United States District Court, D. Hawaii
WILLIAM H. GILLIAM, Plaintiff,
MIKE GALVIN, a/k/a J. MICHAEL GALVIN; JOAN CHERICE KRUSSEL a/k/s JOAN CHERICE COTE, MATHEW AARON COTE a/k/a MATT COTE, a/k/a MATTHEW A COTE, AIRBNB, INC. AND AIRBNB PAYMENTS, INC., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are two motions to dismiss: Defendants Joan
Krussel's and Matthew Cote's Motion to Dismiss, ECF No.
9, and Defendant Mike Galvin's Motion to Dismiss, ECF No.
11. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motions
and Defendant Galvin own condominiums in the same complex in
in Poipu, Kauai. First Am. Compl. (“FAC”) ¶
5. In March of 2015, Defendants Cote rented Plaintiff's
condominium unit through Airbnb. Id. ¶ 9. Upon
arriving at the unit, Defendants Cote informed Airbnb that
there were hidden cameras in Plaintiff's apartment, and
publicly posted a disparaging review of Plaintiff's unit,
stating that it contained hidden cameras. Id.
¶¶ 9(b) & (i). Plaintiff alleges that the
Cotes' rental and review of Plaintiff's condominium
was all part of a conspiracy with Galvin to harm
Plaintiff's competitiveness in the rental market.
Id. ¶¶ 12-13.
brought the initial Complaint on March 11, 2019. ECF No. 1.
The Complaint alleged that Defendants violated two federal
statutes: The Lanham Act (Count 1) and the Hobbs Act (Count
8). It also asserted the following state law claims: Unfair
and Deceptive Trade Practices under Hawai‘i Revised
Statute § 480-2 (Count 2), Unfair and Deceptive Trade
Practices under Washington Revised Statute § 19.86
(Count 3), “Tortious Interference with Past Present
Future Relationship” (Count 4), Fraud (Count 5),
Defamation (Count 6), Declaratory Judgment seeking to reverse
a prior state court judgment in small claims court (Count 7),
and a claim against Defendants for their breach of the Airbnb
terms of service (Count 10). Id. The Complaint also
asserted two breach of contract claims against Airbnb (Counts
9 and 11). The initial complaint alleges diversity
jurisdiction, asserting that Plaintiff is a U.S. Citizen,
“neither a resident of Washington or California,
residing overseas; but, frequent visitor to Hawaii.”
ECF No. 1 ¶ 1.
Cote filed their Motion to Dismiss on June 14, 2019, ECF No.
9, and Defendant Galvin filed his Motion to Dismiss on June
20, 2019, ECF No. 11, joined by Defendants Cote. ECF No. 12.
In response to the motions to dismiss, Plaintiff filed the
FAC on July 8, 2019. ECF No. 26. The FAC removed the Hobbs
Act Claim and added new allegations with respect to
Plaintiff's residency. The FAC alleges that Plaintiff is
“now a qualified resident of Hawaii.” FAC ¶
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, the Court requested
that Defendants inform the Court whether they wished to
proceed with their motions to dismiss. ECF No. 28. By letter
to the Court, Defendants Cote sought to proceed with their
motion, because the FAC did not cure any jurisdictional
defects in the original Complaint. ECF No. 30. They also
asked the Court to construe their motion as brought under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) in addition to
12(b)(6). Id. Defendant Galvin did not respond to
the Court's request.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of a
complaint that fails “to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
“On a motion to dismiss, the court accepts the facts
alleged in the complaint as true.” UMG Recordings,
Inc. v. Shelter Capital Partners LLC, 718 F.3d 1006,
1014 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988)).
But conclusory allegations of law, unwarranted deductions of
fact, and unreasonable inferences are insufficient to defeat
a motion to dismiss. Sprewell v. Golden State
Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001);
Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis
v. Cal. Bd. of Psychology, 228 F.3d 1043, 1049 (9th Cir.
2000). When a court dismisses a claim under Rule 12(b)(6),
“leave to amend should be given freely, ” and
dismissal with prejudice is proper only where
“amendment would be futile.” Cervantes v.
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 656 F.3d 1034, 1041 (9th
Federal Courts are courts of limited subject matter
jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden to establish
jurisdiction. Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927
(9th Cir. 1986). Dismissal under FRCP 12(b)(1) is warranted
when the plaintiff fails to meet its burden. Chandler v.
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 598 F.3d 1115, 1122 (9th
Cir. 2010). The Court may rely on evidence submitted outside
of the complaint to resolve factual disputes concerning the
existence of jurisdiction. McCarthy v. United
States, 850 F.2d 558, 560 (9th Cir. 1988).
argue that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
because (1) the only federal claim alleged-the Lanham Act
claim-must be dismissed, precluding federal question
jurisdiction; (2) the Court should decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims; and (3)
the Complaint fails to plead diversity ...