United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER DISMISSING ACTION FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER
JURISDICTION RE: DKT. NO. 28
VIRGINIA K. DEMARCHI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Scott Johnson asserts claims against defendant 162 Los
Gatos-Saratoga Road, LLC (“162 Los Gatos”) and
Does 1-10 for violations of Title III of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq., and the Unruh Civil Rights Act
(“Unruh Act”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51-53.
Dkt. No. 1. 162 Los Gatos filed an administrative motion for
relief from the schedule imposed by General Order 56,
requesting that the Court examine its subject matter
jurisdiction. Dkt. No. 28. The Court requested
additional briefing from the parties regarding the issues of
standing and subject matter jurisdiction. Dkt. Nos. 29, 30,
Court construes 162 Los Gatos's administrative motion as
a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) and finds the matter suitable for
resolution without oral argument. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Having
considered the parties' moving papers, the Court grants
162 Los Gatos's motion to dismiss this action for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
Johnson is a level C-5 quadriplegic who relies on a
wheelchair for mobility. Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 1. He also has
significant manual dexterity impairments. Id. Mr.
Johnson alleges that in May and June 2018, he visited the
subject property located at 162 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los
Gatos, California. Id. ¶¶ 2-4, 9. At the
time of those visits, Elgary Massage Therapy
(“Elgary”) occupied the property. Id.
¶ 9. During these visits, Mr. Johnson observed that the
property lacked a compliant, accessible parking space in
violation of the ADA and the Unruh Act. Id.
¶¶ 9-14, 27-30. Mr. Johnson also says that during
his June 2018 visit, Elgary denied him service when he
attempted to bring his service animal inside. Id.
¶¶ 15-18, 31-32. Mr. Johnson contends that 162 Los
Gatos owns the subject real property. Id.
¶¶ 2-4. He filed this action on July 23, 2018
against 162 Los Gatos, but not Elgary. See generally
Dkt. No. 1.
courts can adjudicate only those cases which the Constitution
and Congress authorize them to adjudicate: cases involving
diversity of citizenship or a federal question, or those to
which the United States is a party. Mims v. Arrow Fin.
Servs., LLC, 565 U.S. 368, 376- 77 (2012); see also
Chen-Cheng Wang ex rel. United States v. FMC Corp., 975
F.2d 1412, 1415 (9th Cir. 1992) (“Federal courts have
no power to consider claims for which they lack
subject-matter jurisdiction.”), overruled on other
grounds by United States ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic
Concepts, Inc., 792 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2015). The Court
has a continuing obligation to ensure that it has subject
matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
Any party may raise the defense of lack of subject matter
jurisdiction at any time. Henderson ex rel. Henderson v.
Shinseki, 562 U.S. 428, 434-35 (2011). The plaintiff
always bears the burden of establishing subject matter
jurisdiction. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins., 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
jurisdictional challenge may be facial or factual. Safe
Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir.
2004). Where the attack is facial, the Court determines
whether the allegations contained in the complaint are
sufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction,
accepting all material allegations in the complaint as true
and construing them in favor of the party asserting
jurisdiction. Id.; see also Warth v.
Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501 (1975). Where the attack is
factual, however, “the court need not presume the
truthfulness of the plaintiff's allegations.”
Safe Air for Everyone, 373 F.3d at 1039. In
resolving a factual dispute as to the existence of subject
matter jurisdiction, the Court may review extrinsic evidence
beyond the complaint without converting a motion to dismiss
into one for summary judgment. Id. Once the moving
party has made a factual challenge by offering affidavits or
other evidence to dispute the allegations in the complaint,
the party opposing the motion must “present affidavits
or any other evidence necessary to satisfy its burden of
establishing that the court, in fact, possesses subject
matter jurisdiction.” St. Clair v. City of
Chico, 880 F.2d 199, 201 (9th Cir. 1989); see also
Savage v. Glendale Union High Sch. Dist. No. 205, 343
F.3d 1036, 1040 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003).
dismissals in cases premised on federal-question jurisdiction
are exceptional, and must satisfy the requirements specified
in Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 66 S.Ct. 773, 90
L.Ed. 939 (1946).” Sun Valley Gas., Inc. v. Ernst
Enters., 711 F.2d 138, 140 (9th Cir. 1983). The Supreme
Court has determined that jurisdictional dismissals are
warranted “where the alleged claim under the
Constitution or federal statues clearly appears to be
immaterial and made solely for the purpose of obtaining
federal jurisdiction or where such claim is wholly
insubstantial and frivolous.” Bell, 327 U.S.
Gatos argues that this case should be dismissed because Mr.
Johnson lacks standing to pursue his claims. Dkt. No. 28 at
2-3. Because 162 Los Gatos's motion may be disposed of on
other grounds, the Court assumes without deciding for the
purposes of this motion that Mr. Johnson has standing.