United States District Court, D. Hawaii
(1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT COUNTY OF
KAUAI'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS OR
ALTERNATIVELY SUMMARY JUDGMENT TO WHICH DEFENDANTS PERRY,
SARSONA, KIM, AND WAKUMOTO HAVE FILED A JOINDER AND (2)
GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT WILCOX
MEMORIAL HOSPITAL'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
C. KAY SR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES
IN PART Defendant County of Kauai's Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings or Alternatively Summary Judgment, ECF No.
66,  to which Defendants Darryl D. Perry,
Isaiah Sarsona, Jerald Kim, and Sandy Wakumoto have filed a
Joinder, ECF No. 70, as follows:
(1) As to Defendants Perry, Sarsona, Kim, and Wakumoto, the
Court GRANTS their Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings as to
Plaintiff's official capacity claims. These claims are
construed against the County of Kauai and DISMISSED against
the officers in their official capacity WITH PREJUDICE.
(2) As to Defendant County of Kauai and the individual
capacity claims against Defendant Sarsona,  the Court
GRANTS the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on Counts 2-4
and 7. Counts 2-4 are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and Count
7 is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court DENIES the Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings on Counts 1, 5, and
8-10. The Court further DENIES the Motion
for Summary Judgment on Counts 1, 5, 6, and 8-10.
(3) As to the individual capacity claims against Defendants
Perry, Kim, and Wakumoto, the Court GRANTS the Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings on Counts 1-5 and 7-10. Counts 1-5
and 8-10 are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and Count 7 is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court further DENIES the Motion
for Summary Judgment on Count 6.
(4) As to the Doe Defendants, the Court GRANTS
Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. These
claims are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Court also GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendant Wilcox
Memorial Hospital's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No.
71. The Court GRANTS summary judgment on Counts 1-7, and 10.
The Court DENIES summary judgment on Counts 8 and 9.
5, 2015, Plaintiff Cameron Raymond (“Plaintiff”
or “Mr. Raymond”) filed a Complaint against
Defendants County of Kauai (the “County”); Darryl
D. Perry (“Chief Perry”), in his individual and
official capacity; Isaiah Sarsona (“Officer
Sarsona”), in his individual and official capacity;
Jerald Kim (“Officer Kim”), in his individual and
official capacity; Sandy Wakumoto (“Officer
Wakumoto”), in his individual and official capacity
(together with Defendants Perry, Sarsona, Kim, and Wakumoto,
the “individual officers, ” and collectively with
the County, “the County Defendants”); Wilcox
Memorial Hospital (“WMH”); Thomas Hemmingway, in
his individual and official capacity; and Dallen Jones, in
his individual and official capacity. Complaint ¶¶
4-11. On October 6, 2015, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed
Defendants Thomas Hemmingway and Dallen Jones. ECF No. 7.
Complaint asserts ten counts. Counts 1 through 4, arising
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, state claims of excessive use of
force; abuse of authority and failure to supervise;
deliberate indifference; and “pattern of
conduct.” Complaint ¶¶ 111-28. Counts 5
through 10 assert claims of negligence; false imprisonment;
medical negligence; assault and battery; intentional
infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”); and
negligent infliction of emotional distress
(“NIED”). Id. ¶¶ 129-45.
had initially retained and was represented by counsel in this
action. However, on April 26, 2016, Plaintiff's counsel
filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Withdraw as Attorney for
Plaintiff. ECF No. 50. The Magistrate Judge granted the
Motion to Withdraw on May 20, 2016 and Plaintiff proceeded
pro se. ECF No. 62.
14, 2016, the County filed a Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings or Alternatively for Summary Judgment
(“County Motion”), along with a Concise Statement
of Facts in Support of that Motion (“County
CSF”). ECF Nos. 66, 67. The individual officers filed a
Joinder to the County's Motion, seeking the same relief
sought by the County. ECF No. 70. On June 15, 2016, WMH filed
a Motion for Summary Judgment (“WMH Motion”)
along with a Concise Statement of Facts in Support of their
Motion (“WMH CSF”). ECF Nos. 71, 72.
