United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS HUNT, WAKITA, TINGLE,
TAVARES, AND ISHII'S MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS,
ECF NO. 182
MICHAEL SEABRIGHT CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Defendants Officer Brian Hunt, Sergeant Wakita,
Sergeant Tingle, Officer Shaine Tavares, and Officer Kenneth
Ishii's (collectively, “Defendants”) Motion
for terminating sanctions (“Motion”) for
Plaintiff's failure to comply with an August 28, 2018
discovery order, ECF No. 124, (the “August 28
Order”). ECF No. 182. For the reasons set forth below,
the Motion is DENIED.
case arises from State of Hawaii foreclosure and eviction,
and subsequent criminal, proceedings against Plaintiff.
Plaintiff asserts claims against Defendants for unlawful
seizure and excessive force in violation of the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and state-law
claims for assault and battery and intentional and/or
negligent infliction of emotional distress. ECF No. 1.
instant Motion arises from a discovery dispute and a July 10,
2018 Order compelling Plaintiff to respond to an
interrogatory, produce certain documents, and authorize the
disclosure of medical information. See ECF No. 104.
The July 10, 2018 Order warned Plaintiff that failure to
comply by July 24, 2018, may result in the imposition of
sanctions. Id. Thereafter, Plaintiff wrote a letter
to the court and filed documents opposing disclosure of
private medical information, discussing her health condition,
and/or seeking extensions of time to meet various deadlines.
See ECF Nos. 106, 110, 115, 121, 122. The court
issued orders recognizing that Plaintiff “regularly
flouts rules and deadlines, ” reminding Plaintiff that
she must comply with all deadlines and the Local Rules,
warning that failure to comply with the rules may result in
sanctions, and advising Plaintiff that if she wishes to
obtain an extension of a particular deadline, she must submit
a formal request in advance. See ECF Nos. 107, 112,
31, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion for Sanctions based on
Plaintiff's failure to comply with the July 10, 2018
Order, ECF No. 113, which was granted in part and denied in
part on August 28, 2018. ECF No. 124. The August 28, 2018
Order directed Plaintiff to comply, by September 4, 2018,
with the discovery previously ordered, imposed a sanction
against Plaintiff of Defendants' fees and costs in an
amount to be determined, and directed Defendants' counsel
to submit a declaration of the fees and costs reasonably
incurred in connection with the Motion for Sanctions.
Id. at 6. The August 28, 2018 Order again warned
Plaintiff that “her failure to timely comply with this
order will result in the imposition of additional sanctions,
which may include dismissal of this action, ” and
“encourage[d] the parties to confer regarding the entry
of a stipulated protective order” with respect to
Plaintiff's medical records. Id. at 7. On
September 14, 2018, the parties filed a Stipulated Protective
Order. ECF No. 141.
on August 29, 2018, Defendants' counsel filed his
Declaration of fees and costs, ECF No. 126, and on September
20, 2018, the court ordered Plaintiff to pay by October 9,
2018, Defendants' reasonably incurred fees and costs of
$787.50. ECF No. 146.
October 11, 2018, the court stayed all proceedings until
January 31, 2019, based on Plaintiff's documented
“active treatment” for a serious health
condition. ECF No. 157. On January 28, 2019, the court sua
sponte extended the stay through February 28, 2019. ECF No.
March 30, 2019, Defendants filed the instant Motion for
Plaintiff's failure to comply with the August 28, 2018
Order. ECF No. 182. A hearing was held on May 6, 2019, and
Plaintiff appeared by telephone. ECF No. 193. Although
Plaintiff had failed to file an opposition memorandum, during
the hearing, Plaintiff stated that she did not get the Motion
until that day and that she lacks the financial ability to
pay the sanction. The court granted Plaintiff leave to file
an opposition by May 20, 2019. Id. As of May 22,
2019, no opposition was filed.
contend that terminating sanctions are warranted based on
Plaintiff's “willful and repeated refusal to comply
with Court directions and deadlines, ” specifically,
Plaintiff's failure to pay the sanction of $787.50 and
her repeated assertions to Defendants' counsel that she
will not pay the sanction. Mot. at 2, ECF No. 182;
Declaration of D. Kaena Horowitz ¶¶ 15-16, ECF No.
182-1. Defendants' counsel contends that the stay of
proceedings from October 11, 2019 through February 28, 2019,
“did not alter the deadline for payment, ” and
states that Plaintiff has made “no attempts to contact
[counsel] to settle ...