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Oliver v. Longs Drug Stores California

February 25, 2008

A.J. OLIVER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LONGS DRUG STORES CALIFORNIA, INC. DBA LONGS DRUG STORE #055; AND LONGS DRUG STORE, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER:

1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION; [Doc. No. 3]

2) DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DECLINE REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE; [Doc. No. 9]

3) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S STATE LAW CLAIMS.

Presently before the Court is Defendant Longs Drug Store California, Inc.'s motion to decline supplemental jurisdiction and dismiss plaintiff's state law claims. (Doc. No. 3.) Defendant has also filed a request for judicial notice in support of the motion. (Doc. No. 9.) Plaintiff has filed an opposition (Doc. No. 16) and defendant has filed a reply (Doc. No. 17). The Court took the matter under submission by order of February 12, 2008 (Doc. No. 18). For the reasons set forth herein, defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff A.J. Oliver suffered a stroke approximately thirteen years ago which left him paralyzed, speech impaired, and unable to stand or walk. (Complaint ¶ 8.) He is required to use a motorized wheelchair. (Id.) Plaintiff's claims arise from his visit to the Longs Drug Store ("Store") in Chula Vista, California. Plaintiff alleges defendant denied him full and equal access to the Store by failing to remove numerous barriers in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and Title 24 regulations. (Complaint ¶¶ 10-14.) Plaintiff alleges defendant has intentionally maintained the Store in its current non-compliant condition, and has intentionally refrained from altering the Store so that it complies with the accessibility standards. (Id. ¶¶ 14-15.)

Plaintiff states four claims for relief under Title III of the ADA, the California Disabled Persons Act (Cal. Civil Code §§ 54 & 54.1), the California Unruh Civil Rights Act (Cal. Civil Code §§ 51-52), and California Health and Safety Code § 19953 et. seq. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, declaratory relief, statutory damages, and attorneys' fees.

Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's state law claims. Defendant argues plaintiff's claim under the Unruh Act presents novel and complex issues of state law such that the Court should decline to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction.

DISCUSSION

Legal Standard

"It is a fundamental precept that federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction." Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 374 (1978). Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may challenge the court's subject matter jurisdiction "on the basis that supplemental jurisdiction . . . is improper" according to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Sparrow v. Mazda Am. Credit, 385 F. Supp. 2d 1063, 1066 (E.D. Cal. 2005). In facial challenges to jurisdiction, such as the challenge made by defendant, the court's inquiry is confined to the allegations in the complaint. White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000). Once a party challenges subject matter jurisdiction, the non-moving party bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 378 (1994).

Analysis

Section 1367(a) of Title 28 grants federal courts supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims "that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution." 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a); United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 725 (1966). To form part of the same "case or controversy," the state law claims must "derive from a common nucleus of operative fact[s] . . . such that [a plaintiff] would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding." Id. Here, the Court may exercise ...


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