Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Carroll v. Roanoke Valley Credit Union

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

June 11, 2018

KEITH CARROLL, Plaintiff,
v.
ROANOKE VALLEY COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Michael F. Urbanski, Chief United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Keith Carroll, who is permanently blind, brings this action pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq.. alleging he is denied full use and enjoyment of defendant Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union's website in violation of federal law. Carroll seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, as well as his costs and attorneys' fees. RVCCU moves to dismiss Carroll's complaint, arguing a website is not a place of public accommodation under the ADA and, in any event, Carroll lacks standing to bring this claim. The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, as amicus curiae, filed a brief in support of RVCCU's motion to dismiss.

         Because Carroll has not alleged an injury-in-fact sufficient to confer standing, the court will GRANT defendant's motion and dismiss this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

         I.

         Carroll is a permanently blind resident of Virginia who uses a screen reader to access the internet and read website content. RVCCU is a federal credit union with its principal place of business in Roanoke, Virginia. RVCCU owns and operates credit union locations in Virginia, which constitute places of public accommodation. RVCCU also operates a public website, www.rvccu.org, which provides information about RVCCU's services and locations.

         Carroll alleges that website accessibility barriers prevent him from freely navigating www.rvccu.org, despite his recent attempts. These access barriers include, but are not limited to:

(1) Linked image missing alternative text which presents a problem because an image without alternative text results in an empty link. . . . The lack of Alternative Text on these graphics prevents screen readers from accurately vocalizing a description of the graphics. . . .; (2) Redundant Links where adjacent links go to the same URL address which results in additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen reader users; and (3) Empty or missing form labels which presented a problem because if a form control does not have a properly associated text label, the function or purpose of that form control may not be presented to screen reader users. Form labels provide visible descriptions and larger clickable targets for form controls.

Compl., ECF No. 1, at ¶ 13. Carroll claims that RVCCU has failed to remove these access barriers and, as a result, has denied him full use and equal enjoyment of its website.

         RVCCU moves to dismiss Carroll's complaint, arguing websites are not places of public accommodation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7) and that Carroll lacks standing to bring this claim.

         II.

         Whether a plaintiff has standing to bring a cause of action "is generally associated with Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1) pertaining to subject matter jurisdiction." CGM. LLC v. BellSouth Telecomms., Inc., 664 F.3d 46, 52 (4th Cir. 2011). "That is because 'Article III gives federal courts jurisdiction only over cases and controversies, ' and standing is 'an integral component of the case or controversy requirement.'" Id. (quoting Miller v. Brown, 462 F.3d 312, 316 (4th Cir. 2006)). "[W]hen a federal court concludes that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the complaint in its entirety." Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006).

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint need only contain sufficient factual matter which, if accepted as true, "state[s] 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)). A complaint is "facially plausible" when the facts alleged "allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. This "standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court must "accept the well-pled allegations of the complaint as true" and "construe the facts and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Ibarra v. United States. 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997).

         While the court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations, the same is not true for legal conclusions. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Wag More Dogs. LLC v. Cozart,680 F.3d 359, 365 (4th Cir. 2012) ("Although we are constrained to take the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, we need not accept legal conclusions couched as ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.