United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO
A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is pro se Plaintiff Corey Leong's prisoner
civil rights Complaint. ECF No. 1. Leong alleges that
Defendants the State of Hawaii, the Maui Community
Correctional Center (MCCC), the Honorable Joseph E. Cardoza,
and Hoapili Hale Court Staff,  the Maui County Police
Department (MPD), and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
(Maui Prosecutor's Office) (collectively, Defendants)
violated his civil rights during state civil and criminal
proceedings in 2011 and 2014, and during his present
incarceration at MCCC.
Complaint fails to state a colorable claim for relief under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and is DISMISSED with leave to amend,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) &
Leong is proceeding in forma pauperis and is a prisoner, the
court screens his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims that are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or
seek damages from defendants who are immune from suit must be
dismissed. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing §
1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004
(9th Cir. 2010) (discussing § 1915A(b)).
1915 screening involves the same standard of review as that
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See
Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d 1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2012)
(screening under § 1915(e)(2)); Wilhelm v.
Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (screening
under § 1915A(b)). That is, a complaint must
“contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); Wilhelm,
680 F.3d at 1121; Simmons v. Navajo Cty., Ariz., 609
F.3d 1011, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010); Ewing v. City of
Stockton, 588 F.3d 1218, 1235 (9th Cir. 2009).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
12(b)(6) is read in conjunction with Rule 8(a). Zixiang
Li v. Kerry, 710 F.3d 995, 998-99 (9th Cir. 2013). Under
Rule 8, a complaint must contain a “short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual
allegations are not required, but a complaint must allege
enough facts to provide both “fair notice” of the
claim asserted and “the grounds upon which [that claim]
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 & n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks
omitted); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 555 (stating
Rule 8 “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation”). The
“mere possibility of misconduct” is insufficient
to meet this standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 555;
see also Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962,
969 (9th Cir. 2009).
litigants' pleadings must be liberally construed and all
doubts should be resolved in their favor. Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations
omitted). The court must grant leave to amend if it appears
the plaintiff can correct the defects in the complaint,
Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130, but if a claim or complaint
cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal with prejudice is
appropriate, Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A.,
729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that
the defendant (1) acted under color of state law and (2)
deprived him of rights secured by the Constitution or federal
law. Long v. Cty. of Los Angeles, 442 F.3d 1178,
1185 (9th Cir. 2006); see also Marsh v. Cty. of San
Diego, 680 F.3d 1148, 1158 (9th Cir. 2012) (discussing
“color of state law”). A person deprives another
of a constitutional right, “within the meaning of
§ 1983, ‘if he does an affirmative act,
participates in another's affirmative act, or omits to
perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes
the deprivation of which complaint is made.'”
Preschooler II v. Clark Cty. Sch. Bd. of Trs., 479
F.3d 1175, 1183 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Johnson v.
Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)).
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
Eleventh Amendment bars suits for money damages in federal
court against a state, its agencies, and state officials
acting in their official capacities.” Aholelei v.
Dep't of Pub. Safety, 488 F.3d 1144, 1147 (9th Cir.
2007). An “official-capacity suit is, in all respects
other than name, to be treated as a suit against the
entity.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166
(1985); see also Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S.
464, 471-72 (1985); Larez v. City of L.A., 946 F.2d
630, 646 (9th Cir. 1991). Such a suit “is not a suit
against the official personally, for the real party in
interest is the entity.” Graham, 473 U.S. at
named in their official capacities are subject to suit under
§ 1983 only “for prospective declaratory and
injunctive relief . . . to enjoin an alleged ongoing
violation of federal law.” Oyama v. Univ. of
Haw., 2013 WL 1767710, at *7 (D. Haw. Apr. 23, 2013)
(quoting Wilbur v. Locke, 423 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th
Cir. 2005), abrogated on other grounds by Levin v.
Commerce Energy Inc., 560 U.S. 413 (2010)); see also
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58,
jails, prison facilities, and state agencies are not
“persons” amenable to suit under § 1983.
See Allison v. California Adult Auth., 419 F.2d 822,
823 (9th Cir. 1969); Maldonado v. Harris, 370 F.3d
945, 951 (9th Cir. 2004) (discussing state agencies) (citing
Will, 491 U.S. at 70).
seeks damages and does not seek prospective injunctive or
declaratory relief. He cannot state a claim against the State
of Hawaii, or the MCCC jail and claims against them are
DISMISSED. Leong alleges no facts suggesting that Judge
Cardoza or Hoapili Hale court staff are engaged in an ongoing
constitutional violation and his claims alleged against them
in their official capacities are DISMISSED.
MPD and Maui Prosecutor's Office
is no respondeat superior liability under § 1983, and a
county or municipal actor is liable only for injuries that
arise from an official policy or longstanding custom.
Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N.Y.,
436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978); see also City of Canton v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989) (“A municipality
can be liable under § 1983 only where its policies are
the ‘moving force [behind] the constitutional
violation.'”) (citing Polk Cty. v. Dodson,
454 U.S. 312, 326 (1981)). A plaintiff must allege facts to
establish “that a [city or county] employee committed
the alleged constitutional violation pursuant to a formal
governmental policy or a ‘longstanding practice or
custom which constitutes the “standard operating
procedure of the local governmental entity.'”
Gillette v. Delmore, 979 F.2d 1342, 1346 (9th Cir.
1992); see also Ziegler v. Indian River Cty., 64
F.3d 470, 474 (9th Cir. 1995) (noting a county is “not
liable for acts of county officials unless the officials'
conduct was the consequence of county policy or
custom”) (citation omitted).
names no individuals who allegedly acted pursuant to any
illegal Maui County policies or procedures. Nor does he
assert that longstanding practices or customs of the MPD or
Maui Prosecutor's Office violated his rights. Leong's
official capacity claims against MPD and the Maui
Prosecutor's Office (or their unnamed employees) are
vaguely alleges that Judge Cardoza unlawfully stripped of him
of his inheritance and denied a motion for reconsideration
without a hearing in “early 2011” while presiding
over the “Leong Family Trust.” Compl., ECF
No. 1, PageID #9. He also alleges that “presiding Judge
Lloyd Poelman” violated his rights “multiple
times” when Leong sought a temporary restraining order
(TRO) against Leilani S. Andaya in late 2014, in which Leong
alleged that Andaya was abusing, neglecting, ...