United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Padraigin Browne, Esq. and Browne Law LLC, counsel for
P. Sheu, Esq., Brian J. Linnerooth, Esq. and Best &
Flanagan LLP, counsel for defendants.
S. Doty, Judge
matter is before the court upon the motion for judgment on
the pleadings by defendants Morris-Walker Ltd. and Orchard
Park, LLC, and plaintiff Zach Hillesheim's letter request
that defendants show cause as to why they should not be
sanctioned. Based on a review of the file, record, and
proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the motion
for judgment on the pleadings is granted in part and the
letter request is denied.
disability dispute arises from plaintiff Zach
Hillesheim's visit to the Emma Krumbee's restaurant
in Belle Plaine, Minnesota (the Restaurant), which is owned
and operated by defendants. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 14.
Hillesheim is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a
wheelchair for mobility. Id. ¶ 11. He claims
that deficiencies in the Restaurant's parking area and
interior deprived him of full and equal enjoyment of the
one of the many lawsuits brought by Hillesheim and his
partner, Melanie Davis, through their attorney, Padraigin
Browne, against various businesses, alleging assorted
violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and
the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). To some degree, the
circumstances-of this case intersect with a disability
lawsuit Davis brought against these same defendants. See
Davis v. Morris-Walker, Ltd., No. 17-1270 (D. Minn,
filed Apr. 20, 2017).
The Davis Case
claimed that she was unable to dine at the Restaurant due to
inaccessibility issues, and filed suit under the ADA and the
MHRA. See id. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 31-49. Davis
alleged that the Restaurant did not have: (1) a sufficient
number of handicap parking spaces based on the
Restaurant's primary and adjacent, overfill parking areas
in violation of ADA Accessibility Guideline (ADAAG) §
208.02; (2) proper handicap parking signs in violation of
ADAAG §§ 216.5, 502.6, and 703.7.2.1; (3) proper
access aisles in violation of ADAAG §§ 208.02 and
502.2; (4) accessible pathways that do not require travel
through vehicular ways in violation of ADAAG § 206.3;
and (5) a level pathway in violation of ADAAG Â§Â§ 206.2.1,
403.2, and 303.2. See id. ECF No. 1 ¶
25. id. Davis sought declaratory and injunctive relief and
damages. Id. ¶ 49.
receiving the complaint in Davis, defendants made
improvements to the Restaurant's parking area with the
assistance of a certified accessability specialist, Julee
Quarve-Peterson, a municipal building official, and an
attorney. See Davis v. Morris-Walker, Ltd., No.
17-1270, 2017 WL 6209825, at *1 (D. Minn. Dec. 7, 2017).
Davis conceded that the improvements redressed the alleged
violations except for the number of available handicap
parking spaces. Id. at *2.
December 7, 2017, the court dismissed Davis's complaint
as moot in light of the improvements. See id. at *3.
The court also determined that the Restaurant's primary
parking area had a sufficient number of handicap parking
spaces and that the adjacent, overfill parking area was a
separate parking facility shared with the City of Belle
Plaine, not Restaurant parking. See id. at *2. The
court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the
MHRA claims and denied Davis's motion to amend her
complaint to bring additional ADA claims regarding interior
violations because she had not actually entered the
Restaurant, and therefore, lacked standing. See id.
at *3. The court dismissed the ADA claims with prejudice and
the MHRA claims without prejudice. See id. Davis
appealed the dismissal to the Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, but modified the
dismissal of the ADA claims to be without prejudice due to
the jurisdictional nature of the adjudication. See Davis,
v. Morris-Walker, Ltd., 922 F.3d 868, 872 (8th Cir.
January 18, 2018, one month after the court dismissed
Davis, Hillesheim attempted to dine at the
Restaurant. Compl. ¶ 49. Hillesheim alleges that he
observed multiple ADA and MHRA violations in the
Restaurant's parking area and interior that impeded his
ability to patronize the Restaurant. Id.
oral argument on the instant motion, Hillesheim's
counsel, who was also Davis's counsel, represented that
"Mr. Hillesheim went to Emma Krumbees on a different
date and he encountered different barriers" than Davis.
Counsel also represents that Hillesheim's claims
"are a direct result of [d]efendants previous inadequate
remediation attempts," could not have been ...