United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LORI HENBEST'S MOTION TO
DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION, ECF NO.
Michael Seabright Chief United States District Judge
the court is Defendant Lori Henbest's Motion to Dismiss
pro se Plaintiff Ruth-Ann Springer's
(“Plaintiff”) Complaint for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. ECF No. 147. For the reasons set forth
below, the Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
8, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “Complaint for Violation of
Civil Rights” (“Complaint”) against Hawaii
County Police (“HCP”) Officer Brian Hunt
(“Hunt”), HCP Sergeant Wakita, HCP Sergeant
Tingle, HCP Officer Shaine Tavares, HCP Officer Kenneth Ishii
(collectively, the “HCP Defendants”), realtor
Lori Henbest (“Henbest”), and State of Hawaii
Judge Harry P. Freitas (“Judge Freitas”), ECF No.
1, and an Application to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP Application”), ECF No. 4. On July 11, 2017,
this court granted the IFP Application and dismissed the
Complaint in part for failure to state a claim (the
“July 11 Order”). ECF No. 11. The July 11 Order
dismissed claims against Judge Freitas without leave to
amend, dismissed Plaintiff's conspiracy claim with leave
to amend, and determined that the remaining federal and
state-law claims against the HPD Defendants and Henbest could
proceed. Id. at 15-16.
August 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document titled
“Complaint: Writ of Error is of the District of the
Hawaiʽi Federal: Title: 42, ” which the court
construed as a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”).
ECF No. 14. On August 4, 2017, the court dismissed the FAC
without leave to amend for failure to state a claim and
directed service of the original Complaint against Henbest
and the HPD Defendants. ECF No. 16. On November 8, 2017, the
HCP Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 37, which
was denied on February 13, 2018 (the “February 13
Order”), ECF No. 66; Springer v. Hunt, 2018 WL
846909 (D. Haw. Feb. 13, 2018).
September 20, 2018, Henbest filed the instant Motion to
Dismiss. ECF No. 147. The court stayed all proceedings in
this case from October 11, 2018 through February 28, 2019.
ECF Nos. 157, 166. On March 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed an
Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss, and on March 15, 2019,
Henbest filed a Reply. ECF Nos. 176, 180. Pursuant to Local
Rule 7.2(d), the court finds this matter suitable for
disposition without a hearing.
February 13 Order set forth a detailed factual background to
this action. See Springer, 2018 WL 846909, at *2-4.
The court assumes a familiarity with that order and
therefore, sets forth only those facts necessary to address
the instant motion.
action arises from a State of Hawaii foreclosure and
eviction, and subsequent criminal proceedings. As alleged in
the Complaint, on January 15, 2016, Henbest and the HPD
Defendants removed Plaintiff from her home (the
“subject property”) on the Big Island of Hawaii
pursuant to an expired writ of possession. Compl. at 6
(“3 Officers, 2 Sargent's [sic], and a Real-estate
agent, using an old writ of possession that the statute of
limitation had run out . . . took possession of my property .
. . .”). In the course of the eviction, Henbest
allegedly “assaulted [Plaintiff] by shoving [her] into
the hall wall hard enough to knock the wind from
[her].” Id. at 10. The Complaint alleges that
Henbest had the locks replaced on the home and removed
Plaintiff's possessions. Id. The banks and
Henbest allegedly sold Plaintiff's home. Id. at
9. Subsequently, “people were moved into
[Plaintiff's] home and after the case was dismissed,
[her] property was never returned . . . .” Id.
at 11. As a result of the foregoing, Plaintiff allegedly
suffered severe mental anguish and depression, physical
injuries, had a nervous breakdown, lost everything, and
became homeless. Id. at 11, 12.
Complaint alleges 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against
Henbest and the HPD Defendants in their individual capacities
only, for violation of Plaintiff's statutory and/or
constitutional rights, particularly those protected by the
Fourth Amendment. Id. at 4-7, 11. The Complaint
further alleges state-law claims against Henbest and the HPD
Defendants for assault and battery, and intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress. Id. at
8-12. The Complaint seeks (1) compensatory damages; (2) $25,
000, 000.00 per violation (12 violations) of Plaintiff's
rights protected by the United States and Hawaii
constitutions; and (3) the incarceration of all
Defendants for five years, and forfeiture of all they own.
Id. at 12.
addressing the HPD Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, this
court took judicial notice of the docket and documents
publicly filed with the State of Hawaii District Court of the
Third Circuit, Puna Division. Springer v. Hunt, 2018
WL 846909, at *3. Those materials show that a non-judicial
foreclosure was conducted against the subject property,
resulting in (1) a February 28, 2012 Judgment for Possession
in favor of the Federal National Mortgage Association and
against Plaintiff (and two others), and (2) a February 28,
2012 Writ of Possession, effective February 27, 2012. See
Springer, 2018 WL 846909, at *3 & n.9-10.
state-court docket also shows that by Order of July 13, 2012,
a February 28, 2012 “Order Granting Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment and Writ of Possession”
(the “February 28, 2012 Order”) was stricken from
the record. See Id. at *4 (citing Hawaii State
Judiciary's Public Access to Court Information
And it further shows that on December 19, 2012, a
“Satisfaction of Judgment for Possession Filed February