Plaintiff's two unsuccessful attempts to submit his
opposition to Defendants' motions pro se (ECF
Nos. 93, 97), and Plaintiff's request for the Court to
appoint an attorney to represent him, the Court directed
Plaintiff to file a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. ECF No. 101. On December 15, 2016, Plaintiff
filed his application to proceed in forma pauperis,
which the Magistrate Judge granted on December 20, 2016. ECF
Nos. 103, 105. On January 18, 2017, the Court appointed
pro bono counsel for the limited purpose of opposing
Defendants' Motions. ECF No. 108.
10, 2017, Plaintiff filed oppositions to Defendants'
motions (“Pl. County Opp.” and “Pl. WMH
Opp.”), along with concise statements of facts in
support of his oppositions (“Pl. County Opp. CSF”
and “Pl. WMH Opp. CSF”), which were subsequently
re-filed to meet the Local Rules' requirements on May 12,
2017. ECF Nos. 127-130. On May 16, 2017, the County and WMH
filed replies to Plaintiff's oppositions. ECF Nos. 132,
133. The Court held a hearing on Defendants' motions on
Tuesday, May, 30, 2017.
Court's hearing on Defendants' Motions, the Court
noted that the Kauai Police Department is not a proper party
in this case because the Kauai Police Department is not an
independent legal entity. See Fisher v. Kealoha, 869
F.Supp.2d 1203, 1214 (D. Haw. 2012) (Kay, J.); Dowkin v.
Honolulu Police Dep't, CIV. 10-00087 SOM/LEK, 2010
WL 4961135, at *3 (D. Haw. Nov. 30, 2010). The Court also
noted the unclear language in Plaintiff's Complaint
regarding whether his claims were alleged against the County
of Kauai, the Kauai Police Department, or both. See
Complaint ¶ 4. At the hearing, counsel for the parties
stipulated that Plaintiff's alleged claims are against
the County of Kauai, that attorneys for the County of Kauai,
Kauai Police Department represent the County of Kauai, and
that the County of Kauai brought the current Motion (ECF No.
66). The stipulation was subject to attorneys for Plaintiff
noting that they were only appointed to represent Plaintiff
for the current motions.
31, 2017, the Court entered a minute order directing the
parties to file a stipulation as stated above and directing
Plaintiff and counsel for all parties to sign the
stipulation. ECF No. 134. On June 16, 2017, the parties filed
the stipulation with the Court, which was signed by counsel
and Plaintiff and approved by the Court. ECF No. 163. The
Court has altered the caption of the case accordingly.
5, 2013, Officer Kim and Officer Sarsona visited
Plaintiff's property. Complaint ¶¶ 28-29. They
were responding to a call from Plaintiff's ex-wife, April
Raymond, who wanted them to conduct a welfare check on her
and Plaintiff's children, who were staying at
Plaintiff's home. Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff and
his ex-wife have joint custody of their children.
Id. ¶ 23.
officers entered Plaintiff's property without a warrant.
Id. ¶ 30. They came up to his house window.
Id. ¶ 31. Through the window, the officers
asked Plaintiff if he would come outside to talk to them.
Id. ¶ 32. Plaintiff, then, went outside and
shook Officer Kim's hand. Id. ¶ 35. Officer
Kim then grabbed Plaintiff's arm and said, “Come
walk with me. I want to talk to you.” Id.
¶ 36. They walked approximately thirty yards toward
fruit trees outside Plaintiff's house. Id.
¶ 37. Officer Kim then said, “What's going
on?” Id. ¶ 38. Plaintiff responded that
nothing was going on and that he had not done anything wrong.
Id. ¶ 39. Officer Kim then walked Plaintiff
back toward his house, where Plaintiff asked to speak to
Officer Sarsona. Id. ¶¶ 40-41.
Sarsona then said, “Let's step off the property
where we can have a little privacy and talk.”
Id. ¶ 42. Officer Sarsona and Plaintiff
proceeded to walk off the property. Id. ¶ 43.
When Plaintiff stepped off his property, Officer Sarsona
asked Plaintiff to turn around. Id. ¶ 44.
Officer Sarsona then handcuffed Plaintiff's hands, put
ankle shackles on him, and bound his handcuffs to the ankle
shackles with a chain. Id. ¶ 45.
