Skinner v. Alamo Rent - A - Car
ORDER dismissing this action with prejudice by Judge Lewis T. Babcock on 12/18/15. (dkals, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 15-cv-02484-GPG
MARIZA R. SKINNER,
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Plaintiff, Mariza R. Skinner, acting pro se, initiated this action by filing a
Complaint and Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or
Costs. After denying Plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. §
1915, Plaintiff paid the $400.00 filing fee on December 10, 2015.
The Court must construe all pleadings liberally because Plaintiff is not
represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the Court cannot act as an
advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. For the reasons stated
below, the Court will dismiss the action with prejudice as legally frivolous.
A court has the inherent authority to dismiss an action as frivolous and malicious
regardless of a plaintiff’s filing fee status. See Mallard v. U.S. District Court for
Southern Dist. of Iowa, 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989); see also Williams v. Madden, 9
Fed. App’x 996, 998 n.1 (10th Cir. June 13, 2001 (unpublished) (noting agreement with
the district court that while the in forma pauperis statute authorizes courts to dismiss a
frivolous or malicious action, “there is little doubt they would have power to do so even
in the absence of this statutory provision.”) (citing Mallard).
In the Complaint, Plaintiff claims that her rights under Title III of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) were violated when Defendant Alamo-Rent-A-Car “failed to
accommodate my disability” by “refusing to make reasonable modifications in policy and
procedure that would have otherwise facilitated the timely return of the Plaintiff’s rented
vehicle and keys.” (ECF No. 1 at 3-4). Plaintiff specifically contends that no agent was
available to assist Plaintiff at 2:30 a.m. on October 31, 2015 when she attempted to
return the car and keys, and that she was unable to locate the key drop box. (Id. at 45). Plaintiff further contends that Defendant failed to provide reasonable
accommodations for her disabilities, including “an emergency off hours handicap
accessible parking space,” “auxiliary aids, specifically, visible signage to ensure
effective communication indicating the exact location of the key drop box,” and “an
available on-call agent for emergencies.” (Id. at 5). She also asserts claims for pain
and suffering and reckless endangerment. (Id. at 7-8). She seeks compensatory
damages in the amount of $15,000.00. (Id. at 9).
Plaintiff’s claim for damages under Title III of the ADA is legally frivolous. Title III
of the ADA prohibits discrimination against the disabled in public accommodations. See
42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). However, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(a), Plaintiff’s “sole
remedy for a Title III claim is injunctive relief.” Phillips v. Tiona, 508 F. App’x 737, 754
(10th Cir. 2013); see also Powell v. Nat’l Bd. of Med. Exam’rs, 364 F.3d 79, 86 (2d Cir.
2004) (“A private individual may only obtain injunctive relief for violations of a right
granted under Title III; he cannot recover damages.”). The Court also notes that, even if
Plaintiff requested injunctive relief, she is not entitled to injunctive relief based on an
alleged ADA violation that occurred in October 2015. See McClendon v. City of
Albuquerque, 100 F.3d 863, 867 (10th Cir. 1996) (“When a party seeks only equitable
relief, . . . past exposure to alleged illegal conduct does not establish a present live
controversy if unaccompanied by any continuing present effects.”). Therefore, the
instant action must be dismissed.
As for Plaintiff’s pain and suffering and reckless endangerment claims, they are
state-law claims. The Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the claims,
because Plaintiff’s ADA claim will be dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the Complaint (ECF No. 1) and the action are dismissed with
prejudice as legally frivolous.
DATED at Denver, Colorado, this
BY THE COURT:
s/Lewis T. Babcock
LEWIS T. BABCOCK, Senior Judge
United States District Court
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