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Scott N. Johnson v. United Rentals Northwest

July 12, 2011

SCOTT N. JOHNSON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED RENTALS NORTHWEST, INC.,
INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A UNITED RENTALS; U.S. RENTALS, INC., A
CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; NANCY BERRY, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS‟ MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants United Rentals Northwest, Inc., U.S. Rentals, Inc., and Nancy Berry‟s (collectively "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #8) Plaintiff Scott Johnson‟s ("Plaintiff") Complaint (Doc. #1) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). Defendants, alternatively, move for a more definite statement (Doc. #8). Plaintiff opposes the motions (Doc. #14).*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, Defendants‟ Motion to Dismiss and Motion for a More Definite Statement are denied.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this action for injunctive relief and damages pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and sections 51(f) and 52 of the California Civil Code ("Unruh Act"). Plaintiff‟s Complaint ("Comp."), (Doc. #1).

Plaintiff is considered a disabled individual under the ADA and Unruh Act, and Defendants are the owners, operators, managers, lessees or lessors of both locations of "United Rentals," the 9 properties at issue in this case ("Defendants‟ stores"). Id. at ¶¶ 1-3, 9.

On May 27, June 3, June 8, and October 13, 2010, Plaintiff alleges he encountered architectural barriers in violation of the ADA while visiting one or both of Defendants‟ stores in Lodi and Sacramento, California, which are considered "public accommodations" under the ADA and Unruh Act. Comp. at ¶¶ 2, 4. Plaintiff further alleges that the same architectural barriers deterred him from visiting Defendants‟ stores on two other occasions "during this past year" and remained in existence at the time Plaintiff filed his complaint. Id. at ¶ 4.

II. OPINION

A. Legal Standard

1. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)

Rule 12(b)(1) provides that a motion to dismiss may be made on the basis of a "lack of subject-matter jurisdiction." FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion tests "whether the plaintiff has a right to be in the particular court. . . ." Trs. of Screen Actors Guild-Producers Pension & Health Plans v. NYCA, Inc., 572 F.3d. 771, 775 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Federal courts are limited in jurisdiction, and it is presumed that a case lies outside the jurisdiction of the court unless the plaintiff proves otherwise. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); Stock W., Inc. v.

Confederated Tribes, 873 F.2d 1221, 1225 (9th Cir. 1989).

2. Supplemental Jurisdiction

When a district court has original jurisdiction over a claim, 9 it "shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action . . . that they form part of the same case or controversy . . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). A state claim is part of the same "case or controversy" as a federal claim when the two ""derive from a common nucleus of operative fact and are such that a plaintiff would ordinarily be expected to try them in one judicial proceeding.‟" Kuba v. 1-A Agricultural Ass‟n, 387 F.3d 850, 855-56 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Trs. Of the Constr. Indus. & Laborers Health & Welfare v. Desert Valley Landscape & Maint., Inc., 333 F.2d 923, 925(9th Cir. 2003)).

Under section 1367, a court has discretion to: decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim [] if: (1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law, (2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim [] over which the district court has original jurisdiction, (3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction, or ...


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