Plaintiff's children, who were seven and eight years old
at the time, said that they felt safe with their father.
Id. ¶ 49.
was then put in the back of the officers' police vehicle
and transported to WMH. Id. ¶¶ 47, 50.
When Plaintiff arrived at WMH, he was put on a hospital bed
and waited for at least a couple hours. Id.
¶¶ 51-52, 56. Plaintiff complained to Officer
Sarsona that his handcuffs were too tight. Id.
¶ 53. Officer Sarsona did not loosen the handcuffs until
Plaintiff asked three times and Plaintiff's hands had
turned purple. Id. ¶ 54.
a doctor and social worker evaluated Plaintiff. Id.
¶¶ 61-64. A nurse came in and wanted to take
Plaintiff's blood to perform a drug test. Id.
¶ 65. Although Plaintiff refused to have his blood
taken, the nurse took Plaintiff's blood against his will.
Id. ¶ 66. During this interaction, Plaintiff
was not violent or resistant. Id. ¶ 69. The
results for the drug test came back negative. Id.
order was issued authorizing Plaintiff's emergency
examination and treatment at Mahelona Hospital. County CSF,
Ex. 8. Shortly thereafter, another employee from WMH told
Plaintiff that WMH wanted to transport him to Mahelona to be
evaluated and to give him some shots before they transported
him. Complaint ¶¶ 72-73. Against Plaintiff's
will, Officer Sarsona and several hospital employees put
their hands on Plaintiff and held him down, even though he
was chained and handcuffed. Id. ¶ 77. They
proceeded to inject three separate shots into him, including
100mg of the antipsychotic drug haloperidol decanoate
(“Haldol”). Id. ¶¶ 77-78.
Officer Sarsona remained with Plaintiff during his entire
time at WMH. Id. ¶ 65.
was then transported to Mahelona Hospital in a police
vehicle. Id. ¶¶ 81, 88. At Mahelona, a
doctor examined Plaintiff, and shortly thereafter Plaintiff
was released. Id. ¶¶ 91-92. Plaintiff
alleges that he felt sick from the Haldol and believes he was
raped while he was drugged. Id. ¶¶ 94-95.
Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the Haldol and related
complications, he had suicidal thoughts and was unable to
care for his children, job, or himself. Id.
¶¶ 97- 101. As a result, Plaintiff lost his
property and non-profit business. Id. ¶ 102.
Judgment on the Pleadings
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), “[a]fter the
pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a
party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Judgment
on the pleadings is properly granted “when, accepting
all factual allegations in the complaint as true, there is no
issue of material fact in dispute, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Chavez v.
United States, 683 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 2012)
(citation and original alteration omitted).
under Rule 12(c) is substantially identical to analysis under
Rule 12(b)(6) because, under both rules, a court must
determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, taken
as true, entitle the plaintiff to a legal remedy.
Id. The Court must therefore assess whether the
complaint “contain[s] sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see
also Harris v. Cty. of Orange, 682 F.3d 1126, 1131 (9th
Cir. 2012) (Iqbal applies to Rule 12(c) motions
because Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 12(c) motions are functionally
on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is limited to material
included in the pleadings, unless the Court elects to convert
the motion into one for summary judgment. Yakima Valley
Mem'l Hosp. v. Dep't of Health, 654 F.3d 919,
925 n.6 (9th Cir. 2011). Rule 12(d) gives the Court
“discretion to accept and consider extrinsic materials
offered in connection with these motions, and to convert the
motion to one for summary judgment when a party has notice
that the district court may look beyond the pleadings.”
Hamilton Materials, Inc. v. Dow Chem. Corp., 494
F.3d 1203, 1207 (9th Cir. 2007).
Court must accept as true the facts as pled by the
non-movant, and will construe the pleadings in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. U.S. ex rel. Cafasso v.
Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1053 (9th
Cir. 2011); Doyle v. Raley's Inc., 158 F.3d
1012, 1014 (9th Cir. 1998). Additionally, mere conclusory
statements in a complaint or “formulaic recitation[s]
of the elements of a cause of action” are not
sufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, the
Court discounts conclusory statements, which are not entitled
to a presumption of truth, before determining whether a claim
is plausible. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. However,
“dismissal with prejudice and without leave to amend is
not appropriate unless it is clear on de novo review that the
complaint could not be saved by amendment.” Harris
v. Cty. of Orange, 682 F.3d 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2012)
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(a). Rule 56(a) mandates
summary judgment “against a party who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to the party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also
Broussard v. Univ. of Cal. at Berkeley, 192 F.3d 1252,
1258 (9th Cir. 1999).
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, 477 U.S. at 323); see also Jespersen v.
Harrah's Operating Co., 392 F.3d 1076, 1079 (9th
Cir. 2004). “When the moving party has carried its
burden under Rule 56 [(a)] its opponent 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 marks omitted); see also Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)
(stating that a party cannot “rest upon the mere
allegations or denials of his pleading” in opposing
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, 477 U.S. at 248). 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;
see also Posey v. Lake Pend Oreille Sch. Dist. No.
84, 546 F.3d 1121, 1126 (9th Cir. 2008) (stating that
“the evidence of [the nonmovant] is to be believed, and
all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his
The County Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings or Alternatively Summary Judgment
County Defendants move for judgment on the pleadings or
alternatively summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's
claims. They argue that claims against the individual
officers, the KPD, and Doe Defendants are either redundant or
improper and should be dismissed. In addition, the County
Defendants initially seek judgment on the pleadings on all of
Plaintiff's claims, except for false imprisonment which
they expressly seek summary judgment. The Court discusses
each of these claims in turn.
Claims Against Individual Officers, Kauai Police Department,
and Doe Defendants
County Defendants argue that the individual officers, the
KPD, and Doe Defendants are either redundant or improper and
should be dismissed. In regard to the individual officers,
the County Defendants argue that claims against individual
officers in their official capacity are duplicative of claims
against the KPD. Plaintiff brings claims against the
individual officers in both their individual and official
capacity. See Complaint ¶¶ 6-9. Personal
capacity suits seek to impose personal liability upon a
government official for actions he takes under color of state
law. See Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 25 (1991).
Official capacity suits, on the other hand, “generally
represent only another way of pleading an action against an
entity of which an officer is an agent.” Monell v.
N.Y.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 n. 55
(1978). Therefore, courts should treat such suits as suits
against the governmental entity. Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985); see Carnell v. Grimm, 872
F.Supp. 746, 752 (D. Haw. 1994) (dismissing claims against
officials in their official capacity as duplicative where
municipality had also been sued). Accordingly, the Court
dismisses the claims against the individual officers' in
their official capacity with prejudice.
County Defendants also argue that the Court should dismiss
all claims against the KPD as an entity distinct from the
County. See Fisher, 869 F.Supp.2d at 1214 (holding
that the Honolulu Police Department is not an independent
legal entity distinct from the City and County of Honolulu
and dismissing claims against the Department). At the
Court's hearing on Defendants' Motions, the Court
noted that the Kauai Police Department is not a proper party
in this case because the Kauai Police Department is not an
independent legal entity. See id.; Dowkin v.
Honolulu Police Dep't, CIV. 10-00087 SOM/LE, 2010 WL
4961135, at *3 (D. Haw. Nov. 30, 2010). The Court also noted
the unclear language in Plaintiff's Complaint regarding
whether his claims were alleged against the County of Kauai,
the Kauai Police Department, or both. See Complaint
hearing, the parties stipulated, inter alia, that
Plaintiff's alleged claims are against the County and not
the KPD as an independent legal entity. On June 16, 2017, the
parties filed a stipulation with the Court, which was signed
by counsel and Plaintiff, stating to that effect, and
approved by the Court. ECF No. 163. Therefore, the Court
construes the claims against the KPD as claims against the
County of Kauai. Hoe v. City & Cty. of Honolulu,
No. 05-00602 DAE LEK, 2007 WL 1118288, at *5 (D. Haw. Apr.
12, 2007) (“This Court treats claims against
municipalities, such as the City and County of Honolulu, and
their respective police departments as claims against the
the County Defendants argue that the Doe Defendants are
improper. Plaintiff lists several Doe entities in his
Complaint and states that “[he] has made good faith and
diligent efforts to identify said Defendants, including
interviewing individuals with knowledge of the claims herein.
