United States District Court, D. Hawaii
LOKELANI V. COSTALES, Plaintiff,
CITY AND COUNTY OF MAUI, PARKS AND RECREATION DIVISION, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
COMPLAINT, ECF NO. 13
Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge.
the court is Defendant County of Maui, Parks and Recreation
Division's (“Defendant” or the
“County”) Motion to Dismiss pro se Plaintiff
Lokelani V. Costales' (“Plaintiff”)
Complaint. ECF No. 13. For the reasons set forth below, the
Motion is GRANTED.
alleged in the Complaint, on December 28, 2014,
Plaintiff's son, Ehukai H. Dennis, died after he
“struck his head” on “an unlocked,
unhatched swinging . . . fence” at a County park in
Makawao, Maui. Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1; see Death
Certificate, Ex. 1, ECF No. 1-1 (indicating that
Plaintiff's son “struck a fence post”). At
the time of the crash, Plaintiff's son was six years of
age and was riding a “mini-motorbike.” Compl. at
1. The Complaint alleges that the cause of the crash was a
“missing gate latch.” Id. at 1, 2.
asserts a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States
Constitution, and state-law claims for wrongful death and
negligence. Id. at 2. Plaintiff seeks $12
million in compensatory and punitive damages. Id.
initiated this action by filing the Complaint on March 22,
2019. ECF No. 1. Defendant filed the instant Motion on May
14, 2019. ECF No. 13. Plaintiff filed an Opposition on June
6, 2019, and Defendant filed a Reply on June 19, 2019. ECF
Nos. 17, 19. A hearing was held on July 15, 2019.
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) authorizes a court to
dismiss claims over which it lacks proper subject matter
jurisdiction. The court may determine jurisdiction on a
motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under Rule
12(b)(1) so long as “the jurisdictional issue is [not]
inextricable from the merits of a case . . . .”
Kingman Reef Atoll Invs., L.L.C. v. United States,
541 F.3d 1189, 1195 (9th Cir. 2008). The moving party
“should prevail [on a motion to dismiss] only if the
material jurisdictional facts are not in dispute and the
moving party is entitled to prevail as a matter of
law.” Casumpang v. Int'l Longshoremen's
& Warehousemen's Union, Local 142, 269 F.3d
1042, 1060 (9th Cir. 2001) (citation and quotation marks
omitted); Tosco Corp. v. Cmtys. for a Better
Env't, 236 F.3d 495, 499 (9th Cir. 2001),
abrogated on other grounds by Hertz Corp. v. Friend,
559 U.S. 77 (2010).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss
for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Dismissal is appropriate where the complaint
lacks a cognizable legal theory or if its factual allegations
do not support a cognizable legal theory. Hartmann v.
Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab., 707 F.3d 1114,
1122 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Mendiondo v. Centinela
Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008)).
The court may also “dismiss a complaint sua sponte
under [Rule] 12(b)(6) . . . without notice where the claimant
cannot possibly win relief.” Omar v. Sea-Land
Serv., Inc., 813 F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987); see