United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge
February 2, 2017, Defendant Mike Postal
(“Defendant”) removed pro se Plaintiff Anthony
Tran Beadle's (“Plaintiff”) First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”), ECF No. 1-3, which was
originally filed in the State of Hawaii District Court of the
First Circuit. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff's
claims arise from an incident where Defendant, an employee at
Whole Foods, allegedly refused to allow Plaintiff entry to
the store without first placing his service dog on a leash
and on the ground. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant
required Plaintiff to disclose medical information
documenting his disability and provide proof that his dog is
a service animal. FAC at 1. The FAC asserts claims that
Defendant violated Title III of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§
12181 et seq.,  and the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), 42
U.S.C. §§ 1320d et seq. Id.
before the court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the
FAC, with prejudice, on the grounds that Plaintiff failed to
allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim for
violation of the ADA and that there is no private cause of
action under HIPAA. Based on the following, the court agrees
and dismisses the ADA claim with leave to amend, and
dismisses the HIPAA claim without leave to amend.
alleged in the FAC, Plaintiff suffers from post-traumatic
stress disorder (“PTSD”), extremely high
triglyceride levels, a generalized anxiety disorder, and an
unspecified physical condition. FAC at 1. On November 29,
2016,  Plaintiff attempted to enter a Whole Foods
store, but was barred by Defendant, who required that
Plaintiff's service dog “be leashed and on the
ground.” Id. Defendant further required that
Plaintiff provide proof that his dog is a service animal, and
documentation regarding both his disability and why he needs
to carry his service animal, rather than having it leashed
and on the ground. Id. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant's conduct violated both the ADA and HIPAA.
Id. Plaintiff further alleges that as a result of
this “traumatic event, ” he has been unable to
study and concentrate, which led to reduced grades, an
inability to participate in some normal daily activities, and
aggravation of his psychological and physical conditions.
Id. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of $13,
December 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in state
court. ECF No. 1-2. On January 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed his
FAC, specifically alleging violations of federal law. ECF No.
1-3. On February 2, 2017, Defendant timely removed the FAC to
this court. ECF No. 1.
February 10, 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to
Dismiss for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 5. On March 7,
2017, Defendant filed a Supplemental Citation of Authority in
Support of the Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 9. Plaintiff filed
an Opposition on April 3, 2017, that included additional
factual allegations, argument, and supporting exhibits. ECF
No. 10. On April 10, 2017, Defendant filed a Reply. ECF No.
11. A hearing was held on April 24, 2017.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss
for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” “To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see also Weber v. Dep't of
Veterans Affairs, 521 F.3d 1061, 1065 (9th Cir. 2008).
This tenet -- that the court must accept as true all of the
allegations contained in the complaint -- “is
inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. Accordingly, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555); see also Starr v.
Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011)
(“[A]llegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not
simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must
contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give
fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself
“[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads 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
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Factual
allegations that only permit the court to infer “the
mere possibility of ...