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Schutza v. Cuddeback

United States District Court, S.D. California

April 10, 2017

SCOTT SCHUTZA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM B. CUDDEBACK; LOU G. CUDDEBACK; INTERSTATE GROUP LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS STATE LAW CLAIM [ECF NO. 5]

          Hon. Cynthia Bashant United States District Judge.

         On November 07, 2016, Plaintiff Scott Schutza commenced this civil action against Defendants William Cuddeback, Lou Cuddeback, and Interstate Group, LLC (“Defendants”) alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (“ADA”), and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act §§ 51-53 (“Unruh Act”). Defendants now move to dismiss the state law claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Plaintiff has not opposed.[1]

         The Court finds this motion suitable for determination on the papers submitted and without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b); CivLR 7.1(d)(1). For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's state law claim.[2](ECF No. 5.)

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Scott Schutza is a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair for mobility. (Compl. ¶ 1.) Defendants own the real property known as “TrailersPlus” located at or about 12024 Woodside Avenue, Lakeside, California. (Id. ¶¶ 2-5.)

         In February 2016, Plaintiff went to TrailersPlus in search of a trailer. (Id. ¶ 10.) However, as a result of his physical disabilities, Plaintiff alleges he was unable to access or use the property because of various access barriers, including barriers in the parking lot, at the entrance door, in the establishment itself, and in the restroom area. (Id. ¶¶ 22-27.) Plaintiff contends that he personally encountered said problems, and consequently, was denied full and equal access of the property. (Id. ¶ 28.)

         On November 7, 2016, Plaintiff sued Defendants for violations of the ADA and the Unruh Act. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages under the Unruh Act and injunctive relief under the ADA. (Compl. 9:18-25.)

         On December 1, 2016, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's state law claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). Defendants primarily contend that: (1) Plaintiff's state law claim raises novel and complex issues of state law due to California's recent adoption of pleading requirements for disability discrimination lawsuits; (2) the state law claim substantially predominates over the federal law claim because Plaintiff is seeking statutory damages only available under California law; and (3) Plaintiff is engaging in forum shopping. (EFC No. 5.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The federal supplemental jurisdiction statute provides:

[I]n any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.

28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Supplemental jurisdiction is mandatory unless prohibited by § 1367(b), or unless one of the exceptions in § 1367(c) applies. Under § 1367(c), a district court may decline supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim if:

(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has ...

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