United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 20
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge
Strojnik brings this action for injunctive relief and
monetary damages against GF Carneros Tenant, LLC dba Carneros
Resort and Spa. Mr. Strojnik alleges (1) a violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"); (2)
violation of California's Unruh Act, Cal. Civ. Code
§§51-52; (3) violation of the California Disabled
Persons Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 54-54.3
("DPA"); and (4) a negligence claim. Now pending
before the Court is Carneros Resort's motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). After
consideration of the parties' briefing and having had the
benefit of oral argument on November 7, 2019, the Court
DENIES Carneros Resort's motion to dismiss as Mr.
Strojnik has sufficiently pled that he has standing to bring
Strojnik is a disabled person as defined by the ADA.
(Complaint at ¶¶ 2, 11 .) In particular, Mr. Strojnik
is "legally disabled by virtue of a severe right-sided
neural foraminal stenosis with symptoms of femoral
neuropathy, prostate cancer and renal cancer" and
"degenerative right knee." (Id. at ¶
3.) Mr. Strojnik planned to visit "California Wine
Country" and on or around April 18, 2019 reviewed hotel
booking websites. (Id. at ¶ 15 and pp. 13, 16,
17, 18.) When perusing third-party booking websites, such
websites "failed to identify and describe mobility
related accessibility features and guest rooms offered
through its reservations service in enough detail to
reasonably permit Plaintiff to assess independently whether
Defendant's Hotel meets his accessibility needs."
(Id. at¶ 17.) In addition, the third-party
sites "failed to make reservations for accessible guest
rooms available in the same manner as individuals who do not
need accessible rooms." (Id. at¶ 18.) Mr.
Strojnik alleges the same issues with information related to
accessibility when he accessed Carneros Resort's first
party booking website. (Id. at ¶ 19, 20.) He
also relied on online information and photos on the
third-party website and Carneros Resort's website to
conclude that the hotel has barriers to accessibility.
(Id. at ¶ 21, 22.) Because the violations
"relate to Plaintiffs disability and interfere with
Plaintiffs full and complete enjoyment of the hotel," he
opted to book a room at a different hotel. (Id. at
¶ 24-25.) Carneros Resort's "failure to remove
accessibility barriers prevented Plaintiff from equal access
to the Defendant's public accommodation."
(Id. at¶ 27.) Included in Mr. Strojnik's
complaint are photos and descriptions of various barriers to
access taken of Carneros Resort. (Id. at 18-33.)
Strojnik filed the Complaint against Carneros Resort on June
20, 2019, alleging violations of (1) the ADA, (2) the Unruh
Act, (3) the California Disabled Persons Act, and (4)
negligence based on Carneros Resort's failure to
accommodate his disability.
initial complaint, Mr. Strojnik did not properly name the
Defendant, and thus, filed a First Amended Complaint on
August 13, 2019 (Dkt No. 1; No. 9.) Carneros Resort answered
the First Amended Complaint on September 20, 2019 and a week
later filed the underlying motion to dismiss for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1). (Dkt. Nos. 13; 20.) The motion is fully
to Rule 12(b)(1), a district court must dismiss an action if
it lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). "A party invoking
federal jurisdiction has the burden of establishing that it
has satisfied the 'case-or-controversy' requirement
of Article III of the Constitution [and] standing is a
'core component' of that requirement." Lujan
v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992).
"The doctrine of standing asks whether a litigant is
entitled to have a federal court resolve his grievance."
Kowalski v. Tesmer, 543 U.S. 125, 128 (2004).
"[T]he Supreme Court has instructed [the court] to take
a broad view of constitutional standing in civil rights
cases, especially where, as under the ADA, private
enforcement suits are the primary method of obtaining
compliance with the act." Doran v. 7-Eleven,
Inc., F.3d 1034, 1039 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
Resort moves to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction insisting that Mr. Strojnik does not have
standing. The standing analysis considers whether the
plaintiff has demonstrated (1) an injury in fact that is (a)
concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent; (2)
causation; and (3) a likelihood that a favorable decision
will redress the injury. Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). Carneros Resort
makes a facial attack on Mr. Strojnik's complaint as it
is not challenging the truth of the complaint's
allegations, but instead argues that the allegations are
"insufficient on their face to invoke federal
jurisdiction." Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer,
373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks
omitted). As such, allegations of the complaint are taken as
true and construed in the light most favorable to the
complaining party. Levine v. Vilsack, 587 F.3d 986,
991 (9th Cir. 2009).
Resort contends that Mr. Strojnik's allegations do not
satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement. Its argument is
defeated by Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
v. Hospitality Properties Trust, 867 F.3d 1093,
1098-1099 (9th Cir. 2017). There, the Ninth Circuit held in
an ADA access case:
The Named Plaintiffs have alleged in the First Amended
Complaint that they intend to visit the relevant hotels, but
have been deterred from doing so by the hotels'
noncompliance with the ADA. They further allege that they
will visit the hotels when the non-compliance is cured. Thus,
the ADA violations have prevented them from staying at the
hotels. Without such averments, they would lack standing.
However, "construing the factual allegations in the
complaint in favor of the plaintiffs," as we must at
this preliminary stage, we conclude that the Named Plaintiffs
have sufficiently alleged injury in fact. Their harm is
"concrete and particularized," and their intent to