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Scott L. andrews, Claudia J. Rohr v. County of Hawaii; Lawrence K. Mahuna; Samuel Thomas; George

February 9, 2012

SCOTT L. ANDREWS, CLAUDIA J. ROHR,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF HAWAII; LAWRENCE K. MAHUNA; SAMUEL THOMAS; GEORGE MAKUA; ROMEO FUVIAVA; BRIAN MILLER; BENNY RUFFOLO; ANNETTE COLLINS; MIRIAM KANAEHOLO; DOE DEFENDANTS 1--25, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David Alan Ezra United States District Judge

ORDER: (1) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; (2) DISMISSING THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND; AND (3) VACATING THE HEARING

Pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(d), the Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing. After reviewing Defendants County of Hawaii, Lawrence K. Mahuna, Samuel Thomas, George Makua, Romeo Fuviava, Brian Miller, Benny Ruffolo, and Annette Coolins' (collectively, "Defendants") Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint and the supporting and opposing memoranda, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the First Amended Complaint.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Scott Andrews ("Andrews") and his wife Claudia Rohr ("Rohr"), proceeding pro se, filed this action against Defendants Hawai'i County and various members of the Hawai'i County Police Department. The factual allegations in Plaintiffs' Complaint date back to April 21, 2008. ("FAC," Doc. # 41, ¶ 23.) Plaintiffs claim that on that day, Andrews was confronted by a group of individuals, including a man named Alexander Lewis ("Lewis"), and called the police for help. (Id. ¶ 25.) According to Plaintiffs, Andrews was attacked by Lewis while waiting for the police. (Id. ¶¶ 25--26.) Plaintiffs claim that Defendant police officers did not conduct a thorough investigation into the assault. (Id. ¶¶ 30--32.) Instead, Defendants George Makua ("Makua") and Romeo Fuiava ("Fuiava") allegedly "conspired to stage a cover-up to protect Lewis" by fabricating evidence. (Id. ¶¶ 32--33.) Plaintiffs claim that over the course of the next several months, Lewis and others harassed the Plaintiffs and the Defendants failed to respond to Plaintiffs' repeated requests for assistance. (See id. ¶¶ 34--40.)

On December 12, 2008, Lewis allegedly assaulted Andrews again and Andrews sustained injuries that required him to go to the hospital. (Id. ¶¶ 41--51.)

Plaintiffs allege that after the assault, they tried numerous times to contact the police and request assistance. (Id. ¶¶ 50, 53--55, 58a*fn1 .) According to Plaintiffs, however, the Defendants refused to send an officer to their home or conduct an investigation. (Id. ¶¶ 53--55, 58a.) Andrews checked into the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room around 5:45 p.m. that day and Defendant Benny J. Ruffolo ("Ruffolo") allegedly agreed to meet Andrews at the hospital for an interview. (Id. ¶¶ 55--56.) However, Plaintiffs claim that Ruffolo never contacted them. (Id. ¶ 58a.) Instead, Fuiava and several other unnamed defendants allegedly went to the hospital and tried to get Andrews civilly committed but were unsuccessful.*fn2

(Id. ¶ 57b.) Plaintiffs allege that Fuiava and the others then proceeded to arrest Andrews while he was in the Emergency Room. (Id. ¶ 59a.)

Plaintiffs claim that Andrews was subsequently taken to a holding jail at the Hilo Police Station after Andrews refused to sign the hospital release form. (Id. ¶¶ 60--61.) According to Plaintiffs, Andrews repeatedly told the officers that he thought he was going to have a heart attack but they initially refused to take him back to the hospital. (Id. ¶ 61.) Plaintiff Rohr repeatedly requested to see Andrews but was denied access to him. (Id. ¶ 63.) Plaintiffs claim that Andrews was eventually taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with an abnormal electrocardiogram. (Id. ¶ 64.) Andrews claims to have been incarcerated without bail for a total of forty-four hours "for no apparent purpose." (Id. ¶ 71.) Andrews was released on December 14, 2008. ("Release Form," Doc. # 30-3, at 2.)

Plaintiffs initiated the instant action on December 15, 2010. (Doc. # 1.) On September 20, 2011, this Court dismissed Plaintiffs' Initial Complaint without prejudice. (Doc. # 39.) The Court determined that the statute of limitations for Plaintiffs' claims expired before the Initial Complaint was filed. However, the Court observed that "it may be possible for Plaintiffs to plead sufficiently that Defendants could be estopped from raising a statute of limitations defense if provided the opportunity to amend their Complaint." (Id. at 16.) The Court therefore granted Plaintiffs leave to amend and on November 3, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). ("FAC," Doc. # 41.) The FAC alleges the following causes of action:

1. Andrews "was falsely arrested and suffered the loss of his liberty without any probable . . . cause in violation of rights guaranteed to him by the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." (Id. ¶ 81.)

2. Defendants "negligently failed and/or refused to properly train, supervise, and/or discipline police officers and other employees under their supervision and control . . . ." (Id. ¶ 83.)

3. Defendants "negligently caused Plaintiffs to suffer physical injuries, pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, worry, and anger . . . ." (Id. ¶ 85.)

4. Defendants "acted herein knowingly, deliberately, intentionally, deliberately indifferent, and maliciously without regard for the rights, interests, and well-being of Plaintiffs." (Id. ¶ 87.)

5. Defendant County of Hawaii "negligently, unlawfully operates under an unconstitutional General Order which emphasizes the outside time limit arrested persons may be detained without setting bail . . . ." (Id. ¶ 89.)

6. Defendant County of Hawaii "negligently failed to act upon a special duty, thereby proximately and directly causing the injuries to Plaintiffs complained of herein." (Id. ¶ 91.)

On November 14, 2011, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the FAC. ("Mot.," Doc. # 44.) Plaintiffs filed an Opposition to Defendants' Motion on January 23, 2012. ("Opp.," Doc. # 49.) That same day, Plaintiffs also filed a Request for Leave to Amend and Supplement the FAC. (Doc. # 50.) Defendants filed a ...


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