United States District Court, District of Columbia
S. CHUTKAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is David Keanu Sai's pro se Petition
against Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of
America; Philip S. Davidson, Commander of the Indo-Pacific
Command of the United States Navy; and David Ige, Governor of
the State of Hawaii. Sai describes himself as the
“Chairman of the acting Council of Regency”
representing the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign and body
politic.” Petition ¶ 16. He alleges that the
United States committed War Crimes, 18 U.S.C. § 2441, as
well as acted in derogation of the Hague Convention, the
Geneva Convention, and “international humanitarian
laws, ” when it “invaded Hawaii” in 1893
and subsequently made the island a part of the U.S.
See, e.g., Petition ¶¶ 5, 8,
79-92, 169-205. Citing the Administrative Procedure Act
(“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 702, and the All Writs
Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), Sai asks this court to enjoin
the President from continuing any actions with respect to
Hawaii that allegedly violate these laws.
also names roughly thirty-four heads of state, leaders of the
United Nations, and the Chairperson of the Administrative
Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration as
“Nominal Respondents. . . not ‘because any
specific relief is demanded as against [them], but because
[their] connection with the subject-matter is such that the
[Petitioner's] actions would be defective . . . if [they]
were not joined.'” Petition ¶ 14 (internal
quotations and alterations in the original). Sai appears to
contend that these foreign officials, entities and bodies
failed to remain neutral with respect to U.S. and Hawaii
relations, thereby becoming parties to the “war”
between the United States and Hawaii and, consequently,
violating both the Hague and Geneva Conventions. See
id. ¶¶ 16, 18, 109.
reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss Sai's
Petition sua sponte.
The All Writs Act
Writs Act, in relevant part, states that “all courts
established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary
or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and
agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” 28
U.S.C. § 1651. However, a court must first determine if
it has jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus. See In
re Asemani, 455 F.3d 296, 299 (D.C. Cir. 2006)
(“Before considering whether mandamus relief is
appropriate, . . . we must be certain of our
jurisdiction.”). “In other words, there must be
an ‘independent' statute that grants us
jurisdiction before mandamus can be said to ‘aid'
it.” In re Al-Nashiri, 791 F.3d 71, 76 (D.C.
Cir. 2015). As discussed below, Sai has not cited to a
statute that grants this court jurisdiction to hear his
claims. Accordingly, he cannot proceed under the All Writs
18 U.S.C. § 2441
seeks relief against Defendants pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
2441, which criminalizes various war crimes. But
“[c]ourts are ‘quite reluctant to infer a private
right of action from a criminal prohibition
alone.'” Peavey v. Holder, 657 F.Supp.2d
180, 190-91 (D.D.C. 2009), aff'd, No. 09-5389,
2010 WL 3155823 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 9, 2010) (alterations
omitted) (citing Cent. Bank of Denver, N.A. v. First
Interstate Bank of Denver, N.A., 511 U.S. 164, 190
(1994)). Accordingly, “unless a specific statute
provides for a private right of action, courts have found
that violations of Title 18 are properly brought by the
United States government through criminal proceedings and not
by individuals in a civil action.” Hallal v.
Mardel, No. 116CV01432DADSAB, 2016 WL 6494411, at *3
(E.D. Cal. Nov. 2, 2016) (citing Abou- Hussein v.
Gates, 657 F.Supp.2d 77, 79 (D.D.C. 2009); Prunte v.
Universal Music Grp., 484 F.Supp.2d 32, 42 (D.D.C.
2007); Smith v. Gerber, 64 F.Supp.2d 784, 787 (N.D.
at least one other court has held that Section 2441 does not
create a private cause of action, Jawad v. Gates,
113 F.Supp.3d 251, 259 (D.D.C. 2015), and Sai has not cited
to any provision of Title 18 which would authorize such an
action under Section 2441. Accordingly, the court will
dismiss Sai's Section 2441 claim.
Hague Convention and Geneva Convention
Geneva Convention does not [generally] create a right of
action for private individuals to enforce its terms.”
Nattah v. Bush, 770 F.Supp.2d 193, 204 (D.D.C 2011)
(citing Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic, 726 F.2d
774, 808 (D.C. Cir. 1984). While the Supreme Court in
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006) held that
the Geneva Convention can provide prisoners of war with a
claim against the government in a petition for habeas
corpus, Nattah v. Bush, 541 F.Supp.2d