United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MICHAEL J. MOORE, Plaintiff,
NATIONAL YMCA, INC., et al., Defendants.
M. DOW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6) for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a
claim . For the reasons explained below, the motion is
granted in part and denied in part. Defendant McFadden is
dismissed from the case; however, the suit may proceed
against the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. The Court sets the
case for further status on September 10, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.
to discuss (1) whether Plaintiff would like to file an
amended complaint, (2) whether Defendant would like to file a
renewed motion to dismiss, (3) if the case should proceed
into discovery, and (4) the identity of the proper entity
defendant. Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment  remains continued.
October 2018, Plaintiff entered a lease for a room at the
Lakeview YMCA. [1, ¶ 1] As part of that lease, Plaintiff
“automatically” received a
“membership” in the Lakeview YMCA Fitness Center
which included the use of all accompanying facilities.
[Id.] Plaintiff was issued a picture ID consistent
with that membership. [Id.] Shortly thereafter,
while working out one day, the Lakeview YMCA Fitness
Director-referred to only as “Carl” in the
complaint-approached Plaintiff and informed him that he could
not “participate in the heavy-lifting weight room
because you are blind.” [Id. ¶ 2.]
Plaintiff protested and asserted that he had the right to
continue to use the weight room. [Id.]
a week after that encounter, Plaintiff met with Carl again.
[Id. ¶ 3.] At that meeting, Carl explained that
Plaintiff could only use the weight room if he “brought
someone with him whenever he wished to do so.”
[Id.] Plaintiff refused this arrangement, noting
that it would be impossible for him to depend on others under
the circumstances. [Id.] He also noted that no other
gym members were required to have someone with them.
[Id.] Upon Plaintiff's refusal of the proposed
arrangement, Carl informed Plaintiff that his membership at
the Lakeview YMCA Fitness Center would be terminated.
[Id. ¶ 4.] Plaintiff then proposed to sign a
waiver of liability, which Carl rejected. [Id.
subsequently filed this action on February 6, 2019, asserting
that Defendants- National YMCA Inc., Lakeview YMCA Fitness
Center (together “the YMCA Defendants”), and
Jeremy McFadden, Director [of the Lakeview YMCA]-violated
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VIII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1968. He seeks the reinstatement of
his gym membership and a “substantial fine.” See
generally . Defendants have subsequently moved to dismiss,
asserting that Plaintiff's complaint fails to adequately
plead grounds for jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) and fails to adequately plead facts to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). See generally .
12(b)(1) motion seeks the dismissal of an action for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. If a defendant challenges the
sufficiency of the allegations regarding subject matter
jurisdiction, the Court accepts all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and draws all reasonable inferences in
favor of the plaintiff. See Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears,
Roebuck & Co., 572 F.3d. 440, 443-44 (7th Cir.
2009); United Phosphorus, Ltd. v. Angus Chem. Co.,
322 F.3d. 942 (7th Cir. 2003) (en banc), overruled
on other grounds by Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium, Inc.,
683 F.3d. 845 (7th Cir. 2012). In ruling on the motion, the
Court may look beyond the jurisdictional allegations alleged
in the complaint and take into consideration whatever
evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine if
subject matter jurisdiction exists. Evers v. Astrue,
536 F.3d. 651, 656-57 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting St.
John's United Church of Christ v. City of Chicago,
502 F.3d. 616, 625 (7th Cir. 2007). The party asserting
jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that
jurisdiction is satisfied. Glaser v. Wound Care
Consultants, Inc., 570 F.3d. 907, 913 (7th Cir. 2009).
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the complaint
first must comply with Rule 8(a) “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), such that the
defendant is given “fair notice of what the * * * claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 46 (1957))
(alternation in original). Second, the factual allegations in
the complaint must be sufficient to raise the possibility of
relief above the “speculative level.”
E.E.O.C. v. Concentra Health Servs. Inc. 496 F.3d
773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of
a cause of action will not do.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Dismissal for failure to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is proper “when the
allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a
claim of entitlement to relief.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 558. In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts as true all of
Plaintiffs' well-pleaded factual allegations and draws
all reasonable inferences in Plaintiffs' favor.
Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 507 F.3d.
614, 618 (7th Cir. 2007). Evaluating whether a claim is
sufficiently plausible to survive a motion to dismiss is
“‘a context-specific task that requires the
reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.'” McCauley v. City of Chicago, 671
F.3d. 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679). Finally, courts construe pro se
complaints liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam).
propose two grounds for dismissal: first, that this Court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
claims; second, that even if the Court does have
jurisdiction, the complaint fails to state a claim. The Court
turns first to the threshold issue of its subject matter
jurisdiction. Cook v. Winfrey, 141 F.3d 322, 324
(7th Cir. 1998).
contend that this action must be dismissed because Plaintiff
fails to allege any federal question to be resolved or
diversity amongst the parties. Plaintiff's response
concedes that there is no diversity but maintains that there
is a federal question. ...