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Piedvache v. Ige

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 2, 2016

GOVERNOR DAVID IGE, et al., Defendants.


          DERRICK K. WATSON, United States District Judge.


         Plaintiff Rodney-Emile Piedvache was arrested in Hilo, Hawai‘i for failure to comply with drivers' licensing and motor vehicle registration requirements and faces ongoing prosecution in state court on the charges stemming from that arrest. Piedvache contends that he is exempt from governmental statutes and regulations that require motor vehicle operators to comply with licensing and registration requirements on public roadways. On March 24, 2016, Piedvache, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint against the Governor of the State of Hawaii and his wife; members of the Hawaii congressional delegation and their spouses; the County of Hawaii Police Department and individual officers involved in his arrest; and the Hawaii Tribune Herald newspaper, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, copyright law, and criminal law. Because the Complaint fails to state a claim for relief or to provide a valid basis for the Court's subject matter jurisdiction, the Court GRANTS defendants' motions to dismiss.[1] Piedvache is GRANTED limited leave to file an amended complaint in accordance with the terms of this order by no later than November 28, 2016.


         According to Piedvache's Complaint:

On or about January 2, 2016 at approximately 9:00 am, while plaintiff was traveling in his truck on a public roadway in Hilo, Plaintiff was arrested and ordered to obtain a drivers license and an automobile license, etc. I stand on what the Supreme Court says when they speak these words, “The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horse-drawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Under this constitutional guaranty one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct.”
* * * *
These events occurred in Hilo, Hawaii near the outdoor market on a Saturday morning while there were lots of people shopping there. These things were done in a public place where there were witnesses and a video taken and posted on [YouTube] of the arrest.

Complaint at 4-5.

         Following his arrest, the Hawaii Tribune Herald “wrote a piece in their newspaper about [Piedvache] due to the police report without [his] express written consent.” Complaint at 5. Piedvache alleges, “I notified the police officers about my copyright and tried to show it to them. They refused to acknowledge it and laughed at me.” Complaint at 5.

The Defendants in this case has deprived the Plaintiff of his constitutional rights under the color of law, custom or usage, conspiracy to so deprive and/or failure, neglect or refusal to protect plaintiff from said conspiracy when it was in their power to do so. They were also in violation of breaking the copyright laws of this country as I have a copyright on my name which they had no right to use without my express, written consent.

Complaint at 4.

         From what the Court can discern, Piedvache named Governor Ige, Senator Schatz, Senator Hirono, and Congresswoman Gabbard as defendants because they conspired with others to deprive him of his constitutional rights and “failed to protect [him] from said conspiracy although they have been notified and [are] in a position to do so.”[2] Complaint at 5.

         Piedvache seeks “one hundred billion one hundred forty two million dollars ($100, 142, 000, 000) which we would like to have in lawful U.S. Silver Dollars, ” in addition to the following relief:

Plaintiff asks the court to order the Hawaii Police Department to Cease and Desist to harass the plaintiff while traveling on the public highways on the Big Island. They are continuing at the present time to harass me with tickets and continuous court hearings. I would also ask this court for an order to have the venue changed from the State courts to this court that this matter can be resolved. The ransom they charged me for my release from their unlawful arrest was in the amount of $1, 025.

Complaint at 6.

         Defendants seek dismissal with prejudice of all claims colorably alleged in the Complaint. In opposition to the motions, Piedvache raises several issues not addressed in the Complaint relating to his birth certificate, Social Security card, and the conduct of County of Hawaii Police Officers and the Governor. He also questions the authority and legitimacy of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America.


         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 court may determine jurisdiction on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) so long as “the jurisdictional issue is [not] inextricable from the merits of a case.” Kingman Reef Atoll Invs., L.L.C. v. United States, 541 F.3d 1189, 1195 (9th Cir. 2008). A plaintiff has the burden of proving that subject-matter jurisdiction in fact exists. Thornhill Publ'g Co., Inc. v. Gen. Tel. & Elecs. Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979).

         A challenge to the Court's subject-matter jurisdiction may be “facial or factual.” Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). In a facial attack, the party challenging jurisdiction argues that the allegations contained in a complaint are insufficient “on their face” to invoke federal jurisdiction. Id. A facial challenge, therefore, mirrors a traditional motion to dismiss analysis. The Court must take all allegations contained in the pleading “to be true and draw all reasonable inferences in [plaintiff's] favor.” Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004).

         II. Failure To State A Claim

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Pursuant to Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” 555 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)). “[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Id. Accordingly, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Rather, “[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Factual allegations that only permit the court to infer “the mere possibility of misconduct” do not constitute a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief as required by Rule 8(a)(2). Id. at 679.

         A Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper when there is either a “‘lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged.'” UMGRecordings, Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners, LLC, 718 F.3d 1006, 1014 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Balistreri ...

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