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Arroyo v. Alva

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

February 9, 2015

RAFAEL ARROYO, JR., Plaintiff,
ENRIQUE ALVA JR., et al., Defendants.


LUCY H. KOH, District Judge.

Plaintiff Rafael Arroyo, Jr. ("Plaintiff" or "Arroyo") brings this action for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") against Defendants Enrique Alva, Lilia Alva, and South First Furniture, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants"). Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and hereby VACATES the hearings scheduled for February 12, 2015, and March 19, 2015. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the record in this case, and the relevant law, the Court hereby DENIES Defendants' motion to dismiss.


A. Factual Background

Plaintiff is a California resident with physical disabilities. First Am. Compl. ("FAC"), ECF No. 17, ¶ 1. Plaintiff is a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair. Id. The State of California has issued Plaintiff a handicap placard, and Plaintiff is "entitled to and benefits from using an accessible parking space." Id. ¶ 2.

The Alva Defendants own the property at 842 South First Street, San Jose, California, and are lessors to the business "Rick's Furniture" located at that address. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. Defendant South First Furniture owns and operates "Rick's Furniture." Id. ¶¶ 5-6.

On or about December 29, 2012, Plaintiff visited Rick's Furniture to shop. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff alleges that Rick's Furniture is a "facility open to the public, a place of public accommodation, and a business establishment." Id. ¶ 12. Parking spaces are "one of the facilities, privileges and advantages offered" to customers of Rick's Furniture. Id. ¶ 13. According to Plaintiff, on the date of his visit there was "not a single compliant handicap parking space available." Id. ¶ 14. There was a parking stall marked as reserved for persons with disabilities, but it allegedly did not have a proper "access aisle." Id. ¶ 15. Instead of providing an eight foot wide access aisle, marked in blue with "NO PARKING" lettering, there was a five foot wide access aisle without any marking. Id. It appears that the smaller access aisle was also on the wrong side of the handicap parking spot, as Plaintiff further alleges that "people park on the area that is supposed to be the access aisle, blocking it from use." Id. Moreover, Plaintiff further alleges that the handicap parking space is "not located closest to the accessible entrance" but requires one to "travel behind parked cars other than their own to get to an entrance." Id. Plaintiff "was unable to use the [handicap] parking space" that day, as another vehicle had parked in the access aisle. Id. ¶ 16.

Plaintiff avers that he would like to "return and patronize" Rick's Furniture but will be deterred from visiting "until Defendants cure the violation." Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff travels in and around San Jose, California during the year for disabilities conferences and Oakland Raiders football games. Id. ¶ 19. According to Plaintiff, he has "shopped, eaten, and otherwise patronized the businesses in and around the San Jose area on numerous occasions" and intends to do so in the future. Id.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on September 2, 2014. ECF No. 1. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on September 29, 2014.[1] ECF No. 13. On October 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). ECF No. 17. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on November 20, 2014. ECF No. 20. As Defendants did not comply with the Court's standing order regarding appropriate procedures for filing and noticing a motion, the Defendants filed the same motion again on November 21, 2014. ECF No. 24. Defendants also filed a notice of withdrawal of their September 29, 2014 motion to dismiss. ECF No. 23. Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss, ECF No. 25, and Defendants filed a reply, ECF No. 26.


A. Rule 12(b)(1)

A defendant may move to dismiss an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). A motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction will be granted if the complaint on its face fails to allege facts sufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction. See Savage v. Glendale Union High Sch., 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003). If the plaintiff lacks standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, then the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and the case must be dismissed. See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 101-02 (1998). In considering a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, the Court "is not restricted to the face of the pleadings, but may review any evidence, such as affidavits and testimony, to resolve factual disputes concerning the existence of jurisdiction." McCarthy v. United States, 850 F.2d 558, 560 (9th Cir. 1988). Once a party has moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), the opposing party bears the burden of establishing the court's jurisdiction, see Chandler v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 598 F.3d 1115, 1122 (9th Cir. 2010), by putting forth "the manner and degree of evidence required" by whatever stage of the litigation the case has reached, ...

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