Theresa Brooke v. Moorpark Hospitality Inc.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THE COURT SHOULD EXERCISE SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION OVER THE STATE LAW CLAIM by Judge Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha. Response to Order to Show Cause due by 5/23/2022. (tf)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Case No. 2:22−cv−03103−FLA−KS
May 9, 2022
THERESA BROOKE V. MOORPARK HOSPITALITY INC.
Fernando L. Aenlle−Rocha , U. S. District Judge
Attorney(s) Present for Plaintiff(s):
Attorney(s) Present for Defendant(s):
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THE COURT
SHOULD EXERCISE SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION OVER
THE STATE LAW CLAIM
The Complaint filed in this action asserts a claim for injunctive relief arising out of
an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and a claim
for damages pursuant to the California's Unruh Civil Rights Act (the “Unruh Act”),
Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51-53. In the Complaint, Plaintiff requests the court exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the Unruh Act Claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
The United States Supreme Court has recognized supplemental jurisdiction “is a
doctrine of discretion, not of plaintiff's right, and that district courts can decline to
exercise jurisdiction over pendent claims for a number of valid reasons.” City of Chi. v.
Int'l Coll. of Surgeons, 522 U.S. 156, 172 (1997) (internal quotation marks and citations
The supplemental jurisdiction statute codifies these principles. After
establishing that supplemental jurisdiction encompasses “other claims” in the
same case or controversy as a claim within the district courts' original
jurisdiction, § 1367(a), the statute confirms the discretionary nature of
supplemental jurisdiction by enumerating the circumstances in which district
courts can refuse its exercise:
“(c) The district courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over a claim under subsection (a) if -“(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
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“(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or claims over
which the district court has original jurisdiction,
“(3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original
“(4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons for
declining jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367 (c).
Depending on a host of factors, then -- including the circumstances of the
particular case, the nature of the state law claims, the character of the
governing state law, and the relationship between the state and federal claims - district courts may decline to exercise jurisdiction over supplemental state law
claims. The statute thereby reflects the understanding that, when deciding
whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, “a federal court should consider
and weigh in each case, and at every state of the litigation, the values of
judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and comity”
Id. at 173 (quoting Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 (1988)); see
also Acri v. Varian Assocs., 114 F.3d 999, 1000 (9th Cir. 1997) (recognizing district
courts have discretion to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction under § 1367
In 2012, California adopted a heightened pleading standard for lawsuits brought
under the Unruh Act to combat the influx of baseless claims and vexatious litigation in
the disability access litigation sphere. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.50. The stricter
pleading standard requires a plaintiff bringing construction-access claims¹ to file a
verified complaint alleging specific facts concerning the plaintiff's claim, including the
specific barriers encountered or how the plaintiff was deterred and each date on which
the plaintiff encountered each barrier or was deterred. See id. § 425.50(a). California
also imposed a “high-frequency litigant fee” in 2015 in response to the “special and
unique circumstances” presented by certain plaintiffs and law firms filing an outsized
number of Unruh Act Lawsuits. Cal. Gov't Code § 70616.5.
¹ ‘“Construction-related accessibility claim’ means any civil claim in a civil action with
respect to a place of public accommodation, including, but not limited to, a claim
brought under [Cal. Civ. Code] Section 51, 54, 54.1, or 55, based wholly or in part on
an alleged violation of any construction-related accessibility standard, as defined in
paragraph (6).” Cal. Civ. Code § 55.52(a)(1). ‘“Construction-related accessibility
standard’ means a provision, standard, or regulation under state or federal law requiring
compliance with standards for making new construction and existing facilities
accessible to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, any provision,
standard, or regulation set forth in Section 51, 54, 54.1, or 55 of this code, Section
19955.55 of the Health and Safety Code, the California Building Standards Code (Title
24 of the California Code of Regulations), the federal Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990 (Public Law 101-336; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), and the federal Americans
with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (Appendix A to Part 36, of Title 28, of the
Code of Federal Regulations).” Cal. Civ. Code § 55.52(a)(6).
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In recognition of California's effort to reduce the abuse of California's disability
access laws, district courts within the state have determined that the interests of fairness
and comity counsel against exercising supplemental jurisdiction over
construction-access claims brought under the Unruh Act. See, e.g. Schutza v.
Cuddeback, 262 F. Supp. 3d 1025, 1031 (S.D. Cal. 2017) (“[T]he Court finds it would
be improper to allow Plaintiff [a high frequency litigant] to use federal court as an
end-around to California's pleading requirements. Therefore, as a matter of comity, and
in deference to California's substantial interest in discouraging unverified disability
discrimination claims, the Court declines supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
Unruh Act Claim.”).
In light of the foregoing, the court ORDERS Plaintiff to show cause in writing
why the court should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Unruh Act claim and
any related state law claims. See 28 U.S.C § 1367(c). In responding to this Order to
Show Cause, Plaintiff shall identify the amount of statutory damages Plaintiff seeks to
recover. Plaintiff and his or her counsel also shall support their responses to the Order
to Show Cause with declarations, signed under penalty of perjury, providing all facts
necessary for the court to determine if they satisfy the definition of a “high-frequency
litigant” as provided by Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.55(b)(1) & (2).
Plaintiff shall file a Response to this Order to Show Cause within fourteen (14)
days of this Order. Failure to timely or adequately respond to this Order to Show Cause
may result in the court declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Unruh
Act claim and any related state law claims and dismissing such claim or claims without
further notice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). The Court may set a hearing on the
OSC after reviewing the parties' responses, if necessary.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Initials of Clerk: tf
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