United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge
before the Court are: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (“Motion to
Dismiss, ” Doc. 19); and (2) Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to File Second Amended Complaint (“Motion to
Amend, ” Doc. 20). The parties did not request oral
argument. The Court now rules on the Motions.
Robert McCoy visited Defendant Petwin Hayden, LLC's
Scottsdale office complex (“Defendant's
complex”) on August 14, 2016. (First Amended Complaint,
(Doc. 6), (“FAC”) at ¶¶ 2, 25). During
his visit, Plaintiff contends that he encountered access
barriers that he believes violate the Americans with
Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and the Arizonans
with Disabilities Act (the “AzDA”). (Id. at
Plaintiff alleges that the parking lots at Defendant's
(1) fail to identify van parking spaces by the designation
“van accessible, ” (2) do not contain
appropriately identified accessible spaces, (3) have signs
posted at the incorrect height on spaces identified as
accessible, (4) have parking spaces, sidewalks, landings, and
entryways that are not accessible because they contain
incorrect transitions, grades, slopes, rises, surface levels,
and lips, and (5) contain other features that obstruct the
disabled from accessing [Defendant's complex].
(Id. at ¶ 26). Plaintiff alleges that these
barriers deter “disabled individuals” from
visiting Defendant's complex. (Id. at ¶
MOTION TO DISMISS
moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims based on a lack of
standing. In particular, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has
failed to allege an injury-in-fact and sufficient causation
between Plaintiff's injury and Defendant's conduct in
allegedly violating the ADA. (Doc. 19 at 3-5).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Federal Rule”)
12(b)(1), a litigant may seek dismissal of an action for lack
of standing because “Article III standing is a species
of subject matter jurisdiction.” Carijano v.
Occidental Petroleum Corp., 643 F.3d 1216, 1227 (9th
Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). To survive a defendant's
motion to dismiss, the plaintiff has the burden of proving
jurisdiction. Tosco v. Cmtys. for a Better
Env't, 236 F.3d 495, 499 (9th Cir. 2000). The
“irreducible constitutional minimum” required to
demonstrate standing requires that a plaintiff has “(1)
suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to
the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is
likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
decision.” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct.
1540, 1546-47 (2016).
establish an injury in fact, a plaintiff must show that [he]
suffered ‘an invasion of a legally protected
interest' that is ‘concrete and particularized'
and ‘actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical.'” Id. at 1548 (quoting
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
(1992)). Within the context of the ADA, a plaintiff suffers
an injury-in-fact “either because discriminatory
architectural barriers deter him from returning to a facility
or because they ‘otherwise interfere with his access
to' the facility.” Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports
(U.S.), Inc., 631 F.3d 939, 950 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Doran v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 524 F.3d 1034, 1042 n.5
(9th Cir. 2008)). While any such barrier need not
“completely preclude” but, rather, simply
“interfere with the plaintiff's ‘full and
equal enjoyment' of the facility, ” such
interference must be due to the plaintiff's
“particular disability.” Id. at 947.
Once a plaintiff has identified such barriers interfering
with his access to a place of public accommodation, he has
not only shown an injury-in-fact but has also shown that such
injury is “traceable to the defendant's conduct and
capable of being redressed by the courts, ” thus
meeting Article III's standing requirement.
Doran, 524 F.3d at 1042 n.5.
Plaintiff's FAC lacks any specificity with which the
Court can confirm he has standing to sue under the ADA. While
Plaintiff states that he is disabled, he never states that he
was personally unable to access Defendant's property.
Rather, Plaintiff's FAC is filled with allegations about
abstract “individuals with disabilities” who were
injured by Defendant's alleged statutory violations. (FAC
at ¶¶ 26 (“[Plaintiff] found that the
Premises was not accessible to individuals with
disabilities.”), 27 (“[Plaintiff] therefore has
actual knowledge of at least one barrier preventing disabled
individuals [from accessing] the parking lots at the
Premises[, ] and individuals with disabilities are currently
deterred from visiting [Defendant's] public
accommodation[s].”), 29-31, 33, 36-37). Overall, it is
unclear whether Plaintiff is making an allegation based upon
an injury he personally suffered or suing on behalf
of other “individuals with ...