Sam Benford v. Maria Del Carmen Maldonado et al
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE re ADA Jurisdiction by Judge Dale S. Fischer. Response to Order to Show Cause due by 11/29/2023. (pk)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
MARIA DEL CARMEN
MALDONADO, et al.
The Complaint filed in this action asserts a claim for injunctive relief arising out
of an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§
12010-12213, and a claim for damages pursuant to California’s Unruh Civil Rights
Act (Unruh Act), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51-53. It appears that the Court possesses only
supplemental jurisdiction over the Unruh Act claim, and any other state law claim
that plaintiff may have alleged pursuant to the Court’s supplemental jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
The supplemental jurisdiction statute “reflects the understanding that, when
deciding whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, 'a federal court should
consider and weigh in each case, and at every stage of the litigation, the values of
judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and comity.”’ City of Chicago v. Int’l
Coll. of Surgeons, 522 U.S. 156, 173 (1997) (emphasis added) (quoting
Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 (1988)).
California has a statutory regime to address “high-frequency litigants” bringing
construction-related disability access claims. This includes specific pleading
requirements and a higher filing fee for litigants who meet certain criteria. See Cal.
Civ. Code § 55.31(b); Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.50; Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §
425.55; Cal. Gov’t Code § 70616.5. Numerous district courts have found that this
California legislative attempt to regulate the prosecution of disability access cases
by certain high-frequency plaintiffs provides “compelling reasons” and constitutes
an “exceptional circumstance” justifying the decline of supplemental jurisdiction
over disability state law claims in certain cases. This approach has been upheld by
the Ninth Circuit multiple times. See Vo v. Choi, 49 F.4th 1167 (9th Cir. 2022);
Arroyo v. Rosas, 19 F.4th 1202 (9th Cir. 2021).
The Court therefore orders plaintiff to show cause in writing why the Court
should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Unruh Act claim and any other
state law claim asserted in the Complaint. 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 plaintiff’s counsel shall also 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 California Civil Procedure
Code sections 425.55(b)(1) & (2).
Plaintiff shall file a response to this Order to Show Cause by no later than
November 29, 2023 . Failure to timely or adequately respond to this Order to Show
Cause may, without further warning, result in the dismissal of the entire action
without prejudice or the Court declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
the Unruh Act and other state law claims, if any, and the dismissal of any such
claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: November 15, 2023
Dale S. Fischer
United States District Judge
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