United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO.
C. SPERO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jose Daniel Castillo-Antonio brings this action against
Defendants Rafael Hernandez, Carmen Hernandez, and several
Doe defendants not yet identified. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants failed to provide barrier-free access for disabled
persons to their business in violation of federal and
California law. Defendants Rafael and Carmen Hernandez move
to dismiss Castillo-Antonio's state-law claims for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), arguing
that the Court should decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). The Court finds
the matter suitable for resolution without oral argument and
VACATES the hearing previously set for July 12, 2019. For the
reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion is
management conference will occur on July 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM,
for which the parties may request to appear telephonically if
they so choose. The parties shall file a joint case
management statement no later than July 10, 2019.
is severely limited in the use of his legs and qualifies as a
“physically handicapped person, ” a
“physically disabled person, ” and a
“person with a disability” as those terms are
used under applicable California and federal law, including
the Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh Act”), the
California Disabled Persons Act (“CDPA”), and
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
(“ADA”). Compl. (dkt. 1) ¶ 6. Defendants own
and operate the Hernandez Meat Market in Oakland, California.
Id. ¶ 3.
about June 30, 2018, September 28, 2018, and December 29,
2018, Plaintiff visited Hernandez Meat Market to buy food and
beverages. Id. ¶ 12. Plaintiff alleges that he
encountered several architectural barriers that interfered
with his access to Hernandez Meat Market in violation of both
California and federal law. Id. ¶¶ 3, 4.
First, the primary entrance door allegedly lacked the proper
posted International Symbol of Accessibility in violation of
California Code of Regulations Title 24 (the California
Building Code, or “CBC”) section 11B-216.6 and
the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibilities
Guidelines of the United States Access Board
(“ADAAG”) section 4.30.7. Id. ¶ 3.
Second, the aisles inside the business were purportedly too
narrow in violation of CBC section 11B-904.4. and ADAAG
section 7.2. Id. ¶¶ 3, 4. Third,
Plaintiff asserts that the service countertop for sales was
not accessible for wheelchair occupants in violation of CBC
section 11-904.4.1 and ADAAG section 7.2 ¶ 4. Finally,
Plaintiff alleges the designated parking spot was not
properly laid out in violation of CBC sections 11B-247.1.2.5,
11B-705.1.2.5, 11B-502.2, 11B-502.3, and 11B-502.4 as well as
ADAAG sections 4.6.3, 4.6.6, 4.1.2(1), 4.3.2(1), and 4.14.1.
each visit, Plaintiff alleges that he informed Defendants of
the architectural barriers. Compl. ¶ 12. Plaintiff
asserts that by the third visit, Defendants had not removed
the alleged barriers. Id. As a result, Plaintiff
alleges to have been deterred from making a fourth visit on
or about February 4, 2019. Id. Plaintiff maintains
that he plans to visit the business in the future if the
alleged violations are remedied. Id. ¶ 14. As a
result of encountering these alleged violations, Plaintiff
alleges that he suffered and continues to suffer emotional
distress and violations of his civil rights to full and equal
enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, and privileges.
Id. ¶ 17.
asserts four causes of action against Defendants: (1)
violation of the ADA (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.); (2)
breach of statutory protections for persons with physical
disabilities (California Health and Safety Code §
19955); (3) violation of the CDPA (Cal. Civ. Code
§§ 54, 54.1, and 54.3); and, (4) violation of the
Unruh Act (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51 and 51.5). Compl.
¶¶ 34, 35, 45, 56, 67. In connection with these
claims, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, attorney's
fees, declaratory relief, compensatory damages, and statutory
damages under the Unruh Act, or, in the alternative, under
the CDPA. Compl. at 21-23 (prayer for relief).
The Americans with Disabilities Act
III of the ADA prohibits discrimination “on the basis
of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods,
services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or
accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any
person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place
of public accommodation.” 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). A
grocery store like the one operated by Defendants is a
“public accommodation” within the meaning of the
ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(E).
prevail on an ADA claim, a plaintiff must show that: (1) they
are disabled within the meaning of the ADA; (2) the defendant
is a private entity that owns, leases, or operates a place of
public accommodation; and (3) the plaintiff was denied access
to public accommodations by the defendant because of the
plaintiff's disability. Molski v. M.J. Cable,
Inc., 481 F.3d 724, 730 (9th Cir. 2007). A plaintiff may
seek injunctive relief and attorney's fees under the ADA.
42 U.S.C. §§ 12188(a)(2), 12205. Damages are not
available in private suits under the ADA. M.J. Cable,
Inc., 481 F.3d at 730 (citing Wander v. Kaus,
304 F.3d 856, 858 (9th Cir. 2002)).
The Unruh Civil Rights Act
Unruh Act states that “[a]ll persons within the
jurisdiction of [California] are free and equal, and no
matter what their . . . disability . . . are entitled to the
full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities,
privileges, or services in all business establishments of
every kind whatsoever.” Cal. Civ. Code § 51(b). A
violation of the ADA is a per se violation of the Unruh Act.
Cal. Civ. Code § 51(f). Claims can also be brought under
the Unruh Act without relying on the ADA if the plaintiff
demonstrates an intentional discriminatory act or omission by
the defendant. Schutza v. Cuddeback, 262 F.Supp.3d
1025, 1029 (S.D. Cal. 2017) (citing Org. for the
Advancement of Minorities v. Brick Oven Rest., 406
F.Supp.2d 1120, 1129 (S.D. Cal. 2005)). An Unruh Act claim
premised on a violation of the ADA does not require a showing
of intentional discrimination. Munson v. Del Taco,
Inc., 46 Cal.4th 661, 664-66 (2009).
the ADA, the Unruh Act allows plaintiffs to seek injunctive
relief and attorney's fees. Cal. Civ. Code §
52(c)(3). The Unruh Act also allows plaintiffs to recover
“up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual
damage but in no case less than four thousand dollars.”
Cal. Civ. Code § 52(a). A plaintiff “need not
prove she suffered actual damages to recover the independent
statutory damages of $4, 000.” Molski, 481
F.3d at 731 (citing Botosan v. Paul McNally Realty,
216 F.3d 827, 835 (9th Cir. 2000)).
The California Disabled Persons Act
CDPA establishes that “[i]ndividuals with disabilities
shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members
of the general public, to accommodations . . . and other
places to which the general public is invited.” Cal.
Civ. Code § 54.1(a)(1). A violation of the ADA is a per
se violation of the CDPA. Cal Civ. Code § 54.1(e). Under
the CDPA, a plaintiff is entitled to actual damages “up
to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damages but
in no case less than one thousand dollars” and
“attorney's fees as may be determined by the court
in addition thereto.” Cal. Civ. Code § 54.3(a).
The California Health and Safety Code
California Health and Safety Code (“CHSC”)
requires all public accommodations constructed in California
to conform with the provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with
section 4450) of Division 5 of Title 1 of the Government
Code. Cal. Health & Safety Code § 19956. Section
4450 of the Government Code directs the State Architect
“to submit proposed building standards to the
California Building Standards Commission for approval”
and “develop other regulations for making buildings,
structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities
accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.”
Cal. Gov't Code § 4450. The State Architect
promulgated such regulations, which are codified in ...