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Iyonsi v. Honolulu Police Department

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 29, 2019




         Before the Court is Plaintiff Orighoye Dennis Iyonsi's (“Plaintiff”) Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP Application”), filed August 12, 2019. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint and DENIES the IFP Application.


         Plaintiff commenced this action on August 12, 2019 and filed an Amended Complaint on August 15, 2019. Based on his caption and the formatting and content of his pleadings, Plaintiff seems to mistakenly believe that this Court is an appellate court. Compl., ECF No. 1 (identifying the Court as “The State of Hawai‘i of Appeals for the Federal District Circuit Court”); ECF No. 5 (identifying the Court as “The State of Hawai‘i Court of Appeals for the Federal District Circuit Court”); Id. at 2 (including a “Questions Presented” section). He also identified his pleadings as “Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae.”[1]

         This action arises from Plaintiffs May 19, 2019 arrest while walking on the sidewalk in Ala Moana park. Id. at 7. Plaintiff alleges that Honolulu Police Department Officers Watanabe and Pugoyo approached him, asked him for identification, then informed him that they were placing him under arrest for violation of park laws. Id. Plaintiff asserts that Revised Ordinance of Honolulu (“ROH”) 10-1.2(a)(12)[2] violates 18 U.S.C. § 245. Id. During this incident, Officer Watanabe and three other unidentified officers (two males and one female) allegedly punched Plaintiff in an effort to wrestle him to the ground. Id. at 8. Plaintiff claims that he was handcuffed and placed into a police vehicle without being read his Miranda rights-in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 14141-and taken to a Honolulu jail, where he remained in an isolation cell until May 22, 2019.

         As best the Court can discern, Plaintiff asserts claims for false arrest; excessive force/brutality; and discriminatory and unlawful arrest while on a park sidewalk, in violation of his right to participate in “lawful speech and peaceful assembly with peaceful assembly stated as shall not mean the aiding, abetting, or inciting of other persons to riot or to commit any act of physical violence upon any individual or against any real or personal property.” Id. Plaintiff also alleges that there is a subversion of the judicial and legislative process that amounts to a conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C §§ 241 and 242 because Officer Watanabe acted as a clerk/judge in a court of law. Id. at 9.


         A. Dismissal of the Complaint Under the In Forma Pauperis Statute - 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)

         Plaintiff requests leave to proceed in forma pauperis. A court may deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis at the outset and dismiss the complaint if it appears from the face of the proposed complaint that the action: (1) is frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see Tripati v. First Nat 'l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1370 (9th Cir. 1987); Minetti v. Port of Seattle, 152 F.3d 1113, 1115 (9th Cir. 1998). When evaluating whether a complaint fails to state a viable claim for screening purposes, the Court applies Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 8's pleading standard as it does in the context of an FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012).

         FRCP 8(a) requires “a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction” and “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)-(2). Although the Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, a complaint must give fair notice and state the elements of the claim plainly and succinctly. Jones v. Cmty. Redev. Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). “The Federal Rules require that averments ‘be simple, concise and direct.'” McHenry v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1177 (9th Cir. 1996). FRCP 8 does not demand detailed factual allegations. However, “it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. “[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Nordstrom v. Ryan, 762 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2014) (citations and quotations omitted). A claim is plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678.

         In the present case, even construing the Complaint liberally, Bernhardt v. Los Angeles Cty., 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 2003); Jackson v. Carey, 353 F.3d 750, 757 (9th Cir. 2003), the Court finds that dismissal is appropriate because the basis for jurisdiction is unclear and the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         Federal courts are presumed to lack subject matter jurisdiction, and the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that subject matter jurisdiction is proper. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). If the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, an action must be dismissed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). Here, Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of establishing that subject matter jurisdiction exists. He alleges, in conclusory fashion, that the Officers, none of whom are named as Defendants, violated certain federal statutory provisions. However, the cited provisions are inapplicable.

         Plaintiff alleges that his arrest without a Miranda warning violated 42 U.S.C. ยง 14141. Section 14141, which is now ...

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