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1INTHEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURT

FORTHENORTHERNDISTRICTOFTEXAS
DALLASDIVISION
________________________________
)
CINEMARKUSA,INC.,

)
)
Plaintiff,
)
)
v.
)
3:99CV0183L
)
UNITEDSTATESDEPARTMENT )
OFJUSTICE,

)
)
Defendant.
)
________________________________)
DEFENDANT'SMEMORANDUMINSUPPORTOFMOTIONTODISMISS

Respectfullysubmitted,
DAVIDW.OGDEN
ActingAssistantAttorneyGeneral
PAULE.COGGINS
UnitedStatesAttorney
JIMLAURENCE
AssistantUnitedStatesAttorney
RICHARDG.LEPLEY
AssistantBranchDirector
DAVIDO.BUCHHOLZ(Pa.Bar#65320)
TrialAttorney
FederalProgramsBranch
CivilDivision
U.S.DepartmentofJustice
901EStreet,N.W.,Room952
Washington,D.C.20530
(202)5143330
Dated:April2,1999

CounselforDefendant

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PRELIMINARYSTATEMENT
TheDepartmentofJusticehasbeendesignatedbyCongressas
theagencyassignedtomonitorandenforcecompliancewithmost
provisionsoftheAmericansWithDisabilitiesAct("ADA").For
thepastyear,theDepartmentofJusticehasbeeninvestigatinga
relativelynewfacilitydesignstadiumstylemovietheaters.
Inthesetheaters,mostmoviegoersreachtheirseatsbyclimbing
stairs,muchlikeinastadium,ratherthanbywalkingdown
traditionalslopedflooraisles.Ofcourse,moviegoerswhouse
wheelchairs,whoareentitledundertheADAtoaccessto
"comparable"seatinginmovietheaters,areunabletoclimbthe
stairstoreachthestadiumstyleseats.
PlaintiffCinemark,USA("Cinemark")hasrespondedtothis
dilemmanotbydesigningitstheaterstoallowentryintothe
stadiumsectionbywheelchairusers,butbyplacingwheelchair
seatingonthefloor,infrontofthestadiumstyleseats.This
hasresultedinnumerouscomplaints,andlawsuits,byindividuals
withdisabilitieswhoareforcedtochoosebetweensittingin
cranedneckdiscomfortinthefrontofthetheater(the"worst
seatsinthehouse")orforegoingmoviesinCinemark'stheaters
altogether.Ascommonsensewouldindicate,andasonefederal
courthasalreadyfound,theADAdoesnotpermitsuch
discrimination.
TheDepartmentofJusticeopenedaninvestigationof
Cinemark'stheatersinJanuary1998,andhasengagedin
negotiationswithCinemarksincethen.Whenthosenegotiations
provedunsuccessful,theDepartmentofJusticefiledan
enforcementactionagainstCinemarkallegingthatitsstadium

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styletheatersviolatetheADA.Theprimaryissueinthe
negotiations,intheenforcementcomplaint,andinprivate
litigationagainstCinemark,hasbeentheinterpretationofa
1991DepartmentofJusticeregulation("Standard4.33.3")that
requireswheelchairuserstobeprovidedwith"linesofsight
comparabletothoseformembersofthegeneralpublic."
TheDepartmentofJusticearticulateditsinterpretationof
Standard4.33.3inanamicusbrieffiledinaprivateaction
againstCinemark,Larav.CinemarkUSA,No.EP97CV502H(W.D.
Tex.),andithasreliedonthatinterpretationinfilingits
enforcementcomplaint.ItisStandard4.33.3,however,andnot
theDepartmentofJustice'sinterpretation,thathaslegal
effect.Cinemarkisnotforcedtocomplywiththeinterpretation
unlessanduntilacourtsoorders.Indeed,althoughthecourt
inLarafoundthatCinemark'stheatersviolatetheADAand
Standard4.33.3,itdidnotrelyontheDepartmentofJustice's
interpretationinmakingthatdetermination.
Inthiscase,CinemarkseekstoturnenforcementoftheADA
onitshead.Cinemarkrequestsadeclaratoryjudgmentthatthe
DepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationisprocedurallyimproper,
substantivelyincorrect,andunenforceable.Essentially,
CinemarkaskstheCourttoprohibittheDepartmentofJustice
frominterpretingitsownregulation,paralyzetheDepartmentof
Justice'seffortstoenforcetheADA,andreversethejudgmentof
anotherfederalcourtthatCinemark'sstadiumstyletheaters
violatetheADA.TheCourtcannotandshouldnotgrantsuch

relief.

