United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
WILLIAM B.SHUBB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Scott Johnson, an individual with a disability, initiated
this action against defendant Sweet Spark, Inc. (“Sweet
Spark”), seeking damages under the Unruh Civil Rights
Act (“Unruh Act”), California Civil Code
§§ 51-53; injunctive relief under the American with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101,
and the Unruh Act; and attorney's fees and costs. Before
the court is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.
is a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair for mobility and has
a specially equipped van. (Decl. of Scott Johnson
(“Johnson Decl.”) ¶¶ 2-3 (Docket No.
24-5).) Plaintiff alleges that on at least five different
occasions between March 2017 and September 2017, he visited
Fix Auto Sacramento (“Fix Auto”) at 4220 Stockton
Boulevard, Sacramento, California. (Id. ¶¶
4, 13.) At all relevant times, Sweet Spark owned, and
presently owns, Fix Auto. (Def's Resp. to Pl.'s Req.
for Admis. 2-5 (Docket No. 24-12).)
alleges that during these visits, he encountered access
barriers that denied him full and equal access to Fix Auto
and caused him difficulty and frustration. (Johnson Decl.
¶¶ 6-12.) First, he contends there were no ADA
compliant parking spaces available at Fix Auto during his
visits. (Id. ¶ 6-11.) In part, plaintiff
alleges that the parking space reserved for persons with
disabilities had no access aisle, improper signage, and faded
markings. (Id. ¶¶ 8-10, 14.) Second,
plaintiff alleges in his complaint that Fix Auto's
bathroom presents an access barrier because its path of
access is obstructed by stairs and it lacks fixtures that are
ADA compliant, although he admits he did not personally
encounter this barrier. (Compl. ¶¶ 39,
42-51 (Docket No. 1).) Plaintiff claims he has been deterred
from returning and patronizing Fix Auto because of these
barriers. (Johnson Decl. ¶ 13.)
October 4, 2017, plaintiff's investigator, Evens Louis,
conducted his first investigation of Fix Auto. (Decl. of
Evens Louis (“Louis Decl.”) ¶¶ 2-3.
(Docket No. 24-8).) He found Fix Auto's accessible
parking space and bathroom were not compliant with ADA or
California Building Code (“CBC”) standards.
(Id. ¶¶ 6-12.) On January 11, 2018, Louis
returned to Fix Auto and concluded that, while Fix Auto had
repainted the parking space, it still did not conform to CBC
or ADA requirements. (Id. ¶¶ 14-17.) His
declaration does not include a second evaluation of Fix
Auto's bathroom. (See generally id.)
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). A material fact is one that could affect the outcome
of the suit, and a genuine issue is one that could permit a
reasonable jury to enter a verdict in the non-moving
party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Any inferences drawn from the
underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable
to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Americans with Disabilities Act
prevail on an ADA claim, the plaintiff must show that (1) he
is 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 public
accommodations by the defendant because of his
disability. Molski v. M.J. Cable, Inc., 481
F.3d 724, 730 (9th Cir. 2007).
has established, and defendant does not contest, the first
two elements. Whether plaintiff was denied access to a public
accommodation because of his disability is the only element
Parking Lot Violations
cites the CBC and the ADA Accessibility Guidelines
(“ADAAG”) to support his ...