United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S STATEMENT OF CLAIM AND
OKI MOLLWAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT DENIES CHOI'S MOTION FOR
April 25, 2018, the Court filed an order dismissing Hye Ja
Choi's claims against the Consulate General of Japan with
prejudice. ECF No. 21. The Court explained that the Consulate
General was entitled to sovereign immunity under the Foreign
Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), and further
explained that Choi had failed to establish Article III
standing to sue. See Id. at PageID #s 172-84.
13, 2018, the court received a letter from Choi that the
court construes as a motion for reconsideration. ECF No. 23.
The letter insists that the FSIA “does not apply”
to Choi's case, that the court's decision
“should [have been] made solely on the basis of the
[Universal Postal Convention], ” and that “the
Japanese Consulate” must be held responsible for
“the breach of this treaty.” Id. at
PageID #s 192-94.
court has already considered and rejected each of these
arguments. In the prior order, the court explained that the
FSIA applies to every action against a foreign
state--including one based on an alleged treaty
violation--because the FSIA is “the ‘sole
basis' upon which jurisdiction may be obtained over a
foreign state.” ECF No. 21, PageID # 176 (quoting
Barapind v. Gov't of Republic of India, 844 F.3d
824, 829 (9th Cir. 2016)). The court held that the Consulate
General was entitled to sovereign immunity under the FSIA.
See Id. at PageID # 183. The court observed the
Universal Postal Convention did not alter its FSIA analysis;
that document did not “suggest that Japan
‘intended the [Convention] to be enforceable in United
States courts.'” Id. at PageID #s 177-78.
motion for reconsideration fails to explain why these
conclusions were incorrect. Nor does Choi address the
court's determination that she lacked Article III
standing to sue. The court therefore does not reconsider its
decision dismissing Choi's claims against the Consulate
General. Insofar as Choi's letter is as a motion for
reconsideration, it is DENIED.
THE COURT DOES NOT VIEW CHOI'S LETTER AS AN AMENDED
prior order, the court instructed Choi that she could file an
Amended Complaint asserting similar claims against a
different defendant if she wished to do so. See Id.
at PageID #s 187-88. Choi's letter might be indicating
her intent to add Japan Post Holdings Co. (“Japan
Post”) as an additional defendant. See ECF No.
23, PageID # 194 (“If the judge claims the defendant[s]
change, the plaintiff will change it as follows, ” and
then listing Japan Post's name and contact information
alongside the Consulate General's name). But Choi's
letter is not actually styled as an Amended Complaint against
Japan Post. As the court explained in its prior order, any
Amended Complaint must be complete in itself and not simply
incorporate by reference anything previously filed with the
court. Choi's letter, which contains no factual
allegations concerning Japan Post, falls far short of this
requirement. The court also explained that any Amended
Complaint must clearly set forth a basis for federal
jurisdiction. Choi's letter fails to do so with respect
to any defendant.
need not file an Amended Complaint if she does not wish to do
so. However, in light of Choi's pro se status,
the court extends the filing deadline for any Amended
Complaint to June 15, 2018. Any Amended Complain may not name
the Consulate General of Japan as a defendant, and must
proceed solely against a different defendant or defendants.
If Choi does not timely file an Amended Complaint, this
action will be automatically dismissed.
chooses to file an Amended Complaint, then, as noted, she
must allege facts demonstrating that federal jurisdiction is
appropriate. If Choi decides to sue Japan Post, then, if
Choi's jurisdictional hook is the FSIA, she must allege
facts indicating that Japan Post is an “agency or
instrumentality” of Japan. See ECF No. 21,
PageID # 184 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1603(b)(2)). But
see Id. at PageID #s 185-86 (explaining that materials
cited in prior filings indicate that Japan Post is not an
agency or instrumentality of Japan). If the FSIA does not
apply, Choi must direct the court to another source of
federal jurisdiction. But see Id. at PageID # 186
(explaining that “serious jurisdictional questions
would be raised” “[i]f Japan Post is not an
agency or instrumentality of Japan”).
failure to comply with any of the above requirements will
result in the dismissal of any Amended Complaint.
Amended Complaint will ultimately need to be served by Choi
on all named defendants in accordance with Rule 4 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If a defendant is a foreign
state or its political subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality, it must be ...