Judge grants $6,380 legal fees instead of requested $22,000 in Rai Rocklin Investments ADA case

By Payton Kuhn | Apr 15, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Stemming from a prior case in which Scott Johnson sued Rai Rocklin Investments for its alleged inability to provide an accessible restroom in a restaurants, Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the U.S. District for the Eastern District California awarded Johnson $6,380 in legal fees and costs.

Mueller made the decision on Johnson's renewed motion for attorney's fees on March 8.

Previously, Johnson had requested $22,295 in legal fees, claiming that “while this is a judgment derived from a default judgment . . . This is not a standard default judgment. This matter had active defendants in the matter which plaintiff was required to resolve this matter with and expend necessary fees and costs for which defendant Rocklin is responsible for as that work is not severable from the efforts that were required to obtain the judgment against him,” the ruling states.

Mueller awarded Johnson $6,380 in fees, citing that the plaintiff provided no authority for his stated position and that the fees and costs he was attempting to recover under the California Unruh Civil Rights Act were non-applicable.

Johnson also had moved for summary judgment against the previous owners of the Wok-on-Fire restaurant in Rocklin under a claim of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Mueller dismissed this motion, noting that only state law claims remain.

While Johnson argued that the violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act which he had previously won in court and the violations of the Unruh Act are intertwined, Mueller decided that they were not.

In similar instances, Mueller states that “courts have declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over remaining state law claims,” which absolves Wen Zhi Deng and Cheng Fa Feng, two of the restaurant’s previous owners, of claims regarding the Rai Rocklin case.

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