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Lake v. Ohana Military Communities, LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

October 12, 2017

KENNETH LAKE, CRYSTAL LAKE, HAROLD BEAN, MELINDA BEAN, KYLE PAHONA, ESTEL PAHONA, TIMOTHY MOSELEY, and ASHLEY MOSELEY, Plaintiffs,
v.
OHANA MILITARY COMMUNITIES, LLC, FOREST CITY RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT, INC.; and DOE DEFENDANTS 1-10, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

          LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On August 1, 2017, this Court issued the Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (“8/1/17 Order”). [Dkt. no. 63.] On August 15, 2017, Plaintiffs Kenneth Lake, Crystal Lake, Harold Bean, Melinda Bean, Kyle Pahona, Estel Pahona, Timothy Moseley, and Ashley Moseley, for themselves and on behalf of all others similarly situated (“Plaintiffs”), filed a motion for reconsideration of the 8/1/17 Order (“Motion for Reconsideration”). [Dkt. no. 64.] Defendants Ohana Military Communities, LLC and Forest City Residential Management, LLC (“Defendants”) filed their memorandum in opposition on August 29, 2017, and Plaintiffs filed their reply on September 12, 2017. [Dkt. nos. 71, 73.] The Court has considered the Motion for Reconsideration as a non-hearing matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e).

         On September 18, 2017, this Court issued an entering order ruling on the Motion for Reconsideration (“9/18/17 EO Ruling”). [Dkt. no. 74.] The instant order supersedes the 9/18/17 EO Ruling. The Motion for Reconsideration is granted in part and denied in part, for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         The relevant factual and procedural background of this case is set forth in the 8/1/17 Order. In the 8/1/17 Order, this Court: dismissed Count IV - Plaintiffs' unfair and deceptive trade practices (“UDAP”) claim - and Count IX - Plaintiffs' unfair competition claim - with prejudice. [8/1/17 Order at 18, 25.] The Motion for Reconsideration does not contest those portions of the 8/1/17 Order.

         This Court also dismissed Count X - Plaintiffs' trespass claim - with prejudice because it was duplicative of Count XI - Plaintiffs' trespass claim. [Id. at 27.] This Court dismissed Counts I, II, III, V, VI, VII, VIII, and XI (“the Remaining Claims”) without prejudice because the Complaint did not include sufficient allegations regarding Plaintiffs' standing to pursue those claims. [Id. at 29.] In the Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiffs argue that this Court erred in: 1) dismissing Count X with prejudice; and 2) dismissing the Remaining Claims based on what Plaintiffs call “a new requirement of personal injury or personal contact with contaminated soil/dust to establish standing.” [Mem. in Supp. of Motion for Reconsideration at 21.]

         STANDARD

         This Court has previously stated that a motion for reconsideration “must accomplish two goals. First, a motion for reconsideration

must demonstrate reasons why the court should reconsider its prior decision. Second, a motion for reconsideration must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision.” See Davis v. Abercrombie, Civil No. 11-00144 LEK-BMK, 2014 WL 2468348, at *2 (D. Hawaii June 2, 2014) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). . . . “Mere disagreement with a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration.” Davis, 2014 WL 2468348, at *3 n.4 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

Riley v. Nat'l Ass'n of Marine Surveyors, Inc., Civil No. 14-00135 LEK-RLP, 2014 WL 4794003, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Sept. 25, 2014). Local Rule 60.1 states, in relevant part: “Motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders may be brought only upon the following grounds: (a) Discovery of new material facts not previously available; (b) Intervening change in law; [or] (c) Manifest error of law or fact.”

         DISCUSSION

         I. Count X - Trespass

         Plaintiffs argue that “interference with a tenant's use and enjoyment of their property can establish damages under theories of nuisance and trespass.” [Mem. in Supp. of Motion for Reconsideration at 4 (emphasis in original).] In support of this proposition, Plaintiff cites jury instructions and case law from California, as well as case law from various other states and jurisdictions. [Id. at 4-8.] However, Counts X and XI are claims under Hawai`i law, and this Court reiterates that the elements of a trespass claim and a nuisance claim that this Court discussed in the 8/1/17 Order are the elements applicable to this case. [8/1/17 Order at 25-27.] While the District of Hawai`i case that this Court quoted for the description of a nuisance claim included citations to cases from outside of Hawai`i to expand upon the Hawai`i Supreme Court's definition of a “nuisance, ” it does not follow that Plaintiffs may rely almost exclusively on cases from outside of Hawai`i.

         This Court reiterates that, based on the definitions under Hawai`i law, trespass and nuisance are distinct claims. This Court also reiterates that Plaintiffs' trespass claim in the original Complaint was futile because the factual allegations in the Complaint were not sufficient to support a trespass claim that was distinct from their nuisance claim. It is possible, under the Hawai`i law definitions, to have a distinct nuisance claim and trespass ...


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