United States District Court, D. Hawaii
WILLIAM H. GILLIAM, Plaintiff,
ROY GLASSETT, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION SEEKING LEAVE TO FILE A SECOND
OKI MOLLWAY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
William H. Gilliam has a dispute with the Association of
Apartment Owners of the Kuhio Shores at Poipu
(“AOAO”). In 2016, the AOAO filed a foreclosure
action against the owner of Unit 209, Pacific Rim Property
Service Corporation. See
http://hoohiki.courts.hawaii.gov (input case ID
“5CC161000063”). While it is not clear whether
Gilliam has an ownership interest in Pacific Rim Property
Service Corporation, according to the Department of Commerce
& Consumer Affairs of the State of Hawaii, Business
Registration Division, Gilliam is the President and a
Director of it. See
D1&view=officers. The company uses the same
address as Gilliam.
complains that the AOAO has been applying monthly payments to
fines and attorneys' fees, rather than to maintenance
fees. See Proposed Second Amended Complaint ¶
11. Gilliam now sues Defendant Roy Glassett, who simply
vacationed at a unit in the Kuhio Shores at Poipu.
Essentially, Gilliam seeks damages from Glassett for the
AOAO's actions. Gilliam's claims against Glassett
appear to be asserted not in good faith, but rather to harass
him or to gain leverage against the AOAO with respect to a
state-court foreclosure action in which Glassett is not a
described in the First Amended Complaint in this action, in
March 2013, Glassett stayed in Unit 109 of the Kuhio Shores
at Poipu while vacationing on Kauai. Glassett allegedly
disturbed Gilliam, who is related to a company that owned
Unit 209, by playing music a few minutes after “quiet
time” began. Gilliam called security, which determined
that the music's volume was acceptable. The following
day, Gilliam supposedly threw water on Glassett when Glassett
was sitting outside of his unit listening to music. On or
about March 13, 2013, Glassett sent an email to management of
the Kuhio Shores at Poipu. This email purported to describe
Glassett's interaction with Gilliam.
the proposed Second Amended Complaint asserts a civil
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization
(“RICO”) claim, as well as state law claims of
tortious interference and defamation, the court denies
Gilliam's motion for leave to file the proposed Second
Amended Complaint because it would be futile to allow him to
proceed. The Second Amended Complaint does not assert any
claim over which this court would have subject matter
15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that
leave to amend a complaint should be freely given “when
justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). In
determining whether to allow amendment of a complaint, courts
consider factors such as: whether the amendment will cause
undue delay; whether the movant has demonstrated bad faith or
a dilatory motive; whether the amendment will unduly
prejudice the opposing party; whether amendment is futile;
and whether the movant has repeatedly failed to cure
deficiencies. See Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
(1962). While this court freely gives leave to amend a
complaint “when justice so requires, ” this court
may deny a motion to amend a complaint when a proposed
complaint would be futile. See Carrico v. City & Cty.
of San Francisco, 656 F.3d 1002, 1008 (9th
Cir. 2011); Gordon v. City of Oakland, 627 F.3d
1092, 1094 (9th Cir. 2010).
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
possessing only the power authorized by the Constitution or
by statute. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah
Servs., 545 U.S. 546, 552 (2005). Gilliam, the party
invoking this court's jurisdiction, has the burden of
proving the actual existence of subject matter jurisdiction.
See Thompson v. McCombe, 99 F.3d 352, 353
(9th Cir. 1996) (“A party invoking the
federal court's jurisdiction has the burden of proving
the actual existence of subject matter jurisdiction.”).
Gilliam's proposed Second Amended Complaint asserts
diversity and federal question jurisdiction. Neither supplies
this court with subject matter jurisdiction, making the
proposed Second Amended Complaint futile, as it would be
subject to dismissal.
THE PROPOSED SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT DOES NOT SATISFY THE
JURISDICTIONAL PREREQUISITE FOR DIVERSITY
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), this court has original
jurisdiction with respect to civil actions when the parties
are diverse and the matter in controversy exceeds $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs. When a complaint is
originally filed in federal court, “the amount in
controversy is determined from the face of the
pleadings.” Geographic Expeditions, Inc. v.
Estate of Lhotka ex rel. Lhotka, 599 F.3d 1102,
1106 (9th Cir. 2010) (quotation marks and citation
omitted). Generally, the amount in controversy alleged in a
complaint controls so long as it is made in good faith.
However, a court may dismiss a complaint for lack of
diversity jurisdiction when it appears “to a legal
certainty that the claim is really for less than the
jurisdictional amount.” Id. That is, “a
federal court has subject matter jurisdiction unless upon the
face of the complaint, it is obvious that the suit cannot
involve the necessary amount.” Id. (quotation
marks and citation omitted). Accord Naffe v. Frey,
789 F.3d 1030, 1040 (9th Cir. 2015) (“[T]he
sum claimed by the plaintiff controls if the claim is
apparently made in good faith. It must appear to a legal
certainty that the claim is really for less than the
jurisdictional amount to justify dismissal.” (quotation
marks and citation omitted)).
the proposed Second Amended Complaint alleges that the
necessary amount in controversy is in issue, this court rules
that “it is obvious that the suit cannot involve the
necessary amount.” Geographic Expeditions, 599
F.3d at 1106. To a legal certainty, Gilliam has not pled a
claim against Gilliam involving more than $75, 000 in
controversy, exclusive of interest and costs.
alleges that Glassett played music too loudly while staying
at a vacation unit one floor below the unit Gilliam was in.
See Proposed Second Amended Complaint ¶ 12, ECF
No. 22-1, PageID # 166. According to an email dated March 14,
2013, written by Glassett and attached to the proposed Second
Amended Complaint, Glassett and someone named Marjie were
sitting on the patio listening to music and visiting. At
approximately 9:15pm [on March 10, 2013, ] the tenant from
#209 [Gilliam] came around the corner in the dark and began
yelling and screaming that our music was too loud and that
quiet hours began at 9pm. He was very angry, abusive and came
upon us very ...