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Johnson v. Department of Public Safety

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

June 9, 2017

JACOB JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; STATE OF HAWAII; FRANCIS SEQUERIA, Individually; JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1-10; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10; DOE UNINCORPORATED ORGANIZATIONS 1-10; DOE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES 1-10, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING FRANCIS SEQUEIRA'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 13)

          Helen Gillmor United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jacob Johnson claims that in April 2013, a state court judge sentenced him to a term of imprisonment of five days. Plaintiff asserts that he was detained for more than four months and was not released until August 2013, in violation of the state court judge's order.

         Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint alleges federal constitutional claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Francis Sequeira, the Warden of Oahu Community Correctional Center, in his individual capacity.

         Plaintiff also alleges state law tort claims against Defendant Sequeira.

         Defendant Francis Sequeira filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiff's claims against him.

         Defendant Sequeira argues that he is not liable for Plaintiff Johnson's Section 1983 claim because he was not personally involved in Plaintiff's detention or release.

         Defendant Sequeira argues that he is entitled to conditional privilege as to Plaintiff's state law claims against him.

         Defendant Francis Sequeira's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 13) is GRANTED.

         The only remaining claims are Plaintiff's state law tort claims stated against the Defendant Hawaii Department of Public Safety and the Defendant State of Hawaii.

         The case is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On May 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint in Hawaii State Court. (Second Amended Complaint attached as Ex. A to Defendants' Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1-2).

         On June 27, 2016, Defendants Department of Public Safety, State of Hawaii, and Francis Sequeira filed a Notice of Removal in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. (ECF No. 1).

         On April 6, 2017, Defendant Francis Sequeria filed DEFENDANT FRANCIS SEQUEIRA'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT and CONCISE STATEMENT MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. (ECF Nos. 13, 14).

         On May 4, 2017, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FRANCIS SEQUERIA'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT and CONCISE STATEMENT OF FACTS. (ECF Nos. 16, 17).

         On May 18, 2017, Defendant Francis Sequeira filed a REPLY. (ECF No. 19).

         On June 8, 2017, the Court held a hearing on Defendant Francis Sequeira's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 23). The Court GRANTED the Motion. The reasons for the decision are set forth in this Order.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff states in his Declaration that on March 28, 2013, he turned himself in to his Probation Officer for violating the terms of his probation set by a Hawaii State Court Judge. (Declaration of Jacob Johnson (“Johnson Decl.”) at ¶ 3, attached to Pla.'s Concise Statement of Facts (“CSF”) in Opposition, ECF No. 17-1).

         Plaintiff was taken to Oahu Community Correctional Center to await a hearing before the Hawaii State Court Judge. (Id. at ¶ 4).

         On April 2, 2013, Plaintiff appeared before Hawaii State Court Judge Alm. (Id. at ¶ 5). Plaintiff was sentenced to five days of imprisonment, which was the equivalent of time served, as he had been incarcerated from March 28, 2013 to April 2, 2013. (Id.) Judge Alm ordered Plaintiff to be released. (Id.)

         Plaintiff was not immediately released. He was taken back to Oahu Community Correctional ...


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