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Dunn v. Kuhio Motors, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 11, 2016

LORETTA B. DUNN; LAUREN M. DUNN, Plaintiffs,
v.
KUHIO MOTORS, INC. dba KUHIO AUTO GROUP; RYAN MACKEY; LANCE E ROHRER, et al ., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING (1) KUHIO AUTO'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION; (2) TD AUTO AND TD BANK'S MOTION TO DISMISS; AND (3) HYUNDAI'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          DERRICK K. WATSON DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiffs Loretta B. Dunn and Lauren M. Dunn, proceeding pro se, allege primarily state law violations arising from the July 2015 trade-in of two used vehicles and a financed-purchase of a new vehicle at Kuhio Motors, Inc. dba Kuhio Auto Group (“Kuhio Auto”). According to Plaintiffs, soon after the trade-in/purchase, they discovered that their new vehicle was a “lemon, ” but neither the dealership nor the manufacturer, Hyundai Motors America (“Hyundai”), resolved the matter sufficiently. To the contrary, Plaintiffs allege that Kuhio Auto employees actively committed fraud and unfair and deceptive business practices, instead of remedying the mechanical issues with the defective car. However, because Plaintiffs' Complaint fails to adequately allege any basis for this Court's jurisdiction, the Court is without the authority to act. Accordingly, Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted for the reasons set forth below. Plaintiffs are granted leave to file an amended complaint, as indicated.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs purchased a new 2014 Hyundai Sonata from Kuhio Auto on July 1, 2015. As part of the transaction, they traded in a 2008 Nissan Versa and a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and financed the difference in price between the trade-ins and the Sonata. Complaint at 8. On July 23, 2015, Kuhio Auto Finance Manager Lance Rohrer required Plaintiffs to sign additional contracts due to a “mistake in GAP insurance, ” but did not provide Plaintiffs sufficient time to review the contracts before they signed the documents in his office. Complaint at 8. Shortly thereafter, the Sonata suffered repeated mechanical issues, including dead batteries, brake failures, swerving and pulling to the side, rolling backwards while in park, and an inoperable sunroof and doors. These problems required multiple visits to Kuhio Auto for services and repairs throughout the summer and fall of 2015, all to no avail. Complaint at 8-10.

         Plaintiffs made several attempts to contact Kuhio Auto management and Hyundai Motors to complain about their unresolved issues with the Sonata. According to Plaintiffs, no satisfactory response was received from anyone at Kuhio Auto and, as a result, Loretta Dunn experienced extreme emotional distress and marked decreases in her physical health. Complaint at. 10. On December 22, 2015, Plaintiffs allege that they received a phone call from Leila Bidad, Hyundai Case Manager, advising that an investigation concluded that they “have a lemon.” Complaint at 10. They again returned the Sonata to Kuhio Auto for repairs in December 2015, believing it unsafe to drive, and Hyundai appears to have provided a rental car for a period of one month. Complaint at 11.

         Plaintiffs contend that Kuhio Auto knowingly sold them a “lemon” and that when confronted, management refused to show them their paperwork. Complaint at 11. Plaintiffs assert that they are “making a formal complaint against TD Bank, TD Auto Finance, Kuhio Auto Group, Ryan Mackey, and Lance Rohrer. . ., [c]oncerning various automobile transactions, fraudulent contract, credit fraud, and more[.]” Complaint at 5. Plaintiffs contend they are “victims in an elaborate fraud ring between 2014-2016 on Kaua‘i Hawai‘i, ” and have “evidence proving fraud, forgery, deceptive business practices, lemon law and more.” Complaint at 7. The Complaint lists over two pages of federal and state statutes and regulations, as well as common law causes of actions - untethered to any supporting factual allegations - which Plaintiffs believe afford them relief.[1] Under the heading, “Federal Court Jurisdiction, ” Plaintiffs list:

RICO U.S.C. § 1961-1968 FRAUD, RACKETEERING, COUNTERFITTING
31 U.S.C. § 5318(g) and 31 C.F.R. § VIOLATION OF BANK SECRECY ACT
31 C.F.R. § 1010.415 RECORD-KEEPING VIOLATIONS
31 C.F.R. § 1010.311 CURRENCY TRANSACTION REPORT

         Complaint at 6.

         Although the precise remedy sought by the Complaint is not clear, it appears that Plaintiffs seek some form of compensatory relief for the loss of their vehicle and general damages for other losses. Defendants move to dismiss on various grounds.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) authorizes a court to dismiss claims over which it lacks proper subject matter jurisdiction. A plaintiff has the burden of proving that subject-matter jurisdiction exists. Thornhill Publ'g Co., ...


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