At such time as their true names and identities become known
. . . [he] will amend this Complaint accordingly.”
Complaint ¶ 12. Generally, courts disfavor the use of
Doe defendants. Wakefield v. Thompson, 177
F.3d 1160, 1163 (9th Cir. 1999). However, in situations where
the identity of alleged defendants will not be known prior to
the filing of a complaint, “the plaintiff should be
given an opportunity through discovery to identify the
unknown defendants, unless it is clear that discovery would
not uncover the identities, or that the complaint would be
dismissed on other grounds.” Gillespie v.
Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637, 642 (9th Cir. 1980).
present case, the Magistrate Judge set April 15, 2016 as the
deadline to amend or add parties and September 16, 2016 as
the discovery deadline. ECF No. 33 ¶¶ 5, 12.
Plaintiff has failed to timely amend his complaint to
identify these defendants and the discovery deadline has
passed. Plaintiff also has not sought leave to amend his
complaint or requested any deadline extensions. Accordingly,
the Court grants the County Defendants' Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings and dismisses Plaintiff's
claims against the Doe Defendants without prejudice.
§ 1983 Claims (Counts 1-4)
1983 provides relief against “[e]very person who, under
color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or
usage, of any State . . . causes . . . any citizen of the
United States . . . the deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution.”
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Parties can seek relief under §
1983 against persons acting under the color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
“Persons” covers, “state and local
officials sued in their individual capacities, private
individuals and entities which acted under color of state
law, and local governmental entities.” Vance v.
Cty. of Santa Clara, 928 F.Supp. 993, 995-96 (N.D. Cal.
individual capacity suit under § 1983, Plaintiff must
allege personal participation in the alleged constitutional
violation on the part of the individual to subject that
person to individual liability. Jones v. Williams,
297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 2002). For an official capacity
suit, municipalities and their agents must cause the
constitutional violation through a policy or custom.
Monell, 436 U.S. at 694.
Whether the Alleged § 1983 Claims are Cognizable
alleges four separate counts under § 1983: excessive use
of force (Count 1); abuse of authority and failure to
supervise (Count 2); deliberate indifference (Count 3); and
pattern of conduct (Count 4). The County Defendants
argue that the claims alleged in Counts 2, 3, and 4 are not
cognizable standalone claims but rather interconnected
elements necessary to demonstrate municipal liability for
individual officers' use of excessive force in violation
of an individual's constitutional rights. Plaintiff
argues that the Complaint alleges four separate and distinct
causes of action under § 1983.
Court construes the Complaint as alleging § 1983 claims
based on excessive force in violation of the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendment (Count 1), search and seizure under the
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment (Count 2), due process under
the Fourteenth Amendment (Count 2), and equal protection
under the Fourteenth Amendment (Count 2). Complaint
¶¶ 111-12, 114A-C. In addition, Plaintiff alleges
municipal liability for these constitutional violations
(Counts 2, 3, and 4). Abuse of authority, failure to
supervise, deliberate indifference, and pattern of conduct
are not separate § 1983 claims. Instead, they could
potentially be a theory for a municipal liability claim under
§ 1983, or as discussed herein, they are components of a
municipal liability claim under § 1983. For the §
1983 claims, the County Defendants only move for judgment on
the pleadings for the excessive force claim and municipal
liability related to that claim. Accordingly, the Court only
addresses these issues.
Whether Plaintiff Alleged a Plausible § 1983 Claim Based
on Excessive Force Against the Officers in their Individual
of excessive force is analyzed under the framework set forth
by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S.
386 (1989). That analysis requires balancing the
“nature and quality of the intrusion” on a
person's liberty with the “countervailing
governmental interests at stake” to determine whether
the use of force was objectively reasonable under the
circumstances. Id. at 396. Determining whether a
police officer's use of force was reasonable or excessive
therefore “requires careful attention to the facts and
circumstances of each particular case” and a
“careful balancing” of an individual's
liberty with the government's interest in the application
of force. Id. ...