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Rideout v. Sakai

United States District Court, District of Hawaii

May 18, 2015

MONTY V. RIDEOUT, Plaintiff,
v.
TED SAKAI, AL BEAVERS, MAX OTANI, BERT MATSUOKA, TOMMY JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Proceeding pro se, Plaintiff Monty V. Rideout filed a Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint (“Complaint”) on April 18, 2014 against Defendant Ted Sakai, Director of the Department of Public Safety, as well as various members of the Hawaii Paroling Authority: Defendants Max Otani, Bert Matsuoka, Tommy Johnson, and Al Beavers (collectively “Defendants”).[1] Dkt. No. 1. Rideout asserts violations of his rights under the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, based on circumstances surrounding his parole. Specifically, Rideout alleges that his constitutional rights were violated when he was paroled in December 1998, and the parole board failed to set a minimum term of parole.

Before this Court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”) (Dkt. No. 43). Because the issues raised by Rideout were previously litigated in a state court action and because, in any event, Rideout has not established that Defendants were personally involved in the alleged violations, Defendants’ Motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

I. State Court Action (SPP 13-1-001K)

On February 27, 2013, Rideout filed a Petition, pursuant to Rule 40 of the Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure, in the Third Circuit for the State of Hawai'i (“Circuit Court”): Rideout v. State of Hawaii, SPP 13-1-001K. Dkt. No. 43-4 (Exh. B). In the Petition, Rideout alleged, among other things, that the State of Hawai'i violated his constitutional rights when he was paroled in December 1998, and the parole board failed to set a minimum term of parole. Dkt No. 43-4 (Exh. B).

On June 20, 2013, the Circuit Court denied Rideout’s Rule 40 Petition because his claims were “patently frivolous and without a trace of support either in the record or from other evidence submitted by [Rideout].” Dkt. No. 43-5 (Exh. C) at 6. The Circuit Court’s decision was affirmed on appeal to the Intermediate Court of Appeals of the State of Hawai'i. Dkt. No. 43-6 (Exh. D).

II. Federal Court Action (CV 14-00185 DKW-BMK)

On April 18, 2014, Rideout filed the instant Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Hawai'i, Rideout v. Sakai, et al., CV 14-00185 DKW-BMK, once again alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when he was paroled in December 1998, and the parole board failed to set a minimum term of parole. Dkt. No. 1. The named defendants included the following individuals: Ted Sakai, Max Otani, Bert Matsuoka, and Tommy Johnson. Dkt. No. 1 at 1-3.

According to Defendants, Defendant Ted Sakai served as the Director of the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”), from December 1998 to December 2002 and from June 1, 2012 to December 30, 2014, and the Hawai'i Paroling Authority (“HPA”), which is administratively attached to DPS. Declaration of Ted Sakai, ¶¶ 3-4. Defendant Max Otani served as the Field Service Branch Administrator at HPA in 1998. Declaration of Max Otani, ¶ 3-4. Defendant Bert Matsuoka is the current chairman of HPA. Declaration of Bert Matsuoka, ¶¶ 3 & 5. From 2001 to 2007, and again since 2010, Defendant Tommy Johnson served as the Paroles and Pardons Administrator (“PPA”) at HPA. Declaration of Tommy Johnson, ¶¶ 3-5. The Complaint did not specifically allege how each Defendant was personally involved in violating Defendant’s constitutional rights.

In his Complaint, Rideout requests monetary relief for illegal custody, loss of wages, and loss of equity in property. Dkt. No. 1 at 10. Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims raised in Rideout’s Complaint. Dkt. No. 43.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Court liberally construes Rideout’s filings because he is proceeding pro se. See Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) (“The Supreme Court has instructed the federal courts to liberally construe the ‘inartful pleading’ of pro se litigants.”) (citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam)). “Pro se litigants must [nonetheless] follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants.” King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987), overruled on other grounds by Lacey v. Maricopa Cnty., 693 F.3d 896 (9th Cir. 2012).

A party is entitled to summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A fact is ‘material’ when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. A ‘genuine issue’ of material fact arises if ‘the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.’” Thrifty Oil Co. v. Bank of Am. ...


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