United States District Court, D. Hawaii
A. OTAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is pro se Plaintiff Crandall Lee Koa'io
Penaflor's civil rights Complaint brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986, and unspecified
“‘Unconstitutional Criminal' violations
committed by the United States of America” and the
State of Hawaii. ECF No. 1, PageID #1. Penaflor seeks a
declaratory judgment that the “1893, illegal overthrow
of the lawful Hawaiian Kingdom government, through the 1959,
Statehood Act, has been officially nullified by the
admissions of the Defendants in their 1993, ‘Apology
Resolution,' dom[e]stic law.” Id. at
PageID #22. He alleges that the Apology Resolution is now
“officially recognized as a matter of United States
‘domestic law'. . . [it] cannot be denied.”
Id. at PageID #3.
Complaint fails to state a colorable claim for relief and is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A(a). Granting leave to amend is futile, and this
dismissal is with prejudice.
prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, the court must screen
Penaflor's 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)).
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 v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir.
2012); Simmons v. Navajo Cty., Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011,
1020-21 (9th Cir. 2010). “Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 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,
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).
alleges that the United States and the State of Hawaii are
“puppet” governments who have “no legal
authority and/or jurisdiction, over him, his children, et
al., and all other children that are descendants of the
Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Archipelago, upon its
‘Apology Bill' Pub. L. 103-150.” Compl., ECF
No. 1, PageID #20. He claims Defendants have violated state
and federal law by failing to “reinstate the Hawaiian
Queen back into her rightful sovereign authority pursuant to
Article 22, of the Hawaiian Constitution to govern her people
and their islands.” Id. at PageID #15.
Penaflor seeks a declaratory judgment that the “illegal
overthrow of the lawful Hawaiian Kingdom . . . has been
officially nullified by the admissions of the Defendants in
their 1993, ‘Apology Resolution.'”
Id. at PageID #22.
extent Penaflor seeks declaratory judgment, or any other
claim for relief, based on his allegations that he is a
sovereign citizen of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United
States and the State of Hawaii are in violation of the
Apology Resolution of 1993, he cannot state a claim.
1993, Congress enacted a joint resolution ‘to
acknowledge the historic significance of the illegal
overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, to express its deep
regret to the Native Hawaiian people, and to support the
reconciliation efforts of the State of Hawaii and the United
Church of Christ with Native Hawaiians.'”
Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. 163,
168 (2009) (discussing the “Joint Resolution to
Acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of the January 17, 1893
Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Pub.L. 103-150, 107 Stat.
1513 (Apology Resolution)). Although the Apology Resolution
“apologize[d]” for the United States'
“role in overthrowing the Hawaiian monarchy, § 1,
” it affirmatively declared that nothing in the
resolution was “intended to serve as a settlement of
any claims against the United States, § 3.”
Id. at 169 (citing Pub. L. 103-150, 107 Stat. 1514).
The United States Supreme Court stated that the
“Apology Resolution reveals no indication-much less a
‘clear and manifest' one-that Congress intended to
amend or repeal the State's rights and obligations under
the Admission Act (or any other federal law).”
Id. at 175-76. Thus, nothing within the Apology
Resolution authorizes this court to issue the declaratory
judgment Penaflor seeks - reinstatement of the Kingdom of
extent Penaflor asserts that he is not subject to the laws of
the United States or the State of Hawaii, based on the theory
that the Kingdom of Hawaii is a sovereign nation, that
assertion is without merit. The Ninth Circuit, the District
Court for the District of Hawaii, and the Hawaii state courts
have consistently rejected this argument. See United
States v. Lorenzo, 995 F.2d 1448, 1456 (9th Cir. 1993)
(holding that the Hawaii district court has jurisdiction over
Hawaii residents claiming they are citizens of the Kingdom of
Hawaii); Gilbert v. Fed. Nat'l Mortgage
Ass'n, 2017 WL 6519017, at *4 (D. Haw. Dec. 20,
2017) (same); United States v. Lindsey, 2013 WL
7121226, at *1 (D. Haw. Aug. 8, 2013) (same); Hawaii v.
Kaulia, 128 Haw. 479, 487, 291 P.3d 377, 385 (2013)
(finding that “[i]ndividuals claiming to be citizens of
the Kingdom [of Hawaii] and not of the State are not exempt
from application of the State's laws”); Hawaii
v. French, 77 Haw. 222, 228, 883 P.2d 644, 649 (Haw.
App. 1994) (“[P]resently there is no factual (or legal)
basis for concluding that the [Hawaiian] Kingdom exists as a
state in accordance with recognized attributes of a
state's sovereign nature.” (quotations omitted)).
cannot state a claim based on his allegations regarding the
Apology Resolution or the Kingdom of Hawaii ...