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Sommers v. Okamoto

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 16, 2017

MARIA D. SOMMERS, Plaintiff,


          J. Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge


         On October 14, 2016, pro se Plaintiff Maria D. Sommers (“Plaintiff”) filed this civil action against Defendants Linda Kay Okamoto (“Kay”), Roy Okamoto (“Roy”), and Okamoto Realty (collectively, “Defendants”) alleging violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq. Compl., ECF No. 1.[1] On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment (the “Motion”). ECF No. 30. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(d), the court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is DENIED.


         As alleged in the Complaint, Kay owns Okamoto Realty and Roy is Kay's husband. Compl. ¶¶ 2-4. The Complaint alleges a conspiracy between Roy and Kay, as owner of Okamoto Realty. Specifically, it alleges that on or about May 25, 2016, Roy ignored “NO trespassing” signs on Plaintiff's property, entered Plaintiff's home, and sifted through Plaintiff's tenant's belongings, thereby allegedly committing robbery, theft, and criminal trespassing. Id. ¶ 5. The Complaint further alleges that Roy and Kay conspired to intimidate and harass Plaintiff's tenant in an attempt to force him to leave the premises, went to the tenant's work place, offered the tenant a bribe of $2, 500 to vacate Plaintiff's property, and threatened to change the locks if the tenant refused to leave. Id. ¶¶ 6, 7. Roy and Kay allegedly “run[] the only real estate enterprise, firm on the island” and use that enterprise to “bull[y] people off their land with threats of foreclosures and forfeitures.” Id. ¶ 9. The Complaint alleges that by these actions, Defendants have committed civil RICO violations.


         Summary judgment is proper where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). “A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and of identifying those portions of the pleadings and discovery responses that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)); see also Jespersen v. Harrah's Operating Co., 392 F.3d 1076, 1079 (9th Cir. 2004). If the moving party carries its burden, the nonmoving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts [and] come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (citation and internal quotation signals omitted).

         “An issue is ‘genuine' only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact finder could find for the nonmoving party, and a dispute is ‘material' only if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” In re Barboza, 545 F.3d 702, 707 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). When considering the evidence on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all reasonable inferences on behalf of the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587.


         Plaintiff argues that her Motion is based on “police reports, text, email, and a voice recording of [Kay], ” and therefore there are “no genuine issues of material facts as to each element of the Plaintiff's legal claim.” The court disagrees. As discussed below, Plaintiff's Motion neither complies with the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, nor demonstrates that Plaintiff is entitled to judgment.

         A. Failure to Comply With Local Rule 56.1

         Plaintiff, even though proceeding pro se, is required to “abide by all local, federal, and other applicable rules and/or statutes.” Local Rule (“LR”) 83.13. That is, the Ninth Circuit's “policy of liberal construction in favor of pro se litigants, ” Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952, 957 (9th Cir. 1998), does not stretch so far as to excuse a pro se litigant from complying with “the rules of the court in which he litigates.” Bias v. Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1223 (9th Cir. 2007) (quotation marks and citation omitted).

         LR 56.1 provides that a summary judgment motion shall be accompanied by “a separate concise statement detailing each material fact as to which the moving party contends that there are no genuine issues to be tried that are essential for the court's determination” of the motion. The rule further provides that each fact referenced in the concise statement “shall contain a citation to a particular affidavit, deposition, or other document that supports the party's interpretation of the material fact.” LR 56.1(c). Finally, “[a]ffidavits or declarations setting forth facts and/or authenticating exhibits, as well as exhibits themselves, shall . . . be attached to the concise statement.” LR 56.1(h).

         Plaintiff's Motion fails to comply with LR 56.1. Plaintiff failed to file a separate concise statement of facts, setting forth undisputed facts necessary to establish entitlement to judgment, and attaching authenticated exhibits supporting those facts. Even construing the section in the Motion titled “Statement of Undisputed Facts” as a separate concise statement, this “Statement” consists of mostly argument and some conclusory allegations. Moreover, the exhibits attached to the Motion are not authenticated by an affidavit or declaration. And finally, the exhibits do not show that Plaintiff's allegations are undisputed facts. For example, what appears to be a police report containing an officer's summary of statements from Plaintiff, Kay, and Roy, following events on May 25, 2016, shows that there may be disputes over who owns the property at ...

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