Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kealoha v. Totto

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 13, 2017

LOUIS M. KEALOHA; KATHERINE E. KEALOHA; KRISTINA KEALOHA, a minor child, by her next friend KATHERINE E. KEALOHA, Plaintiffs,
v.
CHARLES W. TOTTO, individually and as Executive Director and Legal Counsel of the Honolulu Ethics Commission; LETHA A.S. DECAIRES, individually and as investigator for the Honolulu Ethics Commission; HONOLULU ETHICS COMMISSION; THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO REMAND

          KEVIN S.C. CHANG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs Louis, Katherine, and Kristina Kealoha's Motion to Remand, filed January 10, 2017.On February 17, 2017, Defendant Charles Totto (“Totto”) filed an Opposition and Defendants Honolulu Ethics Commission (“HEC”) and City and County of Honolulu (“the City”) filed a Substantive Joinder in the Opposition. Defendant Letha DeCaires (“DeCaires”) filed a Substantive Joinder on February 21, 2017. Plaintiffs filed a Reply on February 24, 2017.

         This matter came on for hearing on March 10, 2017. Kevin Sumida, Esq., appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Joachim Cox, Esq., and Kamala Haake, Esq., appeared on behalf of Totto; Nicholas Monlux, Esq., appeared on behalf of DeCaires; and Richard Nakamura, Esq., appeared on behalf of the City and HEC.

         After careful consideration of the parties' submissions, the applicable law, and the arguments of counsel, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that the Motion be GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs commenced this action on June 17, 2016 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii.

         The Complaint did not enumerate specific causes of action, but alleged, in pertinent part, that:

16. As a result, the processes and procedures of the Ethics Commission have been so corrupted so that the instigation, handling, and dispositions of Ethics Commission investigations and prosecutions have for years been conducted in violation of the law, and in violation of required due process and proper procedures.
. . . .
80. In her unlawful zeal to create any ethic violation whether real or manufactured, and as evidence of her conflict of interest and improper motives, and with the full approval of and ratification by Totto, DeCaires violated the rights of HPD officers, witnesses and the plaintiffs, provided false and defamatory information to witnesses and others, violated Garrity rights of witnesses and plaintiffs, violated the laws and procedures of the Ethics Commission, shared confidential as well as fabricated information with others, and improperly caused the adult plaintiffs to be involved in other proceedings and investigations, all while continuing to benefit from the continued renewal of her 89 day contracts.[1]
. . . .
99. These illegal and improper investigations resulted in no discovery of any violation of the Standards of Conduct ..... But in the course of these illegal investigations:[2]
. . . .
l) Totto and/or DeCaires deliberately, improperly and illegally shared with other state and law enforcement agencies information provided by plaintiffs, by witnesses, by HPD officers, and by other County employees, in violation of their Garrity and other rights. The violations were so systematic and egregious that, in an unprecedented move, the State Of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (“SHOPO”) filed a formal union grievance, stating that HPD officers were being compelled to appear before the Ethics Commission “to answer questions without being informed of the allegations made against them or being afforded the opportunity to view the complaint, ” and were “not being afforded any Garrity Rights prior to being compelled to answer questions.” The police union expressly found that “the Ethics Commission, a department of the City and County of Honolulu is in violation of [the Collective Bargaining Agreement], ” . . .;
m) Totto and/or DeCaires deliberately, improperly and illegally shared with third parties, including the attorney for Gerard Puana, information provided plaintiffs, by witnesses, by HPD officers, and by other county employees, in violation of their Garrity and other rights.

         Notice of Removal, Ex. 1.

         Defendants were served on June 20, 2016. Mot., Exs. A-D.

         On July 11, 2016, the City and HEC (joined by DeCaires and Totto on September 20 and 21, 2016, respectively), filed a motion for more definite statement and motion to strike. Doc. No. 15-10, 15-22 & 15-24. The state court entered minutes granting the motion for more definite statement on November 21, 2016, and directed Plaintiffs to file a more definite statement separately identifying their claims against Defendants. Notice of Removal, Ex. 2. The formal orders memorializing the rulings issued on December 6 and 16, 2016. Doc. No. 15-44, 15-45.

         On December 20, 2016, Plaintiff Kristina Kealoha and Plaintiffs Louis and Katherine Kealoha filed More Definite Statements (“MDS”) against each Defendant. Opp'n, Exs. 2-3. Plaintiffs Louis and Katherine Kealoha asserted the following claims against Totto: 1) wrongful investigation/negligence; 2) interference with contractual relations/prospective economic advantage; 3) violation of civil rights (42 U.S.C. § 1983); 4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; 5) negligent infliction of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.