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Aquino v. State

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 12, 2018

BRIAN AQUINO, #A5018716, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF HAWAII, HAWAIIAN MONARCH HOTEL, JOHN DOES 1-20, Defendants,

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT IN PART AND STAYING ACTION

          Susan Oki Mollway, United States District Judge

         Pro se Plaintiff Brian Aquino is incarcerated at the Halawa Correctional Facility (“HCF”), and brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Comp., ECF. No. 1. Aquino alleges Defendants the State of Hawaii, and State of Hawaii Doe Defendants 1-10; the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel and Hawaiian Monarch Hotel Doe Defendants 1-10 violated the Fourth Amendment when they entered a private apartment without a warrant and arrested him and his girlfriend.

         Aquino's Complaint is DISMISSED in part pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) & 1915A(a-b) for failure to state a colorable claim for relief. Aquino's claims alleging that his personal rights were violated under the Fourth Amendment are STAYED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to administratively close this action.

         I. STATUTORY SCREENING

         Because Aquino is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis the court is required to screen his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks damages from defendants who are immune from suit. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).

         Screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b) involves the same standard of review as that used under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012) (screening under § 1915(e)(2)); see also Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (screening pursuant to § 1915A). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must “contain 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) (internal quotation marks omitted); Wilhelm, 680 F.3d at 1121. “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. The “mere possibility of misconduct” or an “unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” falls short of meeting this plausibility standard. Id.; see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

         Pro se litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed and all doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). Leave to amend must be granted if it appears the plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). If the complaint cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal without leave to amend is appropriate. Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).

         II. BACKGROUND

         Aquino's complaint, in its entirety, states:

Both Defendants violated my Fourth Amendment rights, by teaming up at around 5:45 a.m. May 3 2017 to raid a privately owned apt[.] in a private an[d] exclusive part of the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel in Waikiki, without any kind of arrest warrant or search warrant and unannounced rammed the door down, with the aid of the Hotel security & management getting through a private lobby & elevator then on to the 22nd floor, to illeagaly [sic] arrest my girlfriend & I!

Comp., ECF No. 1, PageID #5. Aquino names the “State of Hawaii 10 John Does, ” and the “Hawaiian Monarch Hotel 10 John Does, ” in their individual and official capacities as Defendants and seeks $150, 000 from each Defendant. Id., PageID #1-2, 8.

         III. DISCUSSION

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         Additionally, a plaintiff must allege that he suffered a specific injury as a result of a particular defendant's conduct and an affirmative link between the injury and the violation of his rights. See Monell v. Dep't of Social Servs., ...


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