United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT and
RESERVING RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN
DISTRICT COURT WITHOUT PREPAYING FEES OR COSTS
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
November 9, 2018, pro se Plaintiff Ronald Satish Emrit
(“Plaintiff”) filed his Complaint
(“Complaint”) and an Application to Proceed in
District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs
(“Application”). [Dkt. nos. 1, 2.] The Court has
considered the Complaint and Application as a non-hearing
matter pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of
Practice of the United States District Court for the District
of Hawaii (“Local Rules”). For the reasons set
forth below, the Complaint is hereby dismissed without
prejudice. In other words, Plaintiff has the Court's
permission to file an amended complaint to try to cure the
defects in the Complaint. In addition, the Court will reserve
ruling on Plaintiff's Application until Plaintiff files
his amended complaint.
alleges he is a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada with a mailing
address in Bowie, Maryland. [Complaint at ¶ 4.]
According to the Complaint, Defendant Desert Parkway
Behavioral Hospital's (“Defendant”) principal
place of business or “nerve center” is in Las
Vegas, Nevada; and Defendant has hospital facilities located
throughout the country. [Id. at ¶ 5.] Plaintiff
filed the instant matter with this district court, but he
alleges jurisdiction and venue are proper in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California
because there is “complete diversity between the
Plaintiff and the three defendants.” [Id. at
¶ 8.] Plaintiff also asserts there is subject matter
jurisdiction because the case involves a discussion of the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(“HIPAA”) and the Affordable Care Act
(“ACA”). [Id. at ¶ 9.]
alleges that, in the summer of 2016, he enrolled in the
“Partial Hospitalization Program”
(“PHP”) at Defendant's Las Vegas facility.
[Id. at ¶¶ 12-13.] A mental health
technician named “Jay” would drive Plaintiff from
his residence in Las Vegas to Defendant's facility to
participate in the PHP. [Id.] Plaintiff ultimately
did not complete the PHP “due to circumstances beyond
his control, ” but nevertheless, alleges he should have
been placed in Defendant's Intensive Outpatient Therapy
(“IOT”) program. [Id. at ¶ 14.]
Plaintiff also asserts that, while he was an inpatient at
Defendant's facility, he met Shyane Taylor Rios and a
social worker named Gloria Medina. At an unspecified point in
time, Ms. Medina brought Ms. Rios and Ms. Rios's
boyfriend to Plaintiff's Las Vegas residence, causing the
lessor of the property, Nicole Rocia Leal-Mendez, to ask
Plaintiff to leave. [Id. at ¶¶ 16-19.]
alleges the following claims: breach of contract and unjust
enrichment based on Defendant's failure to assign
Plaintiff to the IOT program after he failed to complete his
PHP (“Count I”); negligence or negligence per se
based on having to leave Ms. Leal-Mendez's residence and
pay for temporary housing due to the actions of Ms. Rios
(“Count II”); [id. at ¶¶
21-23;] and intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”) (“Count III”), presumably
upon the same factual allegations set forth above,
[id. at pg. 5, Prayer for Relief]. Plaintiff seeks
punitive, compensatory, special, and treble damages in the
amount of $250, 000. [Id. at pg. 6, Prayer for
appears to seek an additional $250, 000 for Defendant's
alleged breach of contract, and also an injunction and/or
specific performance to have Plaintiff re-entered into a
health care treatment program for individuals with bipolar
disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and/or post-traumatic
stress disorder. [Id.]
courts can authorize the commencement of any suit without
prepayment of fees or security by a person who submits an
affidavit that demonstrates he is unable to pay.”
Smallwood v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation, CV. NO.
16-00505 DKW-KJM, 2016 WL 4974948, at *1 (D. Hawai i Sept.
16, 2016) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)).
The Court subjects each civil action commenced pursuant to
Section 1915(a) to mandatory screening and can order the
dismissal of any claims it finds “frivolous, malicious,
failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
seeking monetary relief from a defendant immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Lopez v.
Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc)
(stating that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) “not only
permits but requires” the court to sua sponte dismiss
an in forma pauperis complaint that fails to state a claim);
Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845 (9th Cir. 2001)
(per curiam) (holding that “the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) are not limited to prisoners”).
Id. at *3.
addition, this Court has recognized that the following
standards apply in the screening analysis:
Plaintiff is appearing pro se; consequently, the court
liberally construes her pleadings. Eldridge v.
Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987) (“The
Supreme Court has instructed the federal courts to liberally
construe the ‘inartful pleading' of pro se
litigants.” (citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454
U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam))). The court also
recognizes that “[u]nless it is absolutely clear that
no amendment can cure the defect . . . a pro se litigant is
entitled to notice of the complaint's deficiencies and an
opportunity to amend prior to dismissal of the action.”
Lucas v. Dep't of Corr., 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th
Cir. 1995); see also Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126 (9th. [sic] Cir. 2000).
Despite the liberal pro se pleading standard, the court may
dismiss a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) on its own motion. See Omar v.
Sea-Land Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987)
(“A trial court may dismiss a claim sua sponte under
[Rule] 12(b)(6). Such a dismissal may be made without notice
where the claimant cannot possibly win relief.”);
Ricotta v. California, 4 F.Supp.2d 961, 968 n.7
(S.D. Cal. 1998) (“The Court can dismiss a claim sua
sponte for a Defendant who has not filed a motion to dismiss
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).”); see also Baker v.
Dir., U.S. Parole Comm'n, 916 F.2d 725, 727 (D.C.
Cir. 1990) (holding that district court may dismiss cases sua
sponte pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) without notice where
plaintiff could not prevail on complaint as alleged). . . .
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
” possessing “only that power authorized by
Constitution and statute.” United States v.
Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375,
377 (1994)). The assumption is that the district court lacks
jurisdiction. See Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Accordingly, a
“party invoking the federal court's jurisdiction
has the burden of proving the actual existence of subject
matter jurisdiction.” Thompson v. McCombe, 99
F.3d 352, 353 (9th Cir. 1996).
Flores v. Trump, CIVIL 16-00652 LEK-RLP, 2017 WL
125698, at *1 (D. Hawai`i Jan. 12, 2017) (some alterations in
Flores) (citation omitted), reconsideration denied, 2017 ...