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DeRosa v. Association of Apartment Owners of Golf Villas

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

July 20, 2016

VINCENT DeROSA, Plaintiff,
v.
THE ASSOCIATION OF APARTMENT OWNERS OF THE GOLF VILLAS; CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT, INC., dba CERTIFIED HAWAII aka ASSOCIA HAWAII; JOHN DOES 1-100; JANE DOES 1-100; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-100 AND DOE ENTITIES 1-100, Defendants.

         ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURT’S MAY 6, 2016 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, FILED ON MARCH 9, 2016, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO CERTIFY ISSUES TO HAWAII SUPREME COURT

          Leslie E. Kobayashi, United States District Judge.

         On May 6, 2016, this Court issued its Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (“5/6/16 Order”). [Dkt. no. 45.[1] On May 20, 2016, Plaintiff Vincent DeRosa (“Plaintiff”) filed a motion for reconsideration of the 5/6/16 Order or, in the alternative, for certification of issues to the Hawai`i Supreme Court (“Motion for Reconsideration”). [Dkt. no. 49.] Defendants the Association of Apartment Owners of the Golf Villas (“AOAO”) and Certified Management, Inc., doing business as Certified Hawaii, now known as Associa Hawaii (“Certified, ” collectively “Defendants”) filed their memorandum in opposition on June 6, 2016, and Plaintiff filed his reply on June 23, 2016. [Dkt. nos. 66, 67.] The Court has considered the Motion for Reconsideration as a non-hearing matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”). After careful consideration of the motion, supporting and opposing documents, and the relevant legal authority, Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration is HEREBY DENIED for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         The factual and procedural background of this case is set forth in the 5/6/16 Order, and this Court will not repeat it here. In the 5/6/16 Order, this Court dismissed Plaintiff’s bad faith claim, prima facie tort claim, selective enforcement of governing documents claim, and breach of fiduciary duty claim with prejudice, and granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants as to Plaintiff’s intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) claim, negligent infliction of emotional distress (“NIED”) claim, negligence claim, gross negligence claim, Haw. Rev. Stat. § 514B-105 claim, [2] racketeering claim, and Haw. Rev. Stat. § 514B-9 claim. This Court denied Defendants’ motion as to Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim. 2016 WL 2626846, at *18.

         In the Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff argues that the 5/6/16 Order failed to address his claims against Certified. He also argues that this Court erred in dismissing his bad faith claim because: 1) there is a special relationship between Plaintiff and both the AOAO and Certified; and 2) Haw. Rev. Stat. § 514B-9(e), and Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes §§ 6.13 and 6.14 impose a duty on Defendants to act in good faith. He also contends that, because the Hawai`i Supreme Court would adopt §§ 6.13 and 6.14, this Court erred in dismissing his selective enforcement of governing documents claim and breach of fiduciary duty claim. If this Court is not inclined to reconsider its rulings on Plaintiff’s claims based on § 6.13 and § 6.14, he argues that this Court should certify a question to the Hawai`i Supreme Court regarding whether the supreme court would adopt those sections.

         Plaintiff also seeks reconsideration of this Court’s ruling that his IIED claim and his Negligence Claims are time barred because they accrued on November 30, 2012 - the date that the AOAO filed the lien on his unit. Finally, Plaintiff argues that this Court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants as to his racketeering claim.

         STANDARD

         I. Reconsideration

         This Court has previously stated that a motion for reconsideration

“must accomplish two goals. First, a motion for reconsideration must demonstrate reasons why the court should reconsider its prior decision. Second, a motion for reconsideration must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision.” See Davis v. Abercrombie, Civil No. 11-00144 LEK-BMK, 2014 WL 2468348, at *2 (D. Hawaii June 2, 2014) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). This district court recognizes three circumstances where it is proper to grant reconsideration of an order: “(1) when there has been an intervening change of controlling law; (2) new evidence has come to light; or (3) when necessary to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Tierney v. Alo, Civ. No. 12-00059 SOM/KSC, 2013 WL 1858585, at *1 (D. Hawaii May 1, 2013) (citing School District No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993)). “Mere disagreement with a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration.” Davis, 2014 WL 2468348, at *3 n.4 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

Riley v. Nat’l Ass’n of Marine Surveyors, Inc., Civil No. 14-00135 LEK-RLP, 2014 WL 4794003, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Sept. 25, 2014). Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration alleges that this Court committed clear error in the 5/6/16 Order and/or that reconsideration of the order is necessary to prevent manifest injustice. [Reply at 5.]

         II. Certification of Questions to the Hawai`i Supreme Court

“This court may certify a question to the Hawai`i Supreme Court when it concerns ‘law of Hawai`i that is determinative of the cause and . . . there is no clear controlling precedent in the Hawai`i judicial decisions . . . .[’]” Saiki v. LaSalle Bank Nat’l Ass’n as Tr. for Structured Asset Inv. Loan Trust Series 2003-BC2, Civil No. 10-00085 JMS/LEK, 2011 WL 601139, at *6 (D. Hawai`i Feb. 10, 2011) (quoting Haw. R. App. P. 13(a)). The court, however, should not certify questions when the answer is reasonably clear and the court can, using its best judgment, predict how the Hawai`i Supreme Court would decide the issue. See id. (citing Helfand v. Gerson, 105 F.3d 530, 537 (9th Cir. 1997); Pai`Ohana v. United States, 875 F.Supp. 680, 700 (D. Haw. 1995)). . . .

Pac. Radiation Oncology, LLC v. Queen’s Med. Ctr., Civil No. 12-00064 LEK-KSC, 2015 WL 419654, at *11 (D. Hawai`i Jan. 30, 2015) (alterations ...


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