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Heineman v. Salisbury

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

February 8, 2019

AARON MICHAEL HEINEMAN, an individual, and ROES I-X, Plaintiffs,
v.
RICK SALISBURY, an individual, STRAP TANK BREWING COMPANY, an organization, SIDECAR CAFÉ, an organization, and ROES I-X, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          Dee Benson United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on Defendant Strap Tank Brewing Company's (“Defendant”) motion to dismiss the second count of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the basis Plaintiff cannot state a claim under the Utah Antidiscrimination Act (“UADA”) upon which relief can be granted. (Dkt. 11.) The motion has been fully briefed by the parties, and the court has considered the facts and arguments set forth in those filings.

         Pursuant to civil rule 7-1(f) of the United States District Court for the District of Utah Rules of Practice, the court elects to determine the motion on the basis of the written memoranda and finds that oral argument would not be helpful or necessary. DUCivR 7-1(f).

         Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that Strap Tank Brewing Company refused to hire him because of his disability and sets forth two separate causes of action, one under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the other under the UADA.

         In the motion now before the court, Defendant claims that the second cause of action must be dismissed because the UADA does not provide a private right of action. (Dkt. 11 at 1.) Plaintiff's response in opposition did not directly address Defendant's argument, but instead explained: “The reason that Plaintiff was forced to seek relief in this Court is due to the very important fact that it is unclear whether or not the activity alleged by Plaintiff violates the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act under the plain language of the Utah statute or Utah Case Law.” (Dkt. 24 at 6.) Accordingly, Plaintiff argued, it would be premature to dismiss the UADA claim at this time, and the Court should allow Plaintiff to submit a motion to certify questions to the Utah Supreme Court in order to “assist [this] Court in the fact finding process.” (Dkt. 24 at 7.)

         Approximately one month later, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Certify Questions to the Utah Supreme Court Pursuant to Utah Rule of Appellate Procedure 41. (Dkt. 28.) In that motion, Plaintiff argues that certification is necessary in order “to determine whether or not Utah state law was violated to assist in the Court's analysis of whether or not Federal law was violated in the instant matter.” (Id. at 9.) Plaintiff then lists 6 questions to be certified, including:

1. Are employers in Utah required to accommodate people with disabilities during the course of a job interview?
2. Are employers in Utah required to accommodate deaf individuals during the course of a job interview?
3. Are employers in Utah required to provide a certified American Sign Language interpreter to accommodate deaf individuals during the course of a job interview?
4. Are employers in Utah permitted to accommodate deaf individuals during the course of job interviews in any other way than a certified American Sign Language interpreter?
5. What is the definition of reasonable accommodation under the Utah AntiDiscrimination Act in regard to accommodating deaf individuals during the course of a job interview?
6. Should the statutory language in the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act reflect federal anti-discrimination law in its scope of enforcement?

(Dkt. 28 at 12.)

         Having reviewed the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, and for the reasons stated below, the Court grants Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's UADA claim. And, having determined that Plaintiff's UADA claim should be dismissed, the court ...


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