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David Keanu Sai v. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton

March 9, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colleen Kollar-kotelly United States District Judge


March 9, 2010

Pro se plaintiff David Keanu Sai ("Plaintiff") filed this action against various government officials seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as damages stemming from their alleged violation of the Liliuokalani Assignment, a statement issued by Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii relinquishing control of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States on January 17, 1893. Plaintiff contends, inter alia, that the Liliuokalani Assignment requires the United States to return control of the islands to the Kingdom of Hawaii, that the annexation of the Hawaiian islands by the United States in 1898 is unconstitutional, and that Plaintiff's conviction for theft in March 2000 by a Hawaii court should be expunged because it is in violation of federal and international law. In his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff names as defendants Secretary of State Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Michael Gates, Admiral Robert F. Willard, and Linda Lingle, Governor of the State of Hawaii. On September 23, 2010, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all claims against Governor Lingle. The remaining defendants (collectively, "Defendants") have filed a [10] Motion to Dismiss, which Plaintiff opposes. Also pending before the Court are Plaintiff's [21] Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Complaint and motions to intervene filed by Alfred Napahuelua Spinney and James Kimo Keka. For the reasons explained below, the Court shall grant Defendants' motion to dismiss and deny Plaintiff's motion for leave to supplement his complaint and the motions to intervene.


A. Hawaii's History as a Territory of the United States The Hawaiian islands were united as one kingdom in 1810 under the leadership of King Kamemeha I. See Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495, 501 (2000). Near the end of the nineteenth century, American business interests were dominating the islands and creating tensions with pro-native, anti-Western interests. See id. at 504. In 1887, Westerners forced the resignation of the Hawaiian Prime Minister and the adoption of a new constitution. Id. In 1893, "a group of professionals and businessmen, with the active assistance of John Stevens, the United States Minister to Hawaii, acting with United States Armed Forces, replaced the monarchy with a provisional government" that sought annexation by the United States. Id. at 505. The overthrow of the Hawaiian government was effected on January 17, 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani issued the following statement:

I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.

That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government.

Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

See Joint Resolution to Acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of the January 17, 1893 Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Pub. L. No. 103-150, 107 Stat. 1510, 1511 (1993) (hereinafter, "Apology Resolution"); Compl., Ex. B at 18. Plaintiff refers to this assignment of power as the "Liliuokalani Assignment." See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 16-17. In 1993, Congress passed a resolution formally apologizing to Native Hawaiians for the involvement of the United States in overthrowing the Hawaiian Kingdom. See Apology Resolution; 20 U.S.C. § 7512(5); Hawaii v. Off. of Hawaiian Affairs, 129 S. Ct. 1436, 1440-41 (2009).

On February 1, 1893, the United States minister raised the American flag and proclaimed Hawaii to be a protectorate of the United States. See Apology Resolution, 107 Stat. at 1511. A federal investigation concluded that the United States diplomatic and military representatives had abused their authority and were responsible for the change in government. Id. On December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland delivered a message to the Congress relating to the Hawaiian islands. See House Ex. Doc. 47, 53d Cong., 2d Sess. (Ser. No. 3224), pp. 3-16 (1893) (hereinafter, "Cleveland Message"). President Cleveland acknowledged Queen Liliuokalani's surrender of sovereignty, stating that "[s]he surrendered not absolutely and permanently, but temporarily and conditionally until such time as the facts could be considered by the United States." Cleveland Message at 15. President Cleveland denounced the role of American forces and called for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy with conditions including a general amnesty for those involved in establishing the Provisional Government. See id.; Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. at 505. Plaintiff refers to this as the "agreement of restoration." See Am. Compl. ¶ 27. The Provisional Government protested President Cleveland's call for restoration of the monarchy and persuaded the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to conduct a new investigation that justified and condoned the actions of the United States. See Apology Resolution, 107 Stat. at 1511-12. On July 24, 1894, the Provisional Government declared itself to be the Republic of Hawaii, and the Provisional Government forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate her throne on January 24, 1895. Id. at 1512.

On July 7, 1898, President William McKinley signed a Joint Resolution to annex the Hawaiian Islands as territory of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Newlands Resolution. See Joint Resolution to Provide for Annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, No. 55, 30 Stat. 750 (1898); Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. at 505. Through the Newlands Resolution, the Republic of Hawaii ceded sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. See Apology Resolution, 107 Stat. at 1512. In 1900, Congress established a government for the territory of Hawaii, and in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th State of the United States. Id.

B. Plaintiff's Factual Allegations and Legal Claims Plaintiff David Keanu Sai professes to be a subject of the Kingdom of Hawaii. See Am. Compl. ¶ 6. On or about December 10, 1995, Plaintiff and his partner, Donald A. Lewis, formed a partnership named the Perfect Title Company. Id. ¶ 34. On December 15, 1995, they formed a second partnership called the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company. Id. ¶ 37. One of the purposes of the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company was to provisionally serve as an acting government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Id. ¶¶ 38-39. Plaintiff was appointed to serve as acting Regent for the Hawaiian Kingdom. Id. ¶ 41. On or about February 3, 1996, the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company passed a resolution announcing the quieting of all land titles in the Hawaiian Islands. Id. ¶ 47. On or about September 5, 1997, the Honolulu police arrested Plaintiff, Lewis, and the secretary for the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company on charges of theft, racketeering, and tax evasion relating to their property dealings. Am. Compl. ¶ 52. Plaintiff and Lewis were ultimately indicted for attempted theft in the first degree. Id. Plaintiff was convicted on March 7, 2000. Id. ¶¶ 60, 61.

Plaintiff filed his initial complaint in this action on June 1, 2010 and amended his complaint on July 9, 2010. In his First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff asserts three causes of action. In Count One, Plaintiff asserts that pursuant to the Liliuokalani Assignment and various international treaties, Defendants have a legal obligation to administer Hawaiian Kingdom law until the Hawaiian Kingdom government is restored pursuant to the "agreement of restoration" made by President Cleveland in 1893. See Am. Compl. ¶ 64. Plaintiff contends that the Joint Resolution annexing the Hawaiian Islands violates the Liliuokalani Assignment and the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom. See id. ¶¶ 65-71. Plaintiff claims that he has suffered injuries and damages as a result of the United States's occupation of the Hawaiian Islands and seeks a declaration that the Newlands Resolution is unconstitutional and void. Id. ¶ 72. In Count Two of the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims that his indictment, prosecution, and conviction violated his civil rights under Hawaiian Kingdom law and violated the Liliuokalani Assignment and various international treaties. See id. ¶¶ 74-78. Plaintiff therefore asks the Court to set aside and expunge Plaintiff's felony conviction by the State of Hawaii. Id. ¶ 78. In Count Three of the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims that his arrest, prosecution, and conviction for theft violated international law and asks the Court to find that his prosecution and conviction constituted a war crime. Id. ¶¶ 80-85. In addition, Plaintiff asks the Court to enjoin Defendants from violating the Liliuokalani Assignment and enter a judgment in favor of Plaintiff ...

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