United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING STATE OF HAWAII JUDICIARY'S,
DOCTOR KOBAYASHI'S, and DOCTOR HUANG'S MOTIONS TO
OKI MOLLWAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 2014, Yamano filed a medical malpractice suit against
Kobayashi and Huang in Hawaii state court. 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.
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.” ECF No. 1, PageID
response, each Defendant filed a motion to dismiss.
See ECF Nos. 10, 11, and 15.
MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARDS.
Rule 12(b)(1) (Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction).
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
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).
Rule 12(b)(5) (Insufficient Service of Process).
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).
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
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).
Rule 12(b)(6) (Failure to State a Claim Upon Which ...