United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
O'Grady United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant FedFinancial Federal Credit
Union's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 13). The Court has
considered the evidence and the pleadings, and finds good
cause to DENY Defendant's motion.
Mr. Keith Carroll, is a permanently blind resident of the
Washington. D.C. area who uses screen reading software to
navigate the Internet. Dkt. 11 at 2. Defendant FedFinancial
Federal Credit Union ("FFCU") is a community-based,
not-for-profit, member-owned, federally-chartered credit
union with a branch in Silver Spring, Maryland. See
Dkt. 13 at 2. Defendant operates a website that offers
information about Defendant, including contact information
and details regarding membership. See generally
November 2017, Plaintiff filed this action, claiming that
Defendant's website violates Title III of the Americans
with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). See Dkt. 11
at 13. Plaintiff alleges that he attempted to access
Defendant's website to learn about the credit union's
services and locations, but was denied equal access to the
website due to numerous accessibility barriers. including
linked images missing alternative text, redundant links, and
empty or missing form labels. See Id. at 12-13.
Because of these access barriers, Plaintiff was deterred from
using Defendant's website and from visiting
Defendant's credit union location. Id.
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff filed an
Amended Complaint. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the
Amended Complaint (Dkt. 13) is now before the Court.
Defendant seeks dismissal of Plaintiff s claims due to lack
of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, and failure to
state a claim. See Dkt. 13 at 1. Defendant withdrew
a previously-asserted argument related to whether Plaintiff
was eligible for membership in Defendant's credit union
based on allegations made in the Amended Complaint.
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient
factual information to "state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." BellAtl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 550 (2007). A motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) must be considered in combination
with Rule 8(a)(2), which requires "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief," Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), so as to "give
the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests." Twombly, 550 U.S.
"detailed factual allegations" are not required,
Rule 8 demands that a plaintiff provide more than mere labels
and conclusions stating that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. Id. Because a Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the
sufficiency of a complaint without resolving factual
disputes, a district court '"must accept as true all
of the factual allegations contained in the complaint'
and 'draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff.*" Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep 7 v.
Montgomery County, 684 F.3d 462, 467 (4th Cir. 2012)
(quoting E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon
Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011)).
FFCU contends that it is not a resident of Virginia, and that
Plaintiff has not sufficiently pled a basis for personal
jurisdiction. Dkt. 8 at 3. Defendant acknowledges that its
field of membership includes individuals employed in the
Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas, that some
of its members do actually reside in Virginia, and that it
sends mailings to those Virginia members. See Id. at
2 ("FedFinancial has a total of 6, 240 members and 298
of those members live in Virginia."). However, because
Defendant does not directly advertise to Virginia residents
for new members, and because its only branch office
is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, Defendant argues that
personal jurisdiction does not exist. See Id. at 2.
can exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant only if
such jurisdiction is authorized by the long-arm statute of
the slate in which the district court sits and application of
the relevant long-arm statute is consistent with the Due
Process clause. Thousand Oaks Barrel Co., LLC v. Deep
South Barrels LLC, 241 F.Supp.3d 708, 714 (K.D. Va.
2017). The Virginia long-arm statute provides for in
personam jurisdiction over any person who
"transact[s] any business in Virginia." Zalatel
v. Prisma Labs, Inc., 226 F.Supp.3d 599, 605 (E.D. Va.
2016). Virginia's long arm statute extends the
jurisdiction of its courts as far as federal due process
permits, and therefore the statutory inquiry merges with the
constitutional inquiry. Id. Accordingly, the Court
will employ the well-established due process inquiry. See
Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Menozzi Luigi & C. S. P.
A., 92 F.Supp.3d 435, 440 (E.D. Va. 2015).
the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a court
may exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant only if the defendant has "certain minimum
contacts" with the forum state such that maintenance of
the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice. Inl 'I Shoe Co. v. State of
Wash., Office of Unemployment Comp. & Placement, 326
U.S. 310 (1945). Fairness is the touchstone of the
jurisdictional inquiry. Liberty Mm., 92 F.Supp.3d at
440. To determine whether specific jurisdiction comports with
due process, the Court must consider (1) the extent to which
the defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of
conducting activities in the forum state; (2) whether the
plaintiffs claims arise out of those activities; and (3)
whether the ...