United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is David Poschmann's Motion for default
judgment (Doc. 13). For the reasons below, the Court denies
an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) case. Poschmann
claims he was denied equal access to Estancia US, LLC's
hotel, Latitude 26 Waterfront Inn and Suites, because he
could not book an “accessible room” on
Latitude's website. (Doc. 1 at 4) (“Plaintiff
attempted to specifically identify and book a guaranteed
reservation for an accessible room at the Hotel through the
Hotel's online reservation system but was unable to do so
due to Defendant's failure to comply with the
[ADA]”). When Estancia did not answer or otherwise
defend this action, the Court entered a clerk's default.
(Doc. 11). Poschmann now moves for a final default judgment.
clerk's default, “final default judgment does not
automatically follow.” Kennedy v. Orltell,
LLC, No. 6:17-cv-2014-Orl-37TBS, 2018 WL 1172925, at *1
(M.D. Fla. Feb. 16, 2018), report and recommendation
adopted, 2018 WL 1152393 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 5, 2018).
Rather, there must be a sufficient basis in the pleadings for
the relief sought. Tyco Fire & Sec., LLC v.
Alcocer, 218 Fed.Appx. 860, 863 (11th Cir. 2007)
(“[B]efore entering a default judgment for
damages, the district court must ensure that the well-pleaded
allegations in the complaint, which are taken as true due to
the default, actually state a substantive cause of
action”). “In deciding the complaint's
sufficiency, the court applies the same standard as a motion
to dismiss.” Mutka v. Top Hat Imports, LLC,
No. 2:18-cv-539-FtM-38MRM, 2018 WL 6168124, at *1 (M.D. Fla.
Nov. 26, 2018).
survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff's pleading
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citation omitted); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 553 (2007). A claim is facially plausible when the
court can draw a reasonable inference from the facts pled
that the opposing party is liable for the alleged misconduct.
See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. But “[f]actual
allegations that are merely consistent with a defendant's
liability fall short of being facially plausible.”
Chaparro v. Carnival Corp., 693 F.3d 1333, 1337
(11th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). Thus, the Court engages in a twostep approach:
“[w]hen there are well pleaded factual allegations, a
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
the Complaint does not state a plausible claim. Poschmann
claims he could not find an “accessible room” on
Latitude's “online reservation system”
because the website does not meet the standards set forth in
28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1). (Doc. 1 at 4). But he does not
explain how the website falls short or include any
factual allegations to support this conclusion. See
Kennedy, 2018 WL 1172925 at *3 (denying a motion for
default judgment when plaintiff's complaint did not
specify how defendant's website violated the ADA).
Rather, Poschmann's claims are mere recitations of the
language in 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1). For example, the
Complaint states that Estancia “fail[ed] to
‘ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for
use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest
rooms of that type have been rented . . ..'”
(Doc. 1 at 4) (quotations and emphasis added). And the
language in 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1)(iii) is identical.
28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1)(iii) (“Ensure that
accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with
disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have
been rented . . ..”). Such threadbare allegations will
not do. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (“A pleading
that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.'” (citations omitted)). Because
Poschmann has not sufficiently pled an ADA violation, the
Court denies the motion for default judgment.
it is now
Plaintiff David Poschmann's Motion for Final Judgment by
Default Against Defendant (Doc. 13) is DENIED without
Poschmann is DIRECTED to inform the Court on
or before November 1, 2019, as to how he would like to
proceed. The failure to do so will result in the
Court dismissing this case without further notice
Clerk is DIRECTED to mail a copy of this
Order to Defendant Estancia US, LLC at the address listed in
the Complaint (Doc. 1 at 2): 4701 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita
Springs, Florida 34134.