Harty v. Bull's Head Realty
The intent-to-return requirement for standing in a Title III suit can be met, even if the plaintiff lives thousands of miles away, if the plaintiff sufficiently alleges that he visits the area frequently and intends to return. The plaintiff, Owen Harty, alleged the following facts, which have not been proven. The plaintiff, a private detective, belongs to the National Rifle Association and teaches courses in weapons safety. In November 2010, the plaintiff visited the Bull's Head Shopping Center in Stamford, Conn. and allegedly discovered that handicapped parking spaces lacked signs and were located far away from the entrance. The plaintiff also alleged that he was unwilling to risk tipping his wheelchair on steep curb cuts and that an access aisle led to steps that he was unable to climb. The plaintiff, who is partially paralyzed, sued, claiming that the defendants violated Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code §12181. The defendants moved to dismiss and argued that the plaintiff lacks standing to sue. To prevail on a Title III claim, a plaintiff must prove: 1.) the plaintiff is disabled; 2.) the defendants own, lease or operate a place of public accommodation; and 3.) the defendants discriminated against the plaintiff. A plaintiff possesses standing if: 1.) an injury in fact is concrete and particularized and actual or imminent; 2.) a causal connection exists between the injury and the conduct complained about; and 3.) a court decision could remediate the plaintiff's injury. The intent-to-return requirement for standing in a Title III suit can be met when the plaintiff alleges that he lives near the defendant's establishment or visits the area frequently and intends to return. Although the plaintiff is a resident of Broward County, Florida, the plaintiff sufficiently alleged that he intends to attend a gun show in Stamford, Conn. in October or November 2013 and that he plans to return to the Bull's Head Shopping Center. The District Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss.