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Roland I. Kehano, Sr.,#A0125634 v. Pioneer Mill Company

December 6, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Michael Seabright United States District Judge

DISMISSAL ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) AND § 1915A(b)

Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Roland I. Kehano, Sr.'s amended prisoner civil rights Complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.*fn1 ECF No. 19. Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility ("HCF") and proceeding in forma pauperis. Plaintiff names private companies and their past and present owners, employees, and attorneys, as well as state agencies and their officers as defendants to this suit. The Amended Complaint and this action are DISMISSED for failure to state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1). Because further amendment appears futile, and abstention is required under the Younger abstention doctrine, this dismissal is without leave to amend.


On August 20, 2012, the court dismissed Plaintiff's original Complaint as frivolous and for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A)(b)(1), with leave to amend. Order, ECF No. 4. Plaintiff now clarifies that he is involved in an ongoing quiet title action in the state court with 102 other defendants. Plaintiff broadly alleges that Defendants*fn2 violated his rights as a native Hawaiian "by thinking us Hawaiians are stupid and we will continue to let these Corporation to legally acquire land parcel owned by Heirs of our Ancestors." Am. Compl., ECF No. 19 PageID #202. Plaintiff believes the land in question is his by virtue of his Hawaiian heritage. Plaintiff also protests the diversion of water from the Hawaiian people, which he alleges has diminished taro farming and traditional Hawaiian lifestyles.

Plaintiff is one of many co-defendants in Pioneer Mill Company, LLC. v. Mahinahina, et al., Civ. No. 11-1-0063(1), a case that is currently pending in the Hawaii Second Circuit Court. See Original Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff asks this court to intervene in this state court case and order 50% of the land parcel placed in a federal trust naming Plaintiff the "President, CEO," for "the Peoples Party. The Legacy of Warrior Chief Kahikili," and 50% to be used for crop and animal husbandry and affordable homes. Am. Compl. ECF No. 19 PageID #205.


Federal courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in which prisoners are proceeding in forma pauperis or seek redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(a). The court must identify any cognizable claims, and dismiss any claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.

A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it

(1) lacks a cognizable legal theory; or (2) contains insufficient facts under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To state a claim, a pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). While Rule 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations, "it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id.

"[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. Thus, although a plaintiff's specific factual allegations may be consistent with a constitutional claim, a court must assess whether there are other "more likely explanations" for a defendant's conduct. Id. at 681.

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. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010). A "complaint [filed by a pro se prisoner] 'must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam)).

If the court determines that a pleading can be cured by the allegation of other facts, a pro se litigant is entitled to an opportunity to amend a complaint before dismissal of the action. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-29 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). The court should not, however, advise the litigant how to cure the defects. This type of advice "would undermine district judges' role as impartial decisionmakers." Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231 (2004); see also Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1131 n.13 (declining to decide whether the court was required to inform a litigant of deficiencies).


To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting ...

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