United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
Derrick K. Watson, United States District Judge.
Garrick Lau and his parents, Wilson and Mabel Lau,
allege violations of the Fair Housing Act
(“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §3604(f). They assert
that Defendants refuse to accommodate Garrick's
acknowledged disability by allowing them to park their
minivan in a specific area of the Honolulu condominium in
which Plaintiffs live. Complaint (Compl.), Dkt. No. 1.
Defendants Honolulu Park Place AOAO and its individual board
members (“Defendants”) move to dismiss the
Complaint for lack of standing under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1)
and for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
Dkt. No. 6. Because each Plaintiff has standing and because
the facts alleged sufficiently plead an FHA cause of action,
the Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
family has been living at Honolulu Park Place (HPP) for 27
years and own two units there. Compl. ¶3. As owners and
residents, the Laus have assigned parking spaces inside the
HPP parking garage on the third level of the parking
structure. Id. at ¶17. In addition to
designated resident parking spaces, HPP has 44 guest parking
spaces on the ground level of the parking structure, which
HPP policy limits to use by guests. Id. at ¶13;
Motion at 4.
who is a quadriplegic due to a spinal cord injury, moves with
the assistance of a powered wheelchair. Id. at
¶12; Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss (“Opp.”), Dkt. No. 12. To
facilitate Garrick's transportation, the Laus use a
minivan that is modified to accommodate Garrick's
wheelchair. Compl. ¶13. The modifications include a
lowered floor height, resulting in less ground clearance.
Id. at ¶15. The minivan Garrick depends on for
transportation cannot use the ramps in HPP's parking
garage because the angle of the ramps is too steep, damaging
the bottom of the Laus' modified minivan as it climbs the
ramp. Compl. ¶16.
least five years prior to 2017, with the permission of the
AOAO, the Laus parked their modified minivan in guest parking
spaces on the ground level of the HPP parking structure
whenever a space was available. Compl. ¶13. Parking in
these spaces does not cause damage to the minivan and allows
Garrick access to the building. Id. at ¶17.
Guest parking on the ground level is the only place in the
HPP parking structure where the minivan can park without
requiring the use of the ramps that damage it. Id.
2017, HPP revoked permission for the Laus to park in guest
parking. Compl. ¶14. Since then, the Laus have parked
their minivan in their designated parking space on the third
floor of the HPP parking structure. As a result, the minivan
has sustained significant damage to its bottom, resulting in
repair costs to the Laus. Compl. ¶¶20-21.
with the choice of continuously damaging their minivan, being
excluded from parking at HPP despite their status as
residents, or parking in guest parking in violation of
HPP's policy, the Laus requested permission to resume
using the ground floor guest parking spaces to park their
minivan. Id. at ¶22. The AOAO denied the
request. Id. at ¶¶18, 23.
the AOAO's decision, the Laus filed the instant suit
alleging violation of the FHA. They seek equitable relief, in
the form of permission to park in the guest parking spaces,
and monetary damages. Compl. ¶¶27-30. Defendants
filed a Motion to Dismiss, which Plaintiffs opposed, and to
which Defendants replied. Dkt. Nos. 6, 12, 15. On May 5,
2019, the Court heard oral argument on the Motion. Dkt. No.
38. After court-mandated settlement efforts did not succeed,
this disposition follows.
Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter
to Rule 12(b)(1), a defendant may move to dismiss a complaint
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In a motion to
dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the
plaintiff bears the initial burden of proving that subject
matter jurisdiction exists. Robinson v. United
States, 586 F.3d 683, 685 (9th Cir. 2009). “If the
court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
is a “threshold question in every federal case,
determining the power of the court to entertain the
suit.” Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498
(1975). “Standing is a threshold matter central to our
subject matter jurisdiction.” Bates v. United
Parcel Serv., Inc., 511 F.3d 974, 985 (9th Cir. 2007);
see also Ballentine v. United States, 486 F.3d 806,
810 (3d Cir. 2007) (“A motion to dismiss for want of
standing is also properly brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1),
because standing is a jurisdictional matter.”).
III, Section 2 of the Constitution permits federal courts to
consider only “cases” and
“controversies.” Massachusetts v. EPA,
549 U.S. 497, 516 (2007). “[T]o satisfy Article
III's standing requirements, a plaintiff must show (1) it
has suffered an ‘injury in fact' that is (a)
concrete and particularized and (b) actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical; (2) the injury is fairly
traceable to the challenged action of the defendant; and (3)
it is likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the
injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.”