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Janis. S. Okawaki v. Robert Sanchez

March 8, 2012

JANIS. S. OKAWAKI,
DAE-BMK PLAINTIFF
v.
ROBERT SANCHEZ, AKA LARRY MEHAU, SHERI DOLDER, AKA MRS. LARRY MEHAU, STATE OF
HAWAII JUDICIARY, STATE OF HAWAII STATE HOSPITAL, STEADFAST HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT, HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT, STATE OF HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF
SAFETY, CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER: (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS; (2) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S 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 considering Defendant City and County of Honolulu's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Plaintiff's Complaint as against all Defendants with leave to amend. The hearing on the motion is hereby vacated.

BACKGROUND

On January 9, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Robert Sanchez, "AKA Larry Mehau," Sheri Dolder, "AKA Mrs. Larry Mehau," the State of Hawaii Judiciary, the State of Hawaii State Hospital, the Steadfast Housing Development Corporation, the Honolulu Police Department, the State of Hawaii Department of Safety, and the City and County of Honolulu (collectively "Defendants").*fn1 ("Compl.," Doc. # 1 at 1.) On January 30, 2012, Defendant City and County of Honolulu filed a Motion to Dismiss. ("Mot.," Doc. # 10.) Plaintiff did not file an opposition.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

I. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule"), a motion to dismiss will be granted where the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for one of two reasons: "(1) lack of a cognizable legal theory, or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal claim." Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 1984) (citation omitted). Allegations of fact in the complaint must be taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Livid Holdings Ltd. v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc., 416 F.3d 940, 946 (9th Cir. 2005).

A complaint need not include detailed facts to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555--56 (2007). However, "conclusory allegations without more are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim." McGlinchy v. Shell Chem. Co., 845 F.2d 802, 810 (9th Cir. 1988) (citation omitted). "The tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions," and courts "are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (internal quotations and citations omitted). Thus, "bare assertions amounting to nothing more than a formulaic recitation of the elements" of a claim "are not entitled to an assumption of truth." Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[T]he non-conclusory 'factual content,' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.") (internal quotations and citations omitted).

A court looks at whether the facts in the complaint sufficiently state a "plausible" ground for relief. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. If a court dismisses the complaint or portions thereof, it must consider whether to grant leave to amend. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (finding that leave to amend should be granted "if it appears at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the defect") (internal quotations and citations omitted).

II. Rule 8

Rule 8 mandates that a complaint include a "short and plain statement of the claim," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), and that each allegation "be simple, concise, and direct." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(d)(1). A complaint may be dismissed under FRCP 8 if the complaint is "so verbose, confused, and redundant that its true substance, if any, is well disguised." Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep't, 530 F.3d 1124, 1131 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Gillibeau v. City of Richmond, 417 F.2d 426, 431 (9th Cir. 1969)); see also McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 1996) ("Something labeled a complaint but written . . . , prolix in evidentiary detail, yet without simplicity, conciseness and clarity as to whom plaintiffs are suing for what wrongs, fails to perform the essential functions of a complaint.").

Put slightly differently, a district court may dismiss a complaint for failure to comply with Rule 8 where it fails to provide the defendants fair notice of the wrongs they have allegedly committed.SeeMcHenry, 84 F.3d at 1178--80 (affirming dismissal of complaint where "one cannot determine from the complaint who is being sued, for what relief, and on what theory, with enough detail to guide discovery"); cf.Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1105 n.4 (9th Cir. 2008) (finding dismissal under Rule 8 was in error where "the complaint provide[d] fair notice of the wrongs allegedly committed by defendants and [did] not qualify as overly verbose, confusing, or rambling"). Rule 8 requires more than "the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s]" and "[a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. "The propriety of dismissal for failure to comply with Rule 8 does not depend on whether the complaint is wholly without merit." McHenry, 84 F.3d at 1179.

III. Pro Se Litigants "Pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Jackson v. Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 757 (9th Cir. 2003). The Court must construe a pro se complaint liberally, accept all allegations of material fact as true, and construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Resnick v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). However, "[p]ro se litigants must follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants." King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). Leave to amend should be granted if ...


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