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Brooke v. Stonetar Lodging I, LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

September 5, 2017

THERESA BROOKE, a married woman dealing with her sole and separate claim, Plaintiff,
v.
STONETAR LODGING I, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, d/b/a/ Courtyard Marriott Cherry Creek, Defendant.

          ORDER

          H. RUSSEL HOLLAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Motion to Dismiss

         Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint.[1] This motion is opposed.[2] Oral argument was requested but is not deemed necessary.

         Background

         Plaintiff is Theresa Brooke. Defendant is Stonetar Lodging I LLC, which owns and/or operates the Courtyard Marriott Cherry Creek hotel in Denver, Colorado.

         Plaintiff alleges that on July 1, 2017, she went to defendant's website, http://www.courtyardcherrycreek.com, “for purposes of booking a room later this year.”[3] Plaintiff, who is confined to a wheel chair, “requires the use of an ADA accessible room” and she attempted to reserve such a room for an upcoming trip to Denver on defendant's website.[4] Plaintiff alleges that she “entered her desired dates in July, but the website only offered non-accessible rooms....”[5] Plaintiff alleges that she then attempted to book dates two months out and four months out, but the website did not offer any ADA accessible rooms for these dates either.[6]

         On July 2, 2017, plaintiff commenced this action in which she asserts a claim under Title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination by public accommodations. Plaintiff alleges that defendant has violated Title III of the ADA because “it has failed to make its website reservation system fully and equally accessible to [p]laintiff and [other] disabled persons.”[7] More specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendant “does not allow for the reservation of ADA accessible rooms in the same manner and during the same hours as a patron can reserve non-accessible rooms.”[8]

         Defendant now moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         Discussion

         “[A] court considering a motion relating to jurisdiction as well as a motion on the merits generally ... decide[s] the jurisdictional issue first[.]” Thornhill Pub. Co., Inc. v. General Tel. & Electronics Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733-34 (9th Cir. 1979). Thus, the court considers defendant's Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction first.

         “Where [a] defendant[] move[s] to dismiss a complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, [the] plaintiff[] bear[s] the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction is appropriate.” Dole Food Co., Inc. v. Watts, 303 F.3d 1104, 1108 (9th Cir. 2002). “Where, as here, the motion is based on written materials rather than an evidentiary hearing, ‘the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts.'” Id. (quoting Sher v. Johnson, 911 F.2d 1357, 1361 (9th Cir. 1990)). “In determining whether [a plaintiff has] met this prima facie burden, uncontroverted allegations in [the] complaint must be taken as true, and ‘conflicts between the facts contained in the parties' affidavits must be resolved in [the plaintiff's] favor....'” Ochoa v. J.B. Martin and Sons Farms, Inc., 287 F.3d 1182, 1187 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Compagnie Bruxelles Lambert, 94 F.3d 586, 588 (9th Cir. 1996)). “Additionally, any evidentiary materials submitted on the motion ‘are construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and all doubts are resolved in [her] favor.'” Id. (quoting Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Neaves, 912 F.2d 1062, 1064 n.1 (9th Cir. 1990)).

         “Where, as here, there is no applicable federal statute governing personal jurisdiction, the district court applies the law of the state in which the district court sits.” Dole Food Co., 303 F.3d at 1110. “Arizona's long-arm statute provides that an Arizona court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the maximum extent permitted under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.” Ariz. School Risk Retention Trust, Inc. v. NMTC, Inc., 169 F.Supp.3d 931, 935 (D. Ariz. 2016). “The Constitution permits a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if that defendant has at least ‘minimum contacts' with the forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction ‘does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'” Id. (quoting Int'l Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)).

         “[T]here are two forms that personal jurisdiction may take: general and specific.” Picot v. Weston, 780 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff does not contend that defendant is subject to general jurisdiction in Arizona. Plaintiff ...


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