United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell United States District Judge
Pacific Heritage Inn of Chandler LLC
(“Defendant”) has filed a motion to dismiss
Plaintiff Fernando Gastelum's complaint (Doc. 1) for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction. Doc. 10. The motion is fully
briefed, and oral argument will not aid the Court's
decision. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons that follow,
the Court will deny the motion.
is an amputee who requires the use of a wheelchair or
prosthetic leg. Doc. 1 at 1 ¶ 2. On April 23, 2018,
Plaintiff visited a third-party booking website, expedia.com,
and Defendant's website, staybridge.com, to book a hotel
room at Staybridge Suites Phoenix-Chandler, a hotel owned by
Defendant. Id. at 6 ¶ 26, 10 ¶ 31. Neither
website described accessibility features at the hotel in
sufficient detail to permit Plaintiff to determine whether
the hotel met his accessibility needs. Id. at 7
¶ 30, 11 ¶ 34. Plaintiff called Defendant's
hotel and spoke with a reservation clerk who assured him that
the hotel was compliant with the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”). Id. at 14 ¶¶
35-37. Plaintiff subsequently visited the hotel “to
independently verify that it was, at least on the outside,
suitable to accommodate his disability.” Id.
at ¶ 38. He discovered that the hotel was “replete
with accessibility barriers” that prevented him from
accessing the hotel, and he declined to book a room.
Id. at 14-15 ¶¶ 39-40.
April 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint against
Defendant, alleging discrimination in violation of the ADA,
42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and four Arizona tort claims.
Doc. 1. Defendant moves to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff
lacks Article III standing. Doc. 10.
Standing Principles and Approach.
suit brought by a plaintiff without Article III standing is
not a ‘case or controversy,' and an Article III
federal court therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over the suit.” See Cetacean Cmty. v. Bush,
386 F.3d 1169, 1174 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing Steel Co. v.
Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 101
(1998)). Because standing is a jurisdictional question, it is
properly addressed under Rule 12(b)(1). Id.; see
also Kingman Reef Atoll Inv., L.L.C. v. United States,
541 F.3d 1189, 1195 (9th Cir. 2008).
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) can be either a facial
or factual attack on jurisdiction. Thornhill Publ'g
Co. v. Gen. Tel. & Elec. Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733
(9th Cir. 1979). A facial attack asserts that the allegations
in the complaint are “insufficient on their face to
invoke federal jurisdiction.” Safe Air for Everyone
v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). A factual
attack “disputes the truth of the allegations that, by
themselves, would otherwise invoke federal
facial attack, the complaint's allegations are taken as
true and construed in favor of the non-moving party.
Jacobsen v. Katzer, 609 F.Supp.2d 925, 930 (N.D.
Cal. 2009) (citing Fed'n of African Am. Contractors
v. City of Oakland, 96 F.3d 1204, 1207 (9th Cir. 1996)).
In a factual attack, the plaintiff's allegations are not
entitled to a presumption of truthfulness, the court may look
beyond the pleadings, and the plaintiff has the burden of
proving jurisdiction. Safe Air for Everyone, 373
F.3d at 1039. The plaintiff must “present affidavits or
any other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden[.]”
St. Clair v. City of Chino, 880 F.2d 199, 201 (9th
does not specify the basis of its motion to dismiss, but its
arguments focus on the allegations of the complaint.
Defendant asserts that the “[c]omplaint makes clear
that Plaintiff did not book a room at the subject hotel, has
never visited the hotel previously, and has no intention to
return, ” and that Plaintiff consequently “has
not demonstrated any real threat of repeated injury or been
injured-in-fact.” Doc. 10 at 2. Defendant presents no
extrinsic evidence. As a result, the Court will treat this as
a facial attack and presume that the complaint's
allegations are true.
argues that Plaintiff is collaterally estopped from
relitigating his lack of Article III standing. Doc. 10 at 2.
In a recent order, Judge Murray Snow of this court dismissed
for lack of standing eleven cases filed by Plaintiff against
other defendant-hotels for alleged ADA violations.
Gastelum v. Canyon Hospitality LLC, No.
CV-17-02792-PHX-GMS, 2018 WL 2388047, at *1-2, 10 (D. Ariz.
May 25, 2018). Because the eleven cases involved
“substantially similar, boilerplate complaints”
filed by Plaintiff, Judge Snow found that the issue of
standing affected all eleven cases. Id. at *2-3.
Judge Snow held two evidentiary hearings at which Plaintiff
testified. Id. at *2. Based on those hearings and
evidence outside the pleadings, Judge Snow found that
Plaintiff lacked (1) a concrete and particularized harm and
(2) a likely injury in the future. Id. at *6-10.
complaint in this case is substantially similar to the
boilerplate complaints in Canyon Hospitality LLC,
and Defendant contends that this Court should give preclusive
effect to Judge Snow's order. Doc. 10 at 2, 6-8.
Plaintiff counters that collateral estoppel does not apply
because this is “a completely different case relating
to a completely different hotel with different factual
allegations[.]” Doc. 11 at 1. He argues that Canyon
Hospitality LLC relied on a finding that Plaintiff did