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Hall v. County of Maui

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 21, 2018

ALEXANDER HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF MAUI; JUSTIN T. CARLSON, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT COUNTY OF MAUI'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING RELATED MOTION TO STRIKE

          DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         The County of Maui seeks dismissal of Hall's state law false arrest claim in light of Hall's admitted failure to file a timely pre-suit notice of the claim with the Maui County Clerk, as required by Hawaii Revised Statute (“HRS”) §46-76 and Maui County Charter (“MCC”) §13-6. Because the County correctly identifies Hall's burden, as well as Hall's failure to carry that burden within the requisite two-year period set forth in HRS §46-76, the Court GRANTS the Motion to Dismiss count seven. Dismissal, however, is only appropriate as to the County because HRS §46-76 does not apply to claims against individuals. The Motion to Dismiss is therefore DENIED to the extent brought on behalf of Carlson. The County's related Motion to Strike redundant and irrelevant sections of the Complaint is also DENIED for failure to show any prejudice, as described below.

         BACKGROUND

         Hall's Complaint alleges that on June 4, 2016, he and his family were peacefully expressing a religious message in Maui's Banyan Tree Park. Compl. ¶¶ 51-55, Dkt No. 1. Following complaints from other park visitors, Officer Carlson of the Maui Police Department arrested Hall. Compl. ¶ 55. In Hall's Complaint and in his Opposition, Hall alleges that the County prosecutor dismissed the charges against him on June 30, 2016. Compl. ¶ 64; Opp at 2.

         Hall asserts the following federal claims under Title 42, United State Code, Section 1983, against the County of Maui, Officer Carlson in his individual capacity, and five unidentified John Does:

1. Violation of the First Amendment Free Speech Clause;
2. Violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause;
3. Policies in violation of the First Amendment;
4. Failure to train and supervise resulting in violation of the First Amendment Free Speech Clause;
5. Failure to train and supervise resulting in violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause; and
6. Violation of Fourth Amendment Due Process Clause

         Hall also asserts a single state-law claim, count seven, for False Arrest under Hawaii Tort Law against both the County and Officer Carlson, in his individual capacity.

         Hall filed his Complaint (Dkt No. 1) on June 4, 2018 and served it on the County's corporation counsel on June 15, 2018. See Decl. of Counsel ¶ 5. It is undisputed that before doing so, Hall did not serve a pre-suit notice on the Maui County Clerk, nor has he done so since.

         The County moves to dismiss count seven, the false arrest claim against both the County and Officer Carlson in his individual capacity, due to Hall's failure to comply with the notice of claim requirements in HRS §46-72 and the MCC §13-6.[1]Motion at 5-6. The County also moves to ...


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