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Hammond v. City of Red Bluff

United States District Court, E.D. California

November 20, 2014

RICHARD HAMMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF RED BLUFF and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

ORDER

TROY L. NUNLEY, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court pursuant to Defendant City of Red Bluff's ("Defendant") motion to dismiss Plaintiff Richard Hammond's ("Plaintiff") complaint. (ECF Nos. 1, 5.) For the reasons discussed below, the motion to dismiss is DENIED.

I. Facts

Plaintiff is a resident of Red Bluff, California. He is disabled and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Plaintiff frequently travels to historic downtown Red Bluff, which is serviced by on-street parking in the vicinity.[1] This on-street parking does not include "designated accessible parking stalls" (ECF No 1 ¶ 15) and therefore cannot accommodate his modified van. Plaintiff must park further away from his intended locations and is made to feel unwelcome in Red Bluff, among other difficulties. ( See ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 11-21.)

II. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed the instant complaint on May 8, 2014, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq. ; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act ("RA"), 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. ; and California's Disabled Persons Act ("DPA"), Cal. Civ. Code § 54 et seq. (ECF No. 1.) Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on June 19, 2014. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss on July 29, 2014. Defendant filed a reply on August 7, 2014. (ECF No. 8.)

III. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a pleading contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." On a motion to dismiss, the Court assumes all factual allegations are true. Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322 (1972). A court is bound to give plaintiff the benefit of every reasonable inference that can be drawn from the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint. Retail Clerks Int'l Ass'n v. Schermerhorn, 373 U.S. 746, 753 n.6 (1963). While a plaintiff need not allege "specific facts' beyond those necessary to state his claim and the grounds showing entitlement to relief, " Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (citing Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 508), "a claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

Nevertheless, a court "need not assume the truth of legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations." United States ex rel. Chunie v. Ringrose, 788 F.2d 638, 643 n2 (9th Cir. 1986). While Rule 8(a) does not require detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.' Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A pleading is insufficient if it offers mere "labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 ("Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.") Additionally, it is inappropriate to assume that the plaintiff "can prove facts that it has not alleged or that the defendants have violated the... laws in ways that have not been alleged." Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983).

Ultimately, a court may not dismiss a complaint in which the plaintiff has alleged "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). While the plausibility requirement is not akin to a probability requirement, it demands more than "a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. at 678. This plausibility inquiry is "a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679.

IV. Statutory Framework

A. Americans with Disabilities Act

Congress enacted the ADA in 1990 to "remedy widespread discrimination against disabled individuals." PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661, 674 (2001). The ADA aims to provide a "clear and comprehensive national mandate" and "strong, consistent, [and] enforceable standards" in eliminating discrimination. 42 U.S.C. § 12101(b). The ADA addresses both the "outright intentional exclusion" of disabled individuals, as well as the failure to make modifications to existing facilities and practices. PGA Tour, 532 U.S. at 675 (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(5)).

Title II of the ADA prohibits public entities, such as state and local governments, from denying disabled individuals the benefits of or participation in "services, programs, and activities." 42 U.S.C. § 12132. The specific obligations of public entities under the ADA, and the standards for determining an ADA violation, are delineated in part under 28 C.F.R. § 35.150 and § 35.151. See 28 U.S.C. § 35.149; Pierce v. County of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190, 1214 (9th Circuit 2008). Sections 35.150 and 35.151, in turn, reference the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards ("UFAS"), the 1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("1991 Standards"), and the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design ("2010 Standards"), for design ...


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