United States District Court, D. Nevada
GLORIA M. NAVARRO, Chief District Judge.
Pending before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17) filed by Defendant California Hotel and Casino, Inc. ("CH&C") on September 30, 2013. Plaintiff Wade May ("Plaintiff") filed his Response (ECF No. 22) on October 31, 2013. Plaintiff also incorrectly filed several exhibits supporting his Response as "Amended Responses." (ECF Nos. 23-25.) CHC&C filed its Reply to Plaintiff's Response (ECF No. 28) on November 19, 2013. For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's federal claims are DISMISSED without prejudice. This action shall be REMANDED to state court for adjudication of Plaintiff's remaining state-law claims.
On June 17, 2010 at approximately 4:30 p.m., Plaintiff, who is African-American, walked into the casino operated by CH&C and picked up an empty plastic coin bucket. (Second Amended Complaint ¶¶ 6, 26, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.) As he had during prior visits to the casino, Plaintiff filled the bucket with coins totaling $33.50 and proceeded to the cashier's window in order to convert the coins to paper money. ( Id. ¶ 6-8.)
Plaintiff's entrance into the casino had been observed by Slot Floorperson Richard Slattery. ( Id. ¶ 9; Portion of Slattery Depo. 13:12-22, Ex. A to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-1.) Mr. Slattery noted that Plaintiff had not been carrying a coin bucket when he entered the casino, but during a short period of time when he was out of Mr. Slattery's view, Plaintiff had obtained a coin bucket and was "briskly walk[ing]" toward the casino cashier. (Portion of Slattery Depo. 13:23-14:7, Ex. A to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-1.) Mr. Slattery then radioed his supervisor and security and informed them that Plaintiff may have picked up a bucket with coins that did not belong to him. ( Id.; Second Amended Complaint ¶ 9, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.)
When Plaintiff arrived at the cashier's window, he was greeted by a white female floor manager and a white male floor manager. (Second Amended Complaint ¶ 9, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.) The female floor manager then asked Plaintiff if he had a Player's Card with CH&C. ( Id. ¶ 13.) To which Plaintiff responded, "[W]hat did I do?" before handing her his Player's Card. ( Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) The floor manager swiped Plaintiff's Player's Card but did not respond to the question. ( Id. ¶ 15.)
Around this time, Plaintiff also noticed a black male security officer standing behind him, who began putting on leather gloves while staring at Plaintiff. ( Id. ¶ 10; Portion of Plaintiff Depo. 30:1-31:17, Ex. C to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-3.) Plaintiff asserts that he began to feel trapped and believed that if he tried to leave, he would be stopped by CH&C employees. (Second Amended Complaint ¶ 11, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.)
When Plaintiff's Player's Card was accepted but the cashier did not immediately pay him, Plaintiff again asked the female floor manager, "[W]hat did I do?" and then "[C]an I have my money?" ( Id. ¶¶ 15-17.) After again failing to receive an answer, Plaintiff next asked the cashier, "[are] you are doing this because I'm black?" ( Id. ¶ 18.) None of CH&C's employees responded to the question. ( Id. )
While Plaintiff was at the cashier's window, Mr. Slattery asked patrons in the area where Plaintiff had picked up his coin bucket if anything was missing. (Portion of Slattery Depo. 14:14-24, Ex. A to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-1.) He determined that nothing was missing and reported that "all is clear" to his supervisor. ( Id. )
Finally, after Plaintiff again asked for his money, the cashier handed Plaintiff his $33.50 in paper money. (Second Amended Complaint ¶ 18, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.) Feeling humiliated, Plaintiff immediately left the casino upon receiving his money. ( Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) No employee of CH&C, either before or after the incident, attempted to explain to Plaintiff what had happened or apologize for the delay. ( Id. ¶ 22.)
According to the casino security tapes, the entire transaction at the cashier's window lasted three minutes and thirty-one seconds. (Portion of Gaming Board Agent Brissae Depo. 20:9-22, Ex. B to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-2; Portion of Plaintiff Depo. 33:5-12, Ex. C to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-3.) At no time during the incident did any employing of CH&C touch Plaintiff or make any reference to race. (Portion of Plaintiff Depo. 30:1-7, 31:18-34:14, Ex. C to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-3.) After being contacted by Plaintiff, an investigation into the incident performed by the State of Nevada Gaming Control Board (the "GCB") found that "[a]lthough the situation could have been handled better, ... [CH&C] acted in the best interest of their patrons [and there was] no evidence of racial discrimination." (GCB Letter, Ex. D to Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 17-4.) Notably, however, there is no indication in the record that the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (the "NERC") ever received notice of the incident.
Plaintiff filed his Original and First Amended Complaints in Nevada state court on June 12, 2012 and July 25, 2012 respectively, alleging claims for violation of Nevada due process class, declaratory relief, false imprisonment, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Original Complaint, Ex. A to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-1; First Amended Complaint B. to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-2.) After the parties stipulated to dismiss the claims for violation of Nevada due process class and declaratory relief (Stipulation, Ex. C. to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-3), Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on November 19, 2012, adding a federal claim for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000a and seeking declaratory relief on that claim. (Second Amended Complaint, Ex. D to Statement of Removal, ECF No. 8-4.) CH&C then filed its Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1) on January 14, 2013 based upon the newly asserted federal claims.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See id. "Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor." Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship, 521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing ...