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Strojnik v. Four Sisters Inns, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 9, 2019

PETER STROJNIK, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
FOUR SISTERS INNS, INC., d/b/a CHANNEL ROAD INN, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS [6]

          OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Four Sisters Inns, Inc., d/b/a Channel Road Inn (“Defendant') Motion to Dismiss (“Motion”). (Mot. to Dismiss (“Mot.”), ECF No. 6.) Plaintiff opposes the Motion. (Opp'n to Mot. (“Opp'n”), ECF No. 9.) For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.[1]

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Peter Strojnik (“Plaintiff”) is legally disabled due to a “right-sided neural foraminal stenosis with symptoms of femoral neuropathy, prostate cancer and renal cancer, and a degenerative right knee.” (Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No. 1.) Due to his disability, “Plaintiff requires an [American with Disabilities Act (‘ADA')] compliant lodging facility particularly applicable to his mobility, both ambulatory and wheelchair assisted.” (Compl. ¶ 14.)

         Defendant owns or leases a hotel located at 95065 219 West Channell Road Santa Monica, California 90402 (“Hotel”). (Compl. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff alleges he intended to visit the Santa Monica area on an unspecified date, and reviewed third-party hotel booking websites and Defendant's first-party website to find lodging. (Compl. ¶¶ 15, 19.) Plaintiff alleges that the 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.” (Compl. ¶¶ 17, 19.) Plaintiff also alleges that the websites “failed to make reservations for accessible guest rooms available in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms.” (Compl. ¶¶ 18, 20.)

         Plaintiff submits an Addendum that includes photographs from the websites, which Plaintiff alleges discloses architectural barriers at the Hotel. (Compl. ¶ 22 (citing Addendum A).) For each of the alleged barriers, Plaintiff states:

The manner in which the barriers denied Plaintiff full and equal use of access, and which deter Plaintiff from visiting the hotel: Barrier denied Plaintiff full and equal access by failing to identify and describe accessible features in the hotel and guest rooms in enough detail to reasonably permit Plaintiff to assess independently whether the hotel or guest room meet his accessibility needs.

(Compl., Addendum A at 11-33) (emphasis in original). Plaintiff alleges that “the ADA violations described in Addendum A relate to Plaintiff's disability and interfere with Plaintiff's full and complete enjoyment of the Hotel.” (Compl. ¶ 24.) As a result, Plaintiff did not book a room at Defendant's hotel and booked a room elsewhere. (Compl. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff alleges he is deterred from visiting the Hotel because the Hotel is not ADA or State Law compliant, but intends to visit the Hotel at a “specific time” after Defendant cures the alleged ADA violations. (Compl. ¶¶ 11, 12.)

         Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant asserting claims for violation of the ADA, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the California Disabled Persons Act, and for negligence. (See Compl. ¶ 1.) Defendant moves to dismiss for lack of standing and failure to state a claim. (Mot. 1-2.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(1) allows a defendant to seek dismissal of a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. A defendant may bring a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss based on a lack of standing. See White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000) (“Because standing . . . pertain[s] to a federal court's subject-matter jurisdiction under Article III, [it is] properly raised in a motion to dismiss under [Rule] 12(b)(1), not Rule 12(b)(6).”). “A Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack may be facial or factual.” Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing White, 227 F.3d at 1242). A facial attack is based on the challenger's assertion that allegations in the complaint are “insufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction.” Id. A factual attack disputes the validity of allegations that, if true, would invoke federal jurisdiction. Id.

         Rule 12(b)(6) allows an attack on the pleadings for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. “[W]hen ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). However, a court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). “Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557) (alteration in original). A complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. This means that the complaint must plead “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. There must be “sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively . . . [and] factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).

         The determination of whether a complaint satisfies the plausibility standard is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. “But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ...


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