Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gomabon v. United States Postal Service

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 30, 2018

RANDY RABE GOMABON, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant United States Postal Service's (“USPS” or “Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss (“Motion”), filed on October 20, 2017. [Dkt. no. 13.] Pro se Plaintiff Randy Rabe Gomabon, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) did not file a response to the Motion. On January 4, 2018, an entering order was issued finding the Motion suitable for disposition without a hearing, pursuant to Rule LR7.2(d) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”). [Dkt. no. 17.] The Motion is hereby granted for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         On August 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “Statement of Claim and Notice [General Form]” in the State of Hawai`i Small Claims Division of the District Court of the First Circuit, Honolulu Division (“small claims court”). This document is considered Plaintiff's “Complaint” in the instant case. [Notice of Removal of Civil Action (“Notice of Removal”), filed 8/21/17 (dkt. no. 1), Exh. A (Complaint).]

         Defendant removed the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1).[1] [Notice of Removal at ¶ 4.] Plaintiff states he dropped off two packages at the USPS's Kapalama office, but a couple of days later - apparently on November 9, 2016 - a USPS employee told him the packages were not received. On November 12, 2016, Plaintiff asked a USPS mail carrier about the packages, and she confirmed the packages had been returned. She told Plaintiff she left them on his neighbors' porch. Plaintiff argues this was a violation of USPS policies, which state that a mail carrier must leave a note and return packages to the post office if the intended recipient is not available to receive them. Plaintiff alleges the two packages were lost and seeks $1, 008.00 in damages from Defendant. [Complaint at 1.]

         In the instant Motion, Defendant argues Plaintiff's Complaint must be dismissed because: pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2680(b), the United States, its agencies, and its officials are immune from such claims; this Court lacks jurisdiction over the case because Plaintiff did not exhaust his administrative remedies, as required by the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”); and, even if Defendant's first two arguments are rejected, Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendant also asserts the dismissal should be with prejudice - in other words, Plaintiff should not be allowed to try to fix the defects in his Complaint by filing an amended complaint.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

         This district court has stated:

The United States, as a sovereign state, is immune from suit unless it specifically consents. United States v. Mitchell, 445 U.S. 535, 538 (1980); Reed v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, 231 F.3d 501, 504 (9th Cir. 2000). Any waiver of sovereign immunity must be unequivocally expressed. Block v. North Dakota, 461 U.S. 273, 287 (1983). When a statute waives sovereign immunity, the Court must strictly construe the statute in favor of the United States. Brady v. United States, 211 F.3d 499, 502 (9th Cir. 2000). If there has not been an express waiver of sovereign immunity, then the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case and it must be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). Orff v. United States, 358 F.3d 1137, 1142 (9th Cir. 2004)[.]
The Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) provides for a broad waiver of the United States' sovereign immunity. Schoenfeld v. Quamme, 492 F.3d 1016, 1019 (9th Cir. 2007). The FTCA manifests the United States' consent to be sued “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 2674. The FTCA waives sovereign immunity for the negligence of “any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment.” 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1).
The FTCA bars claimants from seeking damages against the United States in court until they have exhausted their administrative remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2675(a); McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993). A plaintiff's administrative remedy is exhausted pursuant to the FTCA if:
(1) the agency has denied the claim in writing; or,
(2) the agency has failed to issue a final disposition of the claim six months ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.