-5716
Decision Date02 September 1986

Page 1279

798 F.2d 1279
41 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1224,
42 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 36,713, 55 USLW 2236,
6 Fed.R.Serv.3d 63
Henry G. MACK, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SOUTH BAY BEER DISTRIBUTORS, INC., dba Bay Beer
Distributors, a California Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 85-5716.
United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted Feb. 5, 1986.
Decided Sept. 2, 1986.

Page 1281

Edward L. Smilow, Orange, Cal., for plaintiff-appellant.

David B. Simpson, Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, Los Angeles, Cal., for defendant-appellee.

An Appeal From United States District Court For the Central District of California.

Before ANDERSON, PREGERSON, and WIGGINS, Circuit Judges.

PREGERSON, Circuit Judge:

South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc. ("South Bay") fired Henry Mack. Mack was subsequently denied state unemployment insurance benefits. The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board ("Board") affirmed the denial of benefits, finding that South Bay fired Mack for misconduct. Instead of appealing the Board's denial of unemployment benefits in state court, Mack brought suit in federal district court against South Bay for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the "Act") and for breach of an employment contract under California law. The district court held that the Board's decision should be accorded collateral estoppel effect and dismissed Mack's action. Mack appealed. We reverse the district court's dismissal of Mack's federal age discrimination claim.

BACKGROUND

Mack worked for South Bay as a sales representative for 18 years. In May 1982, South Bay fired Mack, who was then 53 years old. Mack applied for unemployment benefits under the California Unemployment Insurance Code Sec. 1256. After a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") denied Mack benefits because he found that South Bay fired Mack for "misconduct connected with his work" and for being "guilty of wanton disregard for his employer's interests." 1

The Board independently reviewed the case and affirmed the ALJ's findings. Instead of appealing the Board's decision to a California trial court, Mack filed suit in the federal district court against South Bay for violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. Secs. 621-634, and for breaching an employment contract under California law.

On December 5, 1984, South Bay filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b), contending, inter alia, that the Board's decision collaterally estopped Mack's age discrimination claim. South Bay requested the district court to take judicial notice of the five exhibits attached to its motion. The exhibits consisted of state administrative hearing records concerning Mack's unemployment benefits application.

On January 21, 1985, the district court granted South Bay's motion to dismiss both Mack's federal and state claims. 2 The district court's decision indicates that the court considered the exhibits in making its determination. Mack timely appealed, and this court has jurisdiction.

Page 1282

STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review de novo a district court's ruling on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Rae v. Union Bank, 725 F.2d 478, 479 (9th Cir.1984). A motion to dismiss should not be granted unless it appears that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-6, 78 S.Ct. 99, 101-02, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957).

The availability of collateral estoppel is also subject to de novo review. Davis & Cox v. Summa Corp., 751 F.2d 1507, 1519 (9th Cir.1985); United States v. Geophysical Corp., 732 F.2d 693, 697 (9th Cir.1984). If collateral estoppel is available, we review a district court's decision to apply it for an abuse of discretion. Davis & Cox, 751 F.2d at 1519; Geophysical Corp., 732 F.2d at 697.

DISCUSSION

I. Consideration of Administrative Records

There is some ambiguity concerning the procedural posture of this case. South Bay initiated the dismissal by filing a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The minute order indicates that the district court granted the motion as a motion to dismiss. The district court's subsequent decision, however, indicates that the court considered the exhibits and granted the motion as one for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.

Rule 12(b) states that if, on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, matters outside the pleadings are presented and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56. It is reversible error for a court to grant a motion to dismiss that has been converted to one for summary judgment, without providing all parties a reasonable opportunity to present material relevant to a Rule 56 motion. Erlich v. Glasner, 374 F.2d 681, 683 (9th Cir.1967); Costen v. Pauline's Sportswear Inc., 391 F.2d 81, 84-5 (9th Cir.1968).

To enable the court to determine whether the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board's decision has a collateral estoppel effect on Mack's age discrimination claim, South Bay requested the district court to take judicial notice of the state administrative records attached to the motion to dismiss as exhibits. Consequently, Mack contends that this court should reverse the district court because it violated Rule 56 by not giving him the requisite notice and reasonable opportunity to submit all pertinent material.

On a motion to dismiss, however, a court may take judicial notice of facts outside the pleadings. Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Metropolitan Engravers, Ltd., 245 F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir.1956); 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, Sec. 1363 at 659-60 (1969). 3 Moreover, a court may take judicial notice of "records and reports of administrative bodies." Interstate Natural Gas Co. v. Southern California Gas Co., 209 F.2d 380, 385 (9th Cir.1953). Therefore, on a motion to dismiss a court may properly look beyond the complaint to matters of...

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2020 practice notes
  • AT & T Management Pension Plan v. Tucker, No. CV 95-2263 ABC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • August 14, 1995
    ...Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir.1989); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th For all of these reasons, it is only under extraordinary circumstances that dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v......
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    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • May 28, 1993
    ...pleadings, orders, and other papers filed with the court or records of administrative bodies. Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir.1986). The court need not accept conclusory allegations, nor unreasonable inferences or unwarranted deductions of fact. Weste......
  • Bureerong v. Uvawas, No. CV95-5958 ABC (BQRx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 21, 1996
    ...Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir.1989); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279 (9th Cir.1986), abrogated on other grounds by Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Ass'n v. Solimino, 501 U.S. 104, 111 S.Ct. 2166, 115 L.Ed.2d 96 ......
  • Westlands Water Dist. v. US Dept. of Interior, No. CV-F-93-5327 OWW SSH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 3, 1994
    ...pleadings, orders, and other papers filed with the court or records of administrative bodies. Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir.1986). The court need not accept conclusory allegations, nor unreasonable inferences or unwarranted deductions of fact. Weste......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2019 cases
  • AT & T Management Pension Plan v. Tucker, No. CV 95-2263 ABC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • August 14, 1995
    ...Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir.1989); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th For all of these reasons, it is only under extraordinary circumstances that dismissal is proper under Rule 12(b)(6). United States v......
  • Sumner Peck Ranch, Inc. v. Bureau of Reclamation, No. CV-F-91-048 OWW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • May 28, 1993
    ...pleadings, orders, and other papers filed with the court or records of administrative bodies. Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir.1986). The court need not accept conclusory allegations, nor unreasonable inferences or unwarranted deductions of fact. Weste......
  • Bureerong v. Uvawas, No. CV95-5958 ABC (BQRx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 21, 1996
    ...Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896 F.2d 1542, 1555 n. 19 (9th Cir.1989); Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279 (9th Cir.1986), abrogated on other grounds by Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Ass'n v. Solimino, 501 U.S. 104, 111 S.Ct. 2166, 115 L.Ed.2d 96 ......
  • Westlands Water Dist. v. US Dept. of Interior, No. CV-F-93-5327 OWW SSH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • March 3, 1994
    ...pleadings, orders, and other papers filed with the court or records of administrative bodies. Mack v. South Bay Beer Distributors, Inc., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir.1986). The court need not accept conclusory allegations, nor unreasonable inferences or unwarranted deductions of fact. Weste......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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