UnderwellestablishedSupremeCourtandappellate
precedent,theDepartmentofJustice'sactionschallengedhere
interpretingitsregulationsinthecontextofcarryingoutits
enforcementmandatearenot"finalagencyaction"subjectto
judicialreviewundertheAdministrativeProcedureAct.
Moreover,Cinemarkwillhaveafullopportunitytoraiseits
objectionstotheDepartmentofJustice'sactionsasdefensesin
theenforcementsuitfiledagainstit.Therefore,theCourtdoes
nothavejurisdictiontohearthiscase.
EveniftheCourthadjurisdiction,itwouldnotproperlybe
exercisedhere.Courtsroutinelyandrepeatedlyrejectattempts
tousetheDeclaratoryJudgmentActtochangetheforuminwhich
disputesareresolved.ThedisputebetweenCinemarkandthe
UnitedStates,forwhichtheDepartmentofJustice'senforcement
actionestablishestheproperforum,isnoexception.
Finally,evenifthecaseweretoproceedinthisCourt,
Cinemark'srequestforadeclaratoryjudgmentthatitscurrent
theaterscomplywiththeADAisnothingmorethanacollateral
attackonthejudgmentofanotherfederalcourt.Underbasic
rulesofpreclusion,thisisaclaimuponwhichCinemarkcannot
obtainrelief.
STATUTORYANDFACTUALBACKGROUND
TheAmericansWithDisabilitiesAct,42U.S.C.12101,et
seq.("ADA"),waspremisedinpartontheCongressionalfinding
that"individualswithdisabilitiescontinuallyencountervarious

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formsofdiscrimination,including...effectsofarchitectural
...barriers."42U.S.C.12101(a)(5).Tocombatthis
discrimination,Congressmandatedthatallcommercialfacilities
and"publicaccommodations"designedandconstructedforfirst
occupancyafterJanuary26,1993be"readilyaccessibletoand
usablebyindividualswithdisabilities...inaccordancewith
standardssetforthorincorporatedbyreferenceinregulations"
issuedpursuanttotheAct.42U.S.C.12183(a)(1).Movie
theatersareamongthespecifictypesofentitiesconsideredto
bea"publicaccommodation"andthereforesubjecttothe
requirementsoftheAct.42U.S.C.12181(7)(C).
TheDepartmentofJustice,throughtheAttorneyGeneral,was
specificallydesignatedbyCongressastheagencyauthorizedto
issueregulationstocarryouttherequirementsoftheADAwith
respecttonewconstructionofpublicaccommodations.See42
U.S.C.12186(b).TheDepartmentofJusticeissuedsuch
regulationsonJuly26,1991.See56Fed.Reg.35,544(1991),
codifiedat28C.F.R.36.101,etseq.Theregulations
incorporatearchitecturalstandardsfornewconstructionthatare
alternativelyknownasADAAccessibilityGuidelines("ADAAG")or
StandardsforAccessibleDesign("Standards").See28C.F.R.
Part36App.A.
TheStandardsaddressnumerousissues,butmostrelevantto
thiscaseisStandard4.33.3,governingplacementofwheelchair
locationsinassemblyareassuchasmovietheaters,whichstates
inpart:

Wheelchairareasshallbeanintegralpartof
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anyfixedseatingplanandshallbeprovided
soastoprovidepeoplewithphysical
disabilitiesachoiceofadmissionpricesand
linesofsightcomparabletothosefor
membersofthegeneralpublic.
28C.F.R.Part36App.A,4.33.3.Before1998,theDepartment
ofJusticehadneverannouncedaninterpretationofthis
regulationasappliedtostadiumstylemovietheaters,norhad
anycourtaddressedthatissue.SeeDecl.ofEdwardMiller
("MillerDecl.")at5.
InDecember1997,agroupofdisabledindividualsfiledsuit
againstCinemarkallegingthatCinemark'sElPasostadiumstyle
theaters,andspecificallytheplacementofwheelchairlocations
inthosetheaters,violatetheADA.Larav.CinemarkUSA,Inc.,
No.97CV502(W.D.Tex.).OnJuly21,1998,theDepartmentof
JusticesubmittedanamicusbriefinLaraonbehalfoftheUnited
Statesinwhichitofferedtothecourtitsinterpretationof
Standard4.33.3asappliedtostadiumstyletheaters.SeeExh.1
at89.ThecourtinLarafoundthatCinemark'stheatersdo
violatetheADAandStandard4.33.3,seeLara,slipop.at34
(W.D.Tex.Oct.21,1998)(amendedorderonmotionsforsummary
judgment)(copyattachedasExh.2),butexpresslydidnotrely
ontheDepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationofthatregulation.
SeeLara,slipop.at1(W.D.Tex.Aug.26,1998)(orderon

1/
motionfordelaypendingdiscovery)(copyattachedasExh.3).
7

Meanwhile,onJanuary28,1998,theDepartmentofJusticeopened
aninvestigationofwhetherCinemark'sstadiumstyletheaters
complywiththeADA.SeeExh.4;seealsoMillerDecl.4.
DuringandaftertheLaralitigation,theDepartmentofJustice
engagedinnegotiationswithCinemarkinanattempttoresolve
issuesarisingoutoftheDepartmentofJustice'sinvestigation.
MillerDecl.7.OnDecember2,1998,theDepartmentofJustice
notifiedCinemarkthatithadobtainedauthorizationtosue
Cinemarkshouldthenegotiationsnotsucceed.Id.OnJanuary
26,1999,theDepartmentofJusticesentCinemarkaletter
confirminginwritingitssettlementpositionwithrespecttothe
ongoinginvestigation.Id.8.Thislawsuitwasfiledtwodays
later.OnMarch24,1999,theDepartmentofJusticefiledan
enforcementactionagainstCinemarkintheUnitedStatesDistrict
CourtfortheNorthernDistrictofOhio.SeeUnitedStatesv.
CinemarkUSA,No.1:99CV705(N.D.Ohio)(complaintattachedas
Exh.5).

/1TheCourtinLaraoriginallydecidedcrossmotionsforsummary
judgmentonAugust21,1998.ItamendeditsorderonOctober21,
1998,topermitCinemarktopetitionforpermissiontotakean
interlocutoryappeal(whichwaslaterdeniedbytheFifth
Circuit).Onthesubstantiveissues,thetwoordersare
identical,andonlytheamendedorderisattached.

ARGUMENT
8

I.

ThereisNoFinalDepartmentofJusticeActionThatCan
JustifyJudicialReview
A.

TheAdministrativeProcedureActIstheOnlyPossible
SourceForAWaiverofSovereignImmunityThatWould
GiveThisCourtJurisdictionofThisCase

Absentawaiverofsovereignimmunity,acourtlacks
jurisdictionoverclaimsagainsttheUnitedStates.See,e.g.,
UnitedStatesv.Mitchell,463U.S.206,212(1983).Cinemark
attemptstoinvokethisCourt'sjurisdictionundervarious
statutes,mostofwhichhavenorelevancetothiscaseanddonot
inanyeventprovidetherequisitewaiverofsovereignimmunity.
Pl.'sFirstAm.Compl.3.2/Forexample,28U.S.C.1346
(whichincludestheTuckerActandtheFederalTortClaimsAct)
waivessovereignimmunityfortortclaimsandclaimsformoney
damages,butneitherformofreliefisrelevanthere.See
Mitchell,463U.S.at21618;Richardsv.UnitedStates,369U.S.
1,6(1962).Likewise,28U.S.C.1343doesnotwaivesovereign
immunity.SeeBealev.Blount,461F.2d1133,1138(5thCir.

/2Cinemarkinvokes28U.S.C.1331,thegeneralfederal
questionstatute,butthatstatutedoesnotwaivethesovereign
immunityoftheUnitedStates.SeeVoluntaryPurchasingGroups
v.Reilly,889F.2d1380,1385(5thCir.1989).Othercited
sectionshavenorelevance.Forexample,28U.S.C.451isa
definitionalsection,and28U.S.C.1343and1346dealwith
claimsfordamages,notinjunctiveordeclaratoryrelief.

1972).Indeed,theonlypossiblesourceofawaiverinthe
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statutescitedbyCinemarkistheAdministrativeProcedureAct
("APA"),5U.S.C.551,etseq.
TheAPAprovidesforjudicialreviewbyadistrictcourtof
"agencyaction"inacasebroughtbya"personsufferinglegal
wrongbecauseofagencyaction."5U.S.C.702.Suchreview,
however,islimitedinvariousrespectsbyothersectionsofthe
APA.Mostrelevanthere,agencyactioncanbereviewedonlyif
itis"final,"andonlyiftheplaintiffhas"nootheradequate
remedyinacourt."5U.S.C.704.Therefore,unlessCinemark
candemonstratethatitchallenges"finalagencyaction"andit
iswithoutanadequateremedy,thereisnowaiverofsovereign
immunityandthisCourtdoesnothavejurisdiction.See,e.g.,
Veldhoenv.UnitedStatesCoastGuard,35F.3d222,225(5thCir.
1994);TaylorCallahanColemanCountiesDist.AdultProbation
Dep'tv.Dole,948F.2d953,956(5thCir.1991).
B.

TheDepartmentofJustice'sInterpretationofStandard
4.33.3isNot"FinalAgencyAction"SubjecttoJudicial
ReviewUndertheAdministrativeProcedureAct

"Afinalagencyactionisonethatimposesanobligation,
deniesaright,orfixesalegalrelationship."Veldhoen,35
F.3dat225;DowChemicalv.UnitedStatesEPA,832F.2d319,323
(5thCir.1987);seealsoBennettv.Spear,520U.S.154,17778

(1997).The"action"thatCinemarkchallengesinthislitigation
10
istheDepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationofitsown
regulation.SeePl.'sFirstAm.Compl.3.Thatinterpretation
wasdevelopedandputforwardaspartoftheDepartment's
responsibilitytoenforcetheADA,butithasnotbeencodified,
norhasitresultedinanylegalconsequencesforanyone,let
aloneCinemark.Asaresult,theAdministrativeProcedureAct
doesnotprovideameanstochallengeit.3/
AnextendedanalysisofDowisworthwhilebecausethatcase
involvedfactsstrikinglysimilartothosehereaprocedural
andsubstantivechallengetoanagency'seffortstoenforcea
statuteandregulationsentrustedtoit.Specifically,Dow
challengedtheEPA'sinterpretationofitsownregulation
regardingthemeaningof"discharges,"aninterpretationwhich
/3TheFifthCircuithas,onoccasion,employedafourparttest
todeterminewhetheragencyactionis"final."See,e.g.,
ResidentCouncilv.UnitedStatesDep'tofHousingandUrban
Development,980F.2d1043,1055(5thCir.1993).Threeofthe
questionsacourtasksunderthistestarewhethertheagency's
actionhasthestatusoflawwithpenaltiesfornoncompliance,
whetheritsimpactisdirectandimmediate,andwhetherimmediate
complianceisexpected.Id.Thattestisthereforemerelyan
extensionoftheinquiryposedinDow,Veldhoen,andsimilar
caseswhethertheagencyactionimposesobligations,denies
rights,orfixesalegalrelationshipwiththeadditional
requirementthattheagency'sactionmustbeadefinitive
statementofposition.SeealsoBennett,520U.S.at17778.
AnalysisoftheDepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationunder
eitherapproachleadstothesameresult.

hadbeendisclosedandappliedtoDowinthecontextofan
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investigationofDow'sallegeddischargesofvinylchloridegas.
SubsequenttoDow'sfilingitslawsuit,theEPAfiledacomplaint
inapendingenforcementactionagainstDowinwhich,relyingon
itsinterpretationofitsregulation,itaskedacourttoorder
Dowtocomplywithitsregulationasinterpreted,andordercivil
penalties.
TheCourtdismissedDow'sclaim,findingthatEPAhadnot
takenanystepsthatcouldbecharacterizedasfinalagency
action.TheCourtfirstheldthatEPA'sinterpretationofits
dischargeregulation,justliketheDepartmentofJustice's
interpretationofStandard4.33.3,
is"final"onlyinthesensethatnooneat
theagencycurrentlyplanstoreviseit.The
samecouldbesaidforcountlessother
instancesoflegal"interpretation"that
inevitablyoccur....Whenthese
interpretationsdonotestablishnewrights
ordutieswhentheydonotfixalegal
relationshiptheydonotconstitute"final
action"bytheagencyandtheyarenot
reviewable....
Dow,832F.2dat32324.TheCourtreachedthisholdingdespite
recognizingthatDowmighteventuallybepenalizedforfailingto
abidebythedischargeregulationasinterpretedbyEPA."But
thelegalsourceforthese[penalties]ifindeedthedistrict
courtconcludestheyarewarrantedwillbe[theregulation],
andnotanylaterEPAinterpretationofthatregulation."Id.at
323;seealsoOrengoCaraballov.Reich,11F.3d186,195(D.C.

Cir.1993)(interpretivestatementincontextofadjudicationnot
12
intendedtocreatenewrightsorduties).
Thesameresultismandatedinthiscase.AstheDepartment
ofJusticehasinterpretedStandard4.33.3specificallythe
phrase"linesofsightcomparabletothoseformembersofthe
generalpublic"inthatregulationCinemark'spracticeof
placingwheelchairseatinginthefrontofitsstadiumstyle
theaters,outsidethestadiumportion,doesnotcomplywiththe
regulation.Butitistheregulationitself,andnotthe
DepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationofit,thatimposesthe
dutytoprovidewheelchairuserswith"comparable"seating.
Indeed,theDepartmentofJusticehasissuednoorderrequiring
Cinemarktocomplywithitsinterpretation(nordoestheADA
authorizetheDepartmenttocompelaction),andcanimposeno
penaltyonCinemarkforfailingtocomplywithitsinterpretation
absentacourtorder.Theinterpretationthereforedoesnothave
"thestatusoflawwithpenaltiesfornoncompliance,"andisnot
finalagencyaction.TaylorCallahanColeman,948F.2dat959;
seealsoResidentCouncil,980F.2dat1056(HUDinterpretation
ofstatutenotfinalbecausedoesnothavestatusoflaw).4/
/4Cf.WesternIllinoisHomeHealthCarev.Herman,150F.3d659,
66364(7thCir.1998)(partynotentitledtoseekjudicial
reviewwhennolegalconsequencesfordisregardingagency's
position);Allsteel,Inc.v.UnitedStatesEPA,25F.3d312,315

ThefactthattheDepartmentofJusticehasnowfiledan
13
enforcementactionbasedonanapplicationofStandard4.33.3to
Cinemark'sstadiumstyletheatersdoesnotchangethefinality
analysis.ThisexactsituationaroseinDow,andtheFifth
Circuitexpresslyheldthatthefilingofanenforcementsuitby
anadministrativeagencyresponsibleforenforcementofastatute
isnotfinalagencyaction.Dow,832F.2dat325.While
Cinemarkwillnowhavethe"obligation"todefenditselfin
litigation,that"obligation"is"differentinkindandlegal
effect"fromtheburdensimposedbyfinalagencyaction.Id.
(quotingFTCv.StandardOil,449U.S.232,242(1980)).
TheFifthCircuit'sdecisioninDowisconsistentwiththe
pragmaticapproachcourtsemploytoassessfinality.FTCv.
StandardOil,449U.S.232,239(1980);TaylorCallahanColeman,
948F.2dat957.Administrativeagenciescontinuallyengagein
enforcementefforts,oftenrelyingontheirowninterpretations
ofstatutesandregulationsentrustedtotheiradministration.
See,e.g.,AmericanMiningCongressv.MineSafety&Health
Admin.,995F.2d1106,111112(D.C.Cir.1993).Toallowa
defendanttopreemptanenforcementactionthroughaprocedural
(6thCir.1994)("Whereviolationofanorderwouldnotexpose
thepartytopenaltiesorobligationsnotalreadyimposedbythe
statute,theimpactoftheordermaynotbesufficiently
practicalorimmediatetomaketheaction'final.'").

challengewouldsignificantlyhinderagencyenforcementefforts.
14
AstheSupremeCourtputit,itisnotthepurposeofjudicial
reviewprovisionstoturnprosecutorintodefendant.Standard
Oil,449U.S.at243;seealsoKennethC.Davis&RichardJ.
Pierce,Jr.,AdministrativeLawTreatise,15.15at391(3ded.
1994)("[c]ourtscannotpossiblygetintothebusinessof
reviewing...announcementsofmajorinvestigationsor
enforcementactions").
Indeed,evenifindifferentcircumstancesagency
enforcementactionscouldconstitutefinalagencyactionfor
example,ifthefilingoftheactionitselfhadlegal
consequencesforthedefendanttheDepartmentofJustice's
filinglegalpapersadversetoCinemark'spositionfallswell
shortofthisthreshold.TheDepartmentofJustice'scomplaint
againstCinemarkisastatementthatthereis"reasonablecause
tobelieve"thatdiscriminationundertheADAhasoccurred,see
42U.S.C.12188(b)(1)(B),andsuchastatement,eveninthe
formofaformalcomplaint,isnotfinalagencyaction.Standard
Oil,449U.S.at241.Inessence,theDepartmentofJusticehas
"recommended"thatacourtmakecertainfindings,andthatdoes
not"fixlegalrightsorimposeobligations,eveniffurther
proceedingspromptedbythe[agency's]decisionmay."Veldhoen,

35F.3dat226.SeealsoSolarTurbinesInc.v.Seif,879F.2d
15
1073,1082(3dCir.1989)(issuanceofadministrativeordernot
finalagencyactionwherenocompulsiontoobeyorder).
C. CinemarkHasAn"AdequateRemedyInACourt"BecauseIt
MayChallengetheDepartmentofJustice'sInterpretation
ofStandard4.33.3inThePendingEnforcementAction
EveniftheDepartmentofJusticeinterpretationofStandard
4.33.3werefinalagencyaction,thisCourtwouldnothave
jurisdictionofCinemark'scomplaintundertheAPAbecause
Cinemarkhasan"adequateremedyinacourt."5U.S.C.704.
Cinemarkisfree(andlikely)toraiseitscontrary
interpretationofStandard4.33.3,aswellasitsotherdefenses
againstapplicationofStandard4.33.3toCinemark,seePl.'s
FirstAm.Compl.at10,asadefenseinthependingenforcement
suit.Thus,dismissingthiscasewillnotpreventCinemarkfrom
challengingtheDepartmentofJustice'sinterpretation.SeeDow,
832F.2dat325.
Whereapartyhastheabilitytoassertitsclaimsasa
defenseinanotherproceeding,thatisanadequateremedyatlaw.
SeeGeorgiav.CityofChatanooga,Tennessee,264U.S.472,483
(1924);seealsoUnitedStatesv.RuralElec.ConvenienceCoop.
Co.,922F.2d429,433(7thCir.1991);Travisv.PennyrileRural
Elec.Coop.,399F.2d726,729(6thCir.1968).UndertheAPA,

then,thisCourtdoesnothavejurisdictiontohearCinemark's
16
claims.SeeNewJerseyHosp.Ass'nv.UnitedStates,23F.Supp.
2d497,501(D.N.J.1998);NAACPv.Meese,615F.Supp.200,203
(D.D.C.1985).AlthoughCinemarkmightrathernotlitigatein
thecontextofanenforcementaction,inwhichinjunctiverelief
andcivilpenaltiesareapossibleoutcome,thatdoesnotmean
thatCinemarkdoesnothavean"adequate"opportunity,withinthe
meaningof5U.S.C.704,todefenditselfincourt.See,e.g.,
FirstNat'lBankv.Steinbrink,812F.Supp.849,85354(N.D.
Ill.1993)(expenseorinconvenienceofdefendingselfdoesnot
limitadequacyofremedyincourt).
II. CinemarkShouldNotBePermittedtoPursueADeclaratory
JudgmentActionFiledinAnticipationofOtherLitigation
Cinemark'scomplaintshouldbedismissedfortheseparate
andindependentreasonthatitwasdemonstrablyfiledin
anticipationofanactiontobebroughtamgainstitbytheUnited
States.AsCinemarkacknowledges,theUnitedStatesbeganan
investigationofCinemark'stheatersoverayearago.SeePl.'s
FirstAm.Compl.10.Inthecourseofthatinvestigation,
CinemarkandtheUnitedStatesengagedinnegotiationstosettle
anypossibleclaimstheUnitedStateswouldhaveagainstCinemark
undertheADAandStandard4.33.3.Id.10,15;seealso

MillerDecl.4,7.TheUnitedStatesnotifiedCinemark,
17
however,thattheUnitedStateshadobtainedauthoritytosue
CinemarkundertheADAifthenegotiationswerenotsuccessful.
MillerDecl.7.ThenegotiationscontinueduntilCinemark
notifiedtheUnitedStatesthatithadfiledthislawsuitrather
thanrespondingtothemostrecentofferbytheUnitedStates.
Id.89.Indeed,thiscasewasfiledonlytwodaysafterthe
UnitedStatessentasettlementlettertoCinemark.SeePl.'s
FirstAm.Compl.16(notingUnitedStatesletterdatedJanuary
26,1999).TheUnitedStates,havingreceivednosubstantive
responsetoitsproposals,subsequentlyfileditsenforcement
actionagainstCinemark.SeeExh.5;seealsoMillerDecl.10.
TheDeclaratoryJudgmentActdoesnotrequireadistrict
courttohearacasebroughtbyaplaintiffseekingdeclaratory
relief.SeeRowanCos.,Inc.v.Griffin,876F.2d26,28(5th
Cir.1989);seealso28U.S.C.2201(a)(court"may"declare
rights);Wiltonv.SevenFallsCo.,515U.S.277,28688(1995).
Rather,astheFifthCircuithasrepeatedlyreiterated,that
statute"givesthecourtachoice,notacommand."MissionIns.
Co.v.PuritanFashionsCorp.,706F.2d599,601(5thCir.1983)
(quotingDresserIndus.Inc.v.InsuranceCo.,358F.Supp.327,
330(N.D.Tex.),aff'd,475F.2d1402(5thCir.1973)).Oneof

theprimaryreasonsforacourttoexerciseitschoicenotto
18
hearadeclaratoryjudgmentactioniswhenthatactionisfiled
inanticipationofanothersuit.Id.at602;seealsoRowanat
29.
"Anticipatorysuitsaredisfavoredbecausetheyarean
aspectofforumshopping."Mission,706F.2dat602n.3."The
wholesomepurposesofdeclaratoryactswouldbeabortedbyits
useasaninstrumentofproceduralfencingeithertosecuredelay
ortochooseaforum."Id.(quotingAmericanAuto.Ins.Co.v.
Freundt,103F.2d613,617(7thCir.1939)).ThereforetheFifth
Circuithasrepeatedlyuphelddismissalorstaysofdeclaratory
judgmentactionsfiledinanticipationofotherlitigation.Id.
at60203;OdecoOil&GasCo.v.Bonnette,4F.3d401,404(5th
Cir.1993);GraniteStateIns.Co.v.TandyCorp.,986F.2d94,
96(5thCir.1992),cert.dismissed,507U.S.1026(1993);
PacificEmployersIns.Co.v.M/VCapt.W.D.Cargill,751F.2d
801,804(5thCir.1985);AmeradaPetroleumCorp.v.Marshall,
381F.2d661,663(5thCir.1967);seealsoRowan,876F.2dat29
n.3(existenceofothersuitisimportantfactordistrictcourt
shouldtakeintoaccountonremandindeterminingwhetherto
dismissdeclaratoryjudgmentaction).
ADistrictCourtintheWesternDistrictofTexasrecently

dismissedadeclaratoryjudgmentactionfiledinanearly
19
identicalsituation.DaysInnsv.Reno,935F.Supp.874(W.D.
Tex.1996).Thatcase,too,aroseoutofaninvestigationbythe
DepartmentofJusticeofacompany'sallegedfailuretocomply
withtheADA.Id.at875.TheDepartmentofJusticeengagedin
settlementnegotiationswiththecompany,butalsoinformedthe
companythatitwouldfileenforcementactionsagainstthe
companyifthenegotiationswerenotsuccessful.Id.at876.
Whileanofferwasstillonthetable,thecompanyfileda
declaratoryjudgmentactionagainsttheUnitedStates.Id.
Subsequently,theDepartmentofJusticefiledthepromised
enforcementaction.Id.
Basedonthissimilarsituation,thecourtdismissedthe
declaratoryjudgmentaction.Id.at877.Theevidenceof
negotiationsbetweenthepartiesandthethreatofenforcement
actionbytheDepartmentofJusticewassufficienttosupportthe
conclusionthatthedeclaratoryjudgmentactionwasan
anticipatorylawsuitandthereforemeriteddismissal.Seealso
GraniteState,986F.2dat96(recountingsimilarfacts);
Mission,706F.2dat602(same).Asthecourtnoted,"[t]he
federaldeclaratoryjudgmentisnotaprizetothewinnerofa
racetothecourthouses."DaysInns,935F.Supp.at878

(quotingPerezv.Ledesma,401U.S.82,119n.12(1971)(Brennan,
20
J.,dissenting)).Thesameconclusionapplieshere:Although
Cinemark"race[d]tothecourthouses,"itsanticipatorysuitdoes
nottakepriorityovertheenforcementactionfiledbythe
DepartmentofJustice.5/
Areviewofthecomplaintintheenforcementactionfiledinthe
NorthernDistrictofOhiorevealsthattheentiredisputebetween
thepartiestothisactioncanberesolvedinthatcase.See
Exh.5;cf.Rowan,876F.2dat29(existenceofothersuitwhere
controversycanberesolvedisbasistodismissdeclaratory
judgmentaction);DaysInns,935F.Supp.at877,878(same).
Wherethatistrue,andwheretheevidencesupportsthe
conclusionthatthedeclaratoryjudgmentactionwasan
anticipatorysuit,thedeclaratoryjudgmentactionshouldbe
dismissed.SeeGeneralMotorsCorp.v.Volpe,321F.Supp.1112,
112526(D.Del.1970),aff'dasmodified,457F.2d922(3dCir.
1972);seealsoTorch,Inc.v.LeBlanc,947F.2d193,196(5th
Cir.1991)(functionofdeclaratoryjudgmentactisnottoallow
defendanttoobtainpreemptivedeclarationofnonliability).
/5Thisconclusionapplieswithevenmoreforcetothe
prospectiveintervenors,AmericanMultiCinema,Inc.andAMC
Entertainment,Inc.("AMC"),againstwhomanenforcementaction
bytheUnitedStateswaspendingpriortotheirefforttojoin
thislitigation.SeeAMCBriefat4.

21
III. Cinemark'sClaimRegardingItsOperationalTheatersIs
BarredbyCollateralEstoppel
EvenifthisCourthadjurisdiction,andweretoexercise
thatjurisdiction,overCinemark'sclaimsgenerally,atleastone
ofCinemark'sclaimswouldstillhavetobedismissedatthe
outset.Cinemarkseeksadeclaratoryjudgmentthatits
operationaltheaterscomplywithStandard4.33.3andtheADA.
SeePl.'sFirstAm.Compl.at10(d);seealsoid.at6
(describingCinemark'sseatingplan).Anotherfederalcourt,
however,hasalreadydeterminedthatnottobethecase.
InLara,JudgeHudspethconcludedthatCinemark'sElPaso
stadiumstyletheaters,andparticularlytheplacementof
wheelchairseatingonthefloorinfrontofthestadiumstyle
sectionofthetheater,violatetheADAandtheplainlanguageof
Standard4.33.3.6/AstheCourtinLarafound,Cinemark's
theatersdenywheelchairusers"fullandequalenjoymentofthe
moviegoingexperience"bydenyingthosepatrons"comparable"
linesofsightastheADAandStandard4.33.3require.SeeExh.
2at34.TheCourt'sdeterminationinLarawasnotbasedonthe
DepartmentofJustice'sinterpretationofStandard4.33.3,but
/6SeegenerallyLara,slipop.(W.D.Tex.Feb.4,1999)
(judgment)(attachedasExh.6);id.,slipop.(orderawarding
damagesandinjunctiverelief)(attachedasExh.7);seealso
Exh.2(orderonmotionsforsummaryjudgment).

merelyontheplainmeaningoftheregulationitself,aswellas
22
ontheplainmeaningoftheADA.Seeid.at3;seealsoLara,
slipop.(W.D.Tex.Mar.22,1999)(orderregardingPls.'Request
forAttorneys'Fees)(attachedasExh.8),at3("Court's
constructionof...theADAdidnotcreatea'newstandard.'
Rather,theCourt'sconstructionof[theADA]isastatementof
whatthestatutemeantbothbeforeaswellasaftertheCourt's
decision.").
Thedoctrineofcollateralestoppel,orissuepreclusion,
preventsapartyfromrelitigatinganissuethatithasalready
litigatedandlost,andprotectsdefendantsagainsthavingto
litigateanissuethathasalreadybeendecidedagainstthe
plaintiff.See,e.g.,18JamesWm.Moore,Moore'sFederal
Practice,132.01at13211(3ded.);seealsoMontanav.United
States,440U.S.147,15354(1979)(doctrineprotectsparties
fromexpenseofmultiplelawsuitsandconservesjudicial
resources).Collateralestoppelisappropriatewhere:
(1)theissueatstakeisidenticaltothe
oneinvolvedintheprioraction,(2)the
issuewasactuallylitigated,and(3)the
issuewasnecessarytosupportjudgmentin
theprioraction.
Swatev.Hartwell,99F.3d1282,1289(5thCir.1996).
Allofthesefactorsarepresenthere.Areviewofthe

complaintinthiscaseandthepleadingsandjudgmentinLara
23
revealthattheissueraisedbyCinemarkofwhetheritscurrent
theaterscomplywiththeADAandStandard4.33.3isexactlythe
issueinvolvedin,andlitigatedin,Lara.SeeExh.2at25;
Exh.6at1;Exh.7at2.CinemarkdefendeditselfinthatCourt
byarguingvigorously,asitdoeshere,thatitstheaterscomply
withtheADAandStandard4.33.3.7/Cf.Montana,440U.S.at156
57(courtdeterminesidentityofissuesbyreviewofcomplaint
anddecisionfrompriorcase).Indeed,ingrantingsummary
judgmentagainstCinemarkinthatcase,thecourtframedthe
issueaswhetherCinemark'stheaters"violatethestatuteandthe
regulation[Standard4.33.3]inthatthewheelchairseatingthat
hasbeenprovideddoesnotafford[]linesofsightcomparableto
thoseprovidedtoablebodiedtheaterpatrons."SeeExh.2at3.
Thecourtwentontospecificallydecidethatissueagainst
Cinemark.Id.at45.
Theresolutionofthatissuewasnotonlynecessarytosupport
/7Forexample,Cinemark'ssummaryjudgmentbriefinLaraopened
withseveralpagesofargumentonexactlythisissuewhether
itstheaterscomplywithStandard4.33.3.See,e.g.,Def.'sMot.
forSumm.J.andBr.inSupp.Thereof,July16,1998,filedin
Larav.CinemarkUSA,No.EP97CA502H(W.D.Tex.),at2
(argumentheading:theaterscomplywithADAbecausetheycomply
withStandard4.33.3),34(arguingthattheatersasconstructed
providecomparablelinesofsight),6("becauseCinemark's
theaterscomplywithSection4.33.3,Cinemarkisentitledto
summaryjudgment").(copyattachedasExh.9).

thejudgmentinLara,butalsoperhapstheonlyissueresolvedto
24
supportthatjudgment.WithoutadeterminationthatCinemark's
theatersviolateStandard4.33.3andthereforeviolatetheADA,
theCourtcouldnothaveproceeded,asitdid,toorderCinemark
tomodifythosetheaters"tobringthemintocompliancewiththe
requirements"oftheADA.SeeExh.6at1.8/Onefederalcourt
havingalreadydeterminedthatCinemark'stheatersviolatethe
ADA,Cinemarkcannotunderminethatdeterminationthrough
collateralattackinthisCourt.9/
CONCLUSION
Forthesereasons,Plaintiff'sFirstAmendedComplaintshouldbe
dismissed.
Dated:April2,1999

Respectfullysubmitted,
DAVIDW.OGDEN
ActingAssistantAttorneyGeneral

/8Cinemarkmayrespondthatithasappealedthefinaljudgment
inLara.Thatfactisirrelevantforthepurposesofcollateral
estoppel.See,e.g.,HuronHoldingCorp.v.LincolnMine
OperatingCo.,312U.S.183,189(1941);FidelityStandardLife
Ins.Co.v.FirstNat'lBank&TrustCo.,510F.2d272,273(5th
Cir.1975);seealsoAmcastIndus.Corp.v.DetrexCorp.,45F.3d
155,15860(7thCir.1995)(finaljudgmenthasclaimpreclusion
andissuepreclusioneffectalthoughappealpending);Tripativ.
Henman,857F.2d1366,1367(9thCir.1988)("todenypreclusion
inthesecircumstanceswouldleadtoanabsurdresult:Litigants
wouldbeabletorefileidenticalcaseswhileappealsare
pending,enmeshingtheiropponentsandthecourtsystemin
tanglesofduplicativelitigation.").
/9ItisofnoimportancethattheUnitedStateswasnotaparty
totheLaracase.SeeAllenv.McCurry,449U.S.90,9495
(1980);Terrellv.DeConna,877F.2d1267,1270(5thCir.1989).

25
PAULE.COGGINS
UnitedStatesAttorney
JIMLAURENCE
AssistantUnitedStatesAttorney

_______________________________
RICHARDG.LEPLEY
AssistantBranchDirector
DAVIDO.BUCHHOLZ(Pa.Bar#65320)
TrialAttorney
FederalProgramsBranch
CivilDivision
U.S.DepartmentofJustice
901EStreet,N.W.,Room952
Washington,D.C.20530
(202)5143330
CounselforDefendant