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Theroux v. Mar-Con Products, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

December 13, 2019

VERN ROBERT THEROUX, JR., an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
MAR-CON PRODUCTS, INC., a California corporation; and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S STATE LAW CLAIM [DOC. NO. 4.]

          MARILYN L. HUFF, DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         On September 18, 2019, Plaintiff Vern Robert Theroux, Jr. commenced this civil action against Defendant Mar-Con Products, Inc. and Does 1-10 (“Defendants”) alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. (“ADA”), and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act §§ 51-53 (“Unruh Act”). Defendant Mar-Con now moves to dismiss the state law claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.[1] Plaintiff has not opposed. Pursuant to its discretion under Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), the Court determines that the motion is fit for resolution without oral argument. Accordingly, the Court submits the motion on the parties' papers and vacates the scheduled hearing. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's state law claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Theroux relies upon mobility devices to ambulate and suffers from a “qualified disability” under the ADA. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 8.) Defendant Mar-Con Products (“Mar-Con”), is a California corporation with its principal place of business at 1615 La Mirada Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078. (Id. ¶11)

         In September 2019, Plaintiff went to Mar-Con with the intention of availing himself of its retail services. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff alleges that he was unable to access or use the property because of various access barriers, including barriers in at the transaction counter and in the parking lot. (Id. ¶21-26.) Plaintiff contends that he personally encountered said problems, and consequently, was denied full and equal access of the property. (Id. ¶ 28.)

         On September 18, 2019, Plaintiff sued Defendants for violations of the ADA and the Unruh Act. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages under the Unruh Act, injunctive relief under the ADA, and attorneys fees. (Id. ¶ 34-48.)

         On November 13, 2019, Defendant Mar-Con filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's state law claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). Defendant primarily contend that: (1) the state law claim substantially predominates over the federal law claim because Plaintiff is seeking statutory damages only available under California law and (2) Plaintiff is engaging in forum shopping. (Doc. No. 4.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The federal supplemental jurisdiction statute provides:

[I]n any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.

28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Supplemental jurisdiction is mandatory unless prohibited by § 1367(b), or unless one of the exceptions in § 1367(c) applies. Under § 1367(c), a district court may decline supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim if:

(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has ...

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