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Cupo v. Aliomanu Sand Castles, LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

December 15, 2017

ANTONIO CUPO and DOROTHY WANG, Plaintiffs,
v.
ALIOMANU SAND CASTLES, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE (ECF NO. 12)

          HELEN GILLMOR, STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs Antonio Cupo and Dorothy Wang allege they leased a vacation rental property owned by Defendant Aliomanu Sand Castles, LLC. Plaintiffs claim that Cupo was injured when a chair he was sitting in collapsed.

         Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint for improper venue, failure to state a claim, and failure to join a necessary and indispensable party.

         Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint is subject to a binding forum selection clause designating the Fifth Circuit Court of the State of Hawaii as the proper venue.

         Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 12) is GRANTED. Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint (ECF No. 9) is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 1, 2017, Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright issued an ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY ACTION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. (ECF No. 5).

         On July 7, 2017, Plaintiffs filed PLAINTTFS' [sic] RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE. (ECF No. 6).

         On July 7, 2017, Plaintiffs filed an AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 9).

         On July 10, 2017, Chief Judge Seabright issued an ORDER finding that Plaintiffs' Response, Affidavits, and Amended Complaint sufficiently alleged diversity jurisdiction and therefore the Order to Show Cause was vacated. (ECF No. 10).

         On August 3, 2017, Defendant filed a MOTION TO DISMISS FOR IMPROPER VENUE, FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM AND FAILURE TO JOIN A NECESSARY AND INDISPENSABLE PARTY. (ECF No. 12).

         On September 12, 2017, this case was reassigned to Judge Helen Gillmor. (ECF No. 17).

         On September 25, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a pleading entitled PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION RESPONSE TO MOTION TO DISMISS. (ECF No. 19).

         On October 20, 2017, Defendant filed a REPLY. (ECF No. 20).

         The court elected to decide the motion without a hearing pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(d). (ECF No. 26).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Cupo and Wang state they are a married couple. (Amended Compl. at ¶ 21, ECF No. 9). Plaintiffs allege they are citizens and residents of Canada. (Id. at ¶ 1).

         The Amended Complaint alleges Defendant Aliomanu Sand Castles, LLC, has its principal place of business in California and is a limited liability company formed in Hawaii. (Id.) The Amended Complaint alleges no member, manager, or any person or entity affiliated with Defendant is a resident or citizen of Canada. (Id.)

         Defendant owns a vacation rental property on the island of Kauai located at 5000 Aliomanu Road, Anahola, Hawaii. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-4). Defendant employs Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty as its professional property manager. (Motion to Dismiss at p. 2, ECF No. 12).

         Plaintiff Wang entered into a lease for a vacation rental unit on the property for the period from May 28, 2015, to May 31, 2015. (Id. at p. 4; Amended Complaint at ¶ 4, ECF No. 9).

         Plaintiff Cupo claims that on May 30, 2015, while sitting on a plastic chair on the deck of the vacation rental property, it collapsed, causing him injuries. (Amended Compl. at ¶ 7, ECF No. 9).

         Plaintiffs filed an identical lawsuit in the State of Hawaii Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit on May 30, 2017, civil case number ...


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