United States District Court, D. Hawaii
URSULA S. ABELLA Plaintiff,
ROGER O'KELLY Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF URSULA S. ABELLA'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
C. KAY SR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff Ursula S.
Abella's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 24.
matter arises under admiralty law. On June 8, 2018, Plaintiff
Ursula S. Abella (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint
against Defendants Roger O'Kelly (“Defendant
O'Kelly”), Robert J. Eden (“Defendant
Eden”), and Gaen C. Gysel (“Defendant
Gysel”). ECF No. 1. The Complaint seeks a declaratory
judgment from the Court, pursuant to 46 U.S.C. §
31343(c)(2), stating that none of the defendants have valid
maritime liens on the vessel S/V TALISKER, Official Number
1269057 (the “Vessel” or “Talisker”).
and Defendant Gysel reached a settlement and, on August 6,
2018, stipulated to the dismissal of Plaintiff's claim
against Defendant Gysel without prejudice. ECF No. 12. On
March 21, 2019, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her claim
against Defendant Eden without prejudice. ECF No. 29.
O'Kelly, who is proceeding pro se, is the only remaining
defendant in this lawsuit. Defendant O'Kelly filed an
Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint on September 18, 2018.
ECF No. 17. On October 24, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint (“FAC”), ECF No. 22, which corrects the
spelling of Defendant O'Kelly's last name but is
otherwise identical to the original Complaint.
March 13, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Motion”) on her claim against Defendant
O'Kelly, ECF No. 24, together with a Concise Statement of
Facts (“Pl. CSF”). ECF No. 25. On June 16, 2019,
Defendant O'Kelly filed a document responding to
Plaintiff's Motion (“Response”). ECF No. 31.
Defendant O'Kelly does not appear to oppose
Plaintiff's Motion. See Response. Plaintiff has
not filed a Reply.
Court held a hearing on Plaintiff's Motion on August 22,
2019. The Court called the case at 11:00 a.m. and again at
1:30 p.m. At neither time did Defendant O'Kelly or any
representative of Defendant O'Kelly appear in Court.
following facts are drawn from the FAC and Plaintiff's
CSF. Because Defendant O'Kelly has not filed a CSF
opposing Plaintiff's CSF, the facts set forth therein are
deemed admitted. See Local Rule of Practice for the
United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i
(“Local Rule”) 56.1(g) (“For purposes of a
motion for summary judgment, material facts set forth in the
moving party's concise statement will be deemed admitted
unless controverted by a separate concise statement of the
April 4, 2016, Plaintiff and someone named Craig Adams
(“Mr. Adams”) purchased the Vessel as co-owners
in Freemantle, Australia. FAC ¶ 7. The pair planned to
sail the Vessel from Freemantle to Honolulu. FAC ¶ 8. On
June 1, 2016, when the Vessel was in Darwin, Australia, Mr.
Adams hired Defendant O'Kelly as a crewmember. FAC ¶
O'Kelly served as a crewmember on board the Talisker on
its journey from Darwin, Australia to Honolulu, Hawai`i. Pl.
CSF ¶ 1; Declaration of Ursula S. Abella (“Abella
Decl.”) ¶ 3. Defendant O'Kelly agreed to serve
as a crewmember in exchange for being provided all meals
while in the service of the Vessel as well as sailing
experience and training. Pl. CSF ¶ 2; Abella Decl.
¶ 4. Defendant O'Kelly was provided with all meals
while aboard the Talisker and received experience and
training. Pl. CSF ¶ 5; Abella Decl. ¶ 5. No.
agreement was made for Defendant O'Kelly to be
compensated with money and/or airfare in exchange for his
services aboard the Vessel. Pl. CSF ¶ 3; Abella Decl.
¶ 6. Plaintiff has no knowledge of a separate agreement
between Mr. Adams and Defendant O'Kelly for future
employment. Pl. CSF ¶ 7; Abella Decl. ¶ 4.
February 13, 2017, Defendant O'Kelly filed a notice of
claim of lien against the Vessel with the United States Coast
Guard (“USCG”) in the amount of $50, 000. Pl. CSF
¶ 6; Abella Decl. ¶ 8; Exh. B, ECF No. 25-2, at 2.
The notice states “Lien for labor from March 1 2016 to
November 15 2016; including delivering the boat from
Australia to Hawaii[.]” Exh. B at 2. The USCG
terminated Defendant O'Kelly's notice of lien on
August 9, 2018. Pl. CSF ¶ 7; Abella Decl. ¶ 9; Exh.
B at 2. Defendant O'Kelly indicated that he may refile
the lien with an attorney. Pl. CSF ¶ 8; Abella Decl.
O'Kelly's Response to Plaintiff's Motion
acknowledges that on August 9, 2018, the USCG terminated
Defendant O'Kelly's notice of lien on the Talisker.
Defendant O'Kelly also states “I have not contacted
Abella or her lawyer because this issue is over; and I
don't trust them. I don't want to pay court cost for
a frivolous law suit [sic].” The foregoing seems to
indicate that ...