United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF
Cynthia Bashant United States District Judge.
Chris Langer ("Plaintiff") commenced this action
against Defendants G.W. Properties, L.P.; Platt Management,
Inc.; and Reprohaus Corp. (collectively,
"Defendants") on October 29, 2015, alleging
violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and
California's Unruh Civil Rights Act. This action arises
from an incident in September of 2015 at a parking lot
operated and leased by Reprohaus Corp.
("Reprohaus") from the remaining Defendants, where
Plaintiff attempted to park in the lot, but was unable to
find a handicap-accessible parking space. Defendants move to
dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Defs.'
Mot. 9:3- 6, ECF No. 14.) Plaintiff opposes. (Pl.'s
Opp'n 1:2-6, 10:2-3, ECF No. 15.)
Court finds this motion suitable for determination on the
papers submitted and without oral argument. See Civ.
L.R. 7.1(d)(1). For the following reasons, the Court DENIES
Defendants' motion to dismiss.
is a small commercial printing business located at 1400 L.
Street, San Diego, California, 92101. (Taing Decl.
¶¶ 2-3, ECF No. 14-3.) On April 1, 2015, Reprohaus
began its current lease of the property. (Id. ¶
4.) G.W. Properties, L.P. and Platt Management, Inc. are the
owners of the property. (Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No. 1.) Tito
Taing is the owner and President of Reprohaus. (Taing Decl.
¶ 2.) Reprohaus's gated parking lot is surrounded by
an eight-foot high fence with barbed wire at the top.
(Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) Normally, Reprohaus's
parking lot is not open to the public and is available
exclusively to Reprohaus's employees and commercial
clients. (Id. ¶ 5; Defs.' Mot. 1:4-5, ECF
No. 14.) Reprohaus is located five blocks from Petco Park.
(Defs.' Mot. 3:7-10.) There are no handicap-accessible
parking spaces in the Reprohaus parking lot. (Id.
6:14-15; Compl. ¶¶ 13-14.)
summer of 2015, Mr. Taing allowed the Reprohaus parking lot
to be made available to members of the public. (Taing Decl.
¶ 7.) On a limited basis, patrons of events at Petco
Park were able to park in the lot. (Id.) During
these events, the lot was managed by employees of Reprohaus.
(Defs.' Mot. 1:6-8.) Based on this public parking
arrangement, patrons of Petco Park paid a fee in exchange for
the convenience of parking in the Reprohaus lot.
(Id. 6:10-11; Compl. ¶ 10.)
Langer is a paraplegic who cannot walk and who uses a
wheelchair for mobility. (Compl. ¶ 1.) In September of
2015, Mr. Langer attended a baseball game at Petco Park.
(Id. ¶ 10.) Mr. Langer attempted to park in the
Reprohaus parking lot. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 17.)
Mr. Langer was not able to find a handicap-accessible parking
space for his van in the Reprohaus lot. (Id.
¶¶ 13-17.) Consequently, Mr. Langer could not park
in the Reprohaus lot, but instead had to park in a different
lot in the area. (Id. ¶ 17.) Mr. Langer alleges
he intends to return and patronize the Reprohaus lot in the
future. (Id. ¶18.) In late September of 2015,
Mr. Taing "made the executive decision to not allow the
parking lot to be used" by members of the public
attending events at Petco Park. (Taing Decl. ¶ 8.) Mr.
Langer filed this action on October 29, 2015.
Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may
move to dismiss a claim based on the court's lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). "A
federal court is presumed to lack jurisdiction in a
particular case unless the contrary affirmatively
appears." Stock W., Inc. v. Confederated
Tribes, 873 F.2d 1221, 1225 (9th Cir. 1989). Article III
of the Constitution restricts the exercise of the judicial
power to "actual, ongoing cases or controversies."
Wolfson v. Brammer, 616 F.3d 1045, 1053 (9th Cir.
2010) (quoting Lewis v. Cont'l Bank Corp., 494
U.S. 472, 477 (1990) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Thus, "[t]o qualify as a case fit for federal-court
adjudication, an actual controversy must be extant at all
stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is
filed." Arizonans for Official English v.
Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 67 (1997) (internal quotation
marks omitted). A case or controversy becomes moot, and thus
no longer suitable for adjudication, when the issues
presented are no longer live or when the parties lack a
legally cognizable interest in the outcome. Powell v.
McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496, (1969).
focus of the mootness inquiry is whether the court can grant
effective relief to a litigant seeking a favorable judicial
decision. See NASD Dispute Resolution, Inc. v. Judicial
Council of Cal., 488 F.3d 1065, 1068 (9th Cir. 2007)
(explaining that the test for mootness is whether the court
can grant a litigant any effective relief in the event it
decides the matter on the merits in the litigant's
favor); Nw. Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Gordon, 849 F.2d
1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 1988) ("The basic question in
determining mootness is whether there is a present
controversy as to which effective relief can be
granted."). If a court's determination of an issue
presented will not "admit of specific relief, "
or cannot otherwise affect the rights of the litigants in the
case before it, then the court must dismiss the case due to
lack of jurisdiction. Aetna Life Ins. Co. v.
Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 240-41 (1937); see North
Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971); Horizon
Bank & Trust Co. v. Massachusetts, 391 F.3d 48, 53 (1st
Cir. 2004) ("[A] case not moot at the outset can become
moot because of a change in the fact situation underlying the
dispute, making relief now pointless."); Am. Rivers
v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Serv., 126 F.3d 1118, 1123
(9th Cir. 1997) ("If an event occurs that prevents the
court from granting effective relief, the claim is moot and
must be dismissed."). The mootness doctrine thus ensures
the federal courts properly restrict themselves to deciding
cases and controversies capable of legal resolution, while
avoiding improper declarations on abstract propositions of
law. See Hall v. Beals, 396 U.S. 45, 48 (1969);
Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 18 (1998)
("[Federal courts] are not in the business of
pronouncing that past actions which have no demonstrable
continuing effect were right or wrong.").
jurisdictional attack under Rule 12(b)(1) can be either
facial or factual. White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242
(9th Cir. 2000). In a facial attack, the challenger asserts
that the allegations in the complaint are insufficient to
invoke federal jurisdiction, and the court is limited in its
review to the allegations in the complaint. Safe Air for
Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004).
In a factual attack, the challenger provides evidence that an
alleged fact in the complaint is false, thereby resulting in
a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Id.
Therefore, under a factual attack, the allegations in the
complaint are not presumed to be true and "the district
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 the moving party
has converted the motion to dismiss into a factual motion by
presenting affidavits or other evidence properly brought
before the court, the party opposing the motion must furnish
affidavits or other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden
of establishing subject matter jurisdiction." Savage
v. Glendale Union High Sch., 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n.2
(9th Cir. 2003). However, "[a] court may not resolve
genuinely disputed facts where ‘the question of
jurisdiction is dependent on the resolution of factual issues
going to the merits.'" Roberts v.
Corrothers, 812 F.2d 1173, 1177 (9th Cir. 1987) (quoting
Augustine v. United States, 704 F.2d 1074, 1077 (9th
lone federal claim is an alleged violation of Title III of
the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The
ADA prohibits discrimination that interferes with disabled
individuals' "full and equal enjoyment" of
places of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a).
Under the ADA, unlawful discrimination occurs when a disabled
individual is subjected "to a denial of the opportunity
. . . to participate in or benefit from the . . .
accommodations of an entity." Id. §
12182(b)(1)(A)(i). The ADA defines a disabled individual as
one whose physical or mental impairment substantially limits
one or more major life activities. Id. §
Accessibility Guidelines ("ADAAG") provide
"the objective contours of the standard that
architectural features must not impede disabled
individuals' full and equal enjoyment of
accommodations." Chapman v. Pier 1 Imps. (U.S.),
Inc., 631 F.3d 939, 945 (9th Cir. 2011). Pursuant to the
ADAAG, any facility classified as a public accommodation
under the ADA with 1-25 parking spaces must provide a minimum
of one accessible parking space. 2010 ADAAG Standards §
208.2, 36 C.F.R. Pt. 1191, App. B. In order for a parking
space to be considered accessible, it must comply with the