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.

Yamano v. State of Hawai'i Judiciary

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

July 3, 2018

YURIE YAMANO, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF HAWAII JUDICIARY, DOCTOR KEIICHI KOBAYASHI, AND DOCTOR KATIE HUANG, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING STATE OF HAWAII JUDICIARY'S, DOCTOR KOBAYASHI'S, and DOCTOR HUANG'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS

          SUSAN OKI MOLLWAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION.

         Plaintiff Yurie Yamano, proceeding pro se, asserts that Defendants violated her Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The allegations focus on medical treatment Yamano received from Doctor Keiichi Kobayashi and Doctor Katie Huang related to the removal of Yamano's gallbladder in January 2014. Yamano asserts that Kobayashi and Huang violated Hawaii state malpractice laws and that the State of Hawaii Judiciary denied her due process when she brought her malpractice claims in state court.

         Each Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint. See ECF Nos. 10, 11, and 15. The court grants the motions and, seeing no way that Yamano's claims can proceed in federal court, dismisses this case.

         II. BACKGROUND.

         Yamano alleges that, in January 2012, she began experiencing severe stomach pains and sought treatment from Kobayashi. See ECF No. 1, PageID # 2. According to the Complaint, Kobayashi diagnosed Yamano with gastroenteritis, but during an emergency room visit in January 2014, another doctor determined that she was suffering from gallstones. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 2-3. Yamano alleges that she suffered “excruciating pain” because Kobayashi had misdiagnosed her in 2012. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 3, 5.

         Yamano further alleges that on January 31, 2014, following her emergency room visit, Huang performed surgery on Yamano to remove her gallbladder. See ECF No. 1, PageID # 3. Yamano alleges that she consented only to having her gallstones removed, not her entire gallbladder. See ECF No. 1, PageID # 3. Yamano alleges that, as a result of the surgery, she suffers from various digestive issues if she eats certain foods. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 5-6.

         In October 2014, Yamano filed a medical malpractice suit against Kobayashi and Huang in Hawaii state court.[1] See ECF No. 10-5, PageID # 54. Kobayashi filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Chapter 671 of Hawaii Revised Statutes required Yamano to file a claim with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel prior to filing her complaint in state court. See ECF No. 13-5, PageID #s 126-27. The motion was granted, and the case was dismissed. ECF No. 10-6, PageID #s 61-62. Yamano appealed, and the case eventually reached the Hawaii Supreme Court, which granted Yamano's application for writ of certiorari but later dismissed the matter on the ground that the writ had been improvidently granted. ECF No. 10-11, PageID #s 73-74.

         On February 28, 2018, Yamano filed this Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of her Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. See ECF No. 1, PageID # 1. Though unclear, the Complaint appears to allege that the State of Hawaii Judiciary violated Yamano's due process rights by dismissing her certiorari proceedings, thereby not “recognizing the Constitutional Due process violations” caused by the requirement that she first file a claim with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 4, 6-7. The Complaint also alleges medical malpractice claims against Kobayashi and Huang. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 5-6. The Complaint seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against each Defendant. See ECF No. 1, PageID #s 7-8. The Complaint also seeks declaratory judgment against the State of Hawaii Judiciary “for grossly violating the Plaintiff's rights acting in absence of all jurisdiction” and “not following public policy which is also considered as [sic] treason and not a function of a sitting judge.”[2] ECF No. 1, PageID # 8.

         In response, each Defendant filed a motion to dismiss. See ECF Nos. 10, 11, and 15.

         III. MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARDS.

         A. Rule 12(b)(1) (Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction).

         Under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint may be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. An attack on subject matter jurisdiction “may be facial or factual.” Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). A facial attack asserts that “the allegations contained in a complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction[, ]” while a factual attack “disputes the truth of the allegations that, by themselves, would otherwise invoke federal jurisdiction.” Id. Before this court is a facial attack.

         In deciding a Rule 12(b)(1) facial attack motion, a court must assume the facts alleged in the complaint to be true and construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Warren v. Fox Family Worldwide, Inc., 328 F.3d 1136, 1139 (9th Cir. 2003). However, courts “do not accept legal conclusions in the complaint as true, even if ‘cast in the form of factual allegations.'” Lacano Invs., LLC v. Balash, 765 F.3d 1068, 1071 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Doe v. Holy See, 557 F.3d 1066, 1073 (9th Cir. 2009)) (emphasis in original).

         B. Rule 12(b)(5) (Insufficient Service of Process).

         Rule 12(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows dismissal of a complaint based on insufficient service of process. Federal courts cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant without proper service of process. Omni Capital Int'l, Ltd. v. Wolff & Co., 484 U.S. 97, 104 (1987). “[S]ervice of process is the mechanism by which the court actually acquires the power to enforce a judgment against the defendant's person or property.” SEC v. Ross, 504 F.3d 1130, 1138 (9th Cir. 2007) (internal modifications omitted).

         To determine whether service of process was proper, a court looks to the requirements of Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Gidding v. Anderson, No. C-07-04755 JSW, 2008 WL 4065814, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2008); 5B Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 1353 (3d ed. 2009). “Rule 4 is a flexible rule that should be liberally construed to uphold service so long as a party receives sufficient notice of the complaint.” United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 197 v. Alpha Beta Co., 736 F.2d 1371, 1382 (9th Cir. 1984). However, “neither actual notice nor simply naming the defendant in the complaint will provide personal jurisdiction” absent substantial compliance with its requirements. Benny v. Pipes, 799 F.2d 489, 492 (9th Cir. 1986).

         The burden is on the party claiming proper service to establish valid service. Cranford v. United States, 359 F.Supp.2d 981, 984 (E.D. Cal. 2005); Federal Practice & Procedure § 1353 (“The great weight of the case law is to the effect that the party on whose behalf service has been made has the burden of establishing its validity.”). A court may weigh the evidence and resolve disputed issues of fact in accordance with Rule 12(d). Taniguchi v. Native Hawaiian Office(s) of the Attorney Gen., Civ. No. 09-00117 SOM-KSC, 2009 WL 1404731, at *2 (D. Haw. May 15, 2009).

         C. Rule 12(b)(6) (Failure to State a Claim Upon Which ...


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.