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Barrilleaux v. Mendocino County

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 25, 2014

JESSICA BARRILLEAUX, Plaintiff,
v.
MENDOCINO COUNTY, et al., Defendants

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For Jessica Barrilleaux, Plaintiff: Paul Leslie Rein, LEAD ATTORNEY, Catherine M. Cabalo, Celia Louise McGuinness, Law Offices of Paul L. Rein, Oakland, CA; Jim W. Yu, Law Offices of Jim W. Yu, Walnut Creek, CA.

For Mendocino County, Defendant: Douglas L. Losak, LEAD ATTORNEY, County Counsel's Office, County of Mendocino-Administration Center, Ukiah, CA; Kevin P. McLaughlin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kevin E. Gilbert, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, Oakland, CA.

For Mendocino County Superior Court, Judicial Council of California/Administrative Office of the Courts, Defendants: Kevin P. McLaughlin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kevin E. Gilbert, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, Oakland, CA.

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ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART COURT DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

THELTON E. HENDERSON, United States District Judge.

This matter came before the Court on June 23, 2014, on Court Defendants' motion to dismiss. After considering the parties' arguments and the papers submitted, the Court now GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Court Defendants' motion for the reasons discussed below.

BACKGROUND

Before the incident in question, Plaintiff Jessica Barrilleaux (" Plaintiff" ) alleges that she walked with difficulty and occasionally used crutches due to a fractured and weakened knee. Complaint (" Compl." ) ¶ 10. On April 16, 2013, Plaintiff, assisted by the use of crutches, went to the Mendocino County Superior Courthouse (the " Courthouse" ) to address a traffic citation. Compl. ¶ 12. The Clerk of Court calendared Plaintiff for an appearance on April 23, 2013, at Department G. Id. Department G is located on the fourth floor of the Courthouse and there is no elevator access to that floor. Id. Upon information and belief, the Clerk was aware that Plaintiff was on crutches, and knew there was no elevator access to the fourth floor, but did not warn or advise Plaintiff of that fact, nor was Plaintiff notified by any other means. Id.

On April 23, 2013, Plaintiff arrived at the Courthouse for her appearance without crutches or other aid. Compl. ¶ 13. Once there, she realized there was no elevator access to the fourth floor where she needed to appear. Compl. ¶ ¶ 14-15. Plaintiff could not ascend stairs due to her knee, but was able to descend stairs with difficulty, if necessary, so she took the elevator to the fifth floor and descended the stairs down to the fourth floor. Compl. ¶ ¶ 13-14. After appearing in court, Plaintiff was told to pay a fine on the first floor. Compl. ¶ 15. Again, as there was no elevator access, Plaintiff attempted to descend the stairs. Id. While descending, she fell, and tumbled to the bottom of the stairs. Id. Plaintiff was transported to the hospital by ambulance and treated for a left knee fracture. Compl. ¶ ¶ 15-16. As a result of the incident, Plaintiff claims she has suffered physical, mental, and emotional injuries. Compl. ¶ 16.

Based on the above, Plaintiff filed suit on March 25, 2014 against Mendocino County; the Mendocino County Superior Court; the State of California[1] and the Judicial Council of California/Administrative Office of the Courts (the " Defendants" ). She alleges six causes of action: (1) violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; (2) violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq ; (3) discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of California Civil Code § § 54, 54.1, 54(c), 54.1(d), and 55, and California Government Code § 4450 et seq ;

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(4) discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities funded by the state, in violation of California Government Code ยง 11135; (5) maintaining public property in a dangerous condition; and (6) negligence. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief in the form of requiring Defendants to make the Courthouse's facilities usable and accessible to persons with disabilities, to ...


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