United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
WILLIAM T. MOORE, JR.UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court are Defendant's First Motion Dismiss (Doc. 11),
Second Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 17), and Motion for Judicial
Notice (Doc. 23). After careful consideration,
Defendant's First Motion to Dismiss is DISMISSED
AS MOOT. Defendant's Second Motion to Dismiss
and Motion for Judicial Notice are GRANTED.
As a result, Plaintiff's complaint is
DISMISSED. The Clerk is
DIRECTED to close this case.
case arises out of Plaintiff Vashaun Jones's attempted
use of Defendant Savannah Federal Credit Union's website.
(Doc. 1.) According to the complaint, Plaintiff is
permanently blind and uses screen reading software to access
the internet. (Id. ¶ 2.) At some point,
Plaintiff attempted to access Defendant's website, but
was unable to fully utilize the website because it was
improperly designed. (Id.) Plaintiff cites three
specific flaws in Defendant's website design: (1) linked
images with missing alternative text; (2) redundant or empty
links that make navigation of the website difficult; and (3)
empty or missing form labels. (Id. ¶ 18.)
Plaintiff contends that these barriers prevented him from
adequately researching Defendant's services and location.
(Id. ¶¶ 19, 20.)
November 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed suit alleging negligence
and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §12181 et seq.
(Id. ¶¶ 22, 29.) Plaintiff requested
damages, attorneys' fees, costs, and injunctive relief.
(Id. at 17-8.) On January 12, 2018, Defendant filed
a motion to dismiss seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's ADA
and state law negligence claims. (Doc. 11.) In response,
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 16.) In the
amended complaint, Plaintiff abandons his negligence claim
and request for damages. (Id.) Plaintiff, however,
reasserts his ADA claim, and request for injunctive relief,
attorneys' fees, and costs. (Id.)
February 8, 2018, Defendant filed a Second Motion to
Dismiss. (Doc. 17.) In this motion, Defendant
argues that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed
because Plaintiff has no standing to file suit. (Id.
at 3-7.) In Defendant's view, Plaintiff has not properly
alleged that he has suffered an actual injury in this case.
(Id.) Defendant also contends that even if Plaintiff
does have standing, Plaintiff's claim fails because
Defendant's website is not a public accommodation subject
to the ADA. (Id. at 7-11.) Alternatively, Defendant
reasons that even if its website is subject to the ADA,
Plaintiff has not alleged that Defendant's website
actually violates the ADA. (Id. at 12-15.)
response, Plaintiff argues that he has standing to file suit
in this case because he was injured when he was unable to
browse Defendant's website for information about services
and location. (Doc. 20 at 3-10.) Plaintiff further argues
that the website is governed by the ADA and that he has
sufficiently alleged enough facts to raise a plausible claim
that Defendant's website violates the ADA. (Id.
the briefing was completed on Defendant's Second Motion
to Dismiss, Defendant filed a Motion for Judicial Notice.
(Doc. 23.) In that motion, Defendant requests that the Court
take notice of a complaint Plaintiff filed in a similar case
in the Northern District of Georgia. (Id.) Defendant
asserts that Plaintiff's admission in that complaint
bolsters its argument that Plaintiff does not have standing
to bring this suit. (Id.) Because Defendant contends
that its Motion for Judicial Notice is relevant to its
argument that Plaintiff does not have standing in this case,
the Court will first consider Defendant's Motion for
Judicial Notice. The Court will then consider the merits of
Defendant's Second Motion to Dismiss.
MOTION FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE
Defendant's Motion for Judicial Notice, Defendant
requests that the Court take judicial notice of a complaint
Plaintiff filed in the Northern District of Georgia. (Doc.
23.) In that complaint, Plaintiff provided that "he
lives and works in the city of Ellenwood, Georgia, which is
in Clayton County, Georgia." See Jones v. Delta
Cmty. Credit Union, No. 1-18-cv-01072-MLB (N.D.Ga. Mar.
12, 2018). Defendant argues that this admission is relevant
to whether or not Plaintiff has standing to file this suit.
to Federal Rule of Evidence 201 (b), a district court may
take judicial notice of public records that are "not
subject to reasonable dispute." See also Universal
Express, Inc. v. U.S. Sec, and Exch. Comm'n, 177
Fed.Appx. 52, 53 (11th Cir. 2006) ("Public records are
among the permissible facts that a district court may
consider."). In this case, the Court has reviewed the
public record that contains Plaintiff's admission.
(See Doc. 23, Ex. A.) At this time, Plaintiff has
neither challenged Defendant's request for judicial
notice nor provided any cause to doubt the validity of his
admission. As a result, the Court finds that it is
appropriate to take judicial notice of Plaintiff's
admission. See also Home v. Potter, 392 Fed.Appx.
800, 802 (11th Cir. 2010) (finding that a district court
properly took notice of the plaintiff's filings in a
previous case). Accordingly, Defendant's motion is
SECOND MOTION TO DISMISS
Second Motion to Dismiss, Defendant makes several arguments
that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed. (Doc.
17.) Although several of Defendant's arguments relate to
whether or not Plaintiff has properly stated a claim for
relief under the ADA, this Court must first consider
Defendant's contention that Plaintiff does not have
standing to bring this suit. Only after finding that
Plaintiff has standing to bring this suit would the Court be
permitted to consider the merits of Defendant's other