United States District Court, D. Hawaii
SENAL R. RAJAMANTRI, Plaintiff,
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU; JOHN and/or JANE DOES 1-10, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF
HONOLULU'S MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT FILED ON JULY 9,
A. OTAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action arises out of an incident on November 3, 2016, during
which Honolulu Police Department (“HPD”)
plain-clothed officers allegedly questioned Plaintiff Senal
Rajamantri (“Plaintiff”) about his identity and
residence then tackled and restrained him, causing his arm to
break. Plaintiff asserts federal constitutional and
Hawai‘i state law claims against Defendant City and
County of Honolulu (“Defendant”). Defendant moves
to dismiss Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count I)
and negligent hiring, retention, and supervision (Count VII)
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion. Count I
is dismissed in part without prejudice and dismissed in part
with prejudice. Count VII is dismissed without prejudice.
November 3, 2016, Plaintiff purchased dinner at the
restaurant Proof Public House. Compl. at ¶ 8. A server
informed Plaintiff that due to a prior complaint he had made
about the service, he was no longer allowed at the
restaurant. Id. Plaintiff then left the restaurant
and banged on a random shop window, cracking it. Id.
at ¶ 9. Two plain-clothed HPD officers who saw the
incident approached Plaintiff and asked him about his
identity and residence. Id. at ¶ 10. Plaintiff
responded and asked the officers if they intended to arrest
him. Id. at ¶ 11. The officers informed
Plaintiff that they were merely questioning him and
instructed him to sit on the ground. Id. At the
officers' direction, Plaintiff sat with his hands in the
air as he answered questions. Id. at ¶ 12.
Plaintiff was never read Miranda warnings.
officers subsequently called HPD for assistance and two
additional plain-clothed officers arrived at the scene.
Id. at ¶ 13. According to Plaintiff, without
provocation, all officers tackled him, pinned him to the
ground, and held him down on the ground. Id. at
¶ 14. Plaintiff claims that he did not resist.
Id. During the incident, one of the officers
allegedly pulled Plaintiff's arms behind him and twisted
them together, causing Plaintiff's bones to break and
protrude from his flesh. Id. One of the officers
handcuffed Plaintiff while another officer told him
“not to be a pussy” when he complained of extreme
pain. Id. at ¶ 16. Paramedics were eventually
called to the scene. Id. at ¶ 18. Plaintiff was
transported by HPD cruiser to Queen's Medical Center
where he was treated for multiple injuries. Id. at
¶ 19. Plaintiff is not aware of any criminal charges
brought against him related to the November 3, 2016 incident.
Id. at ¶ 20.
initiated this action on July 9, 2018. The Complaint asserts
the following claims: (1) violations of § 1983 (Count
I); (2) assault and battery (Count II); (3) gross negligence
(Count III); (4) negligence (Count IV); (5) intentional
infliction of emotional distress (Count V); (6) negligent
infliction of emotional distress (Count VI); (7) negligent
hiring, retention, and supervision (Count VII); and (8)
vicarious liability - respondeat superior (Count VIII).
Plaintiff prays for general, special, and punitive damages;
reimbursement for his costs and reasonable attorneys'
fees; and any additional relief deemed appropriate.
Id. at 15.
August 1, 2018, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Dismiss
Complaint Filed on July 9, 2018. Doc. No. 9.
Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 12(b)(6)
authorizes dismissal of a complaint that fails “to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.
R.Civ. P. 12(b)(6). On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss,
“‘the court accepts the facts alleged in the
complaint as true,' and ‘[d]ismissal can be based
on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of
sufficient facts alleged.'” UMG Recordings,
Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC, 718 F.3d 1006,
1014 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988))
(alteration in original). However, conclusory allegations of
law, unwarranted deductions of fact, and unreasonable
inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss.
Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988
(9th Cir. 2001); Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement
of Psychoanalysis v. Cal. Bd. of Psychology, 228 F.3d
1043, 1049 (9th Cir. 2000). Furthermore, the court need not
accept as true allegations that contradict matters properly
subject to judicial notice. Sprewell, 266 F.3d at
survive a motion to dismiss, 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) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). Facial plausibility exists “when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The tenet that the court
must accept as true all of the allegations contained in the
complaint does not apply to legal conclusions. Id.
As such, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do
not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility
of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 679 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)) (some alterations in original). If dismissal is
ordered, the plaintiff should be granted leave to amend
unless it is clear that the claims could not be saved by
amendment. Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 760
(9th Cir. 2007).
seeks dismissal of Counts I and VII. With respect to Count I,
Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
for municipal liability and that his excessive force claim is
limited to the Fourth Amendment. As for Count VII, Defendant
contends that Plaintiff has not pled facts establishing that
it “knew of a necessity and opportunity to control the
officers involved in the subject incident, ” or facts
identifying a deficiency with its supervision, retention, or
hiring practices. Mem. in Supp. of Mot. at 8.
Section 1983 Claims (Count I)
alleges that the officers involved in the subject incident
violated his Constitutional rights while acting in their
official capacities. Compl. at ¶ 24. In particular,
Plaintiff claims that the officers' use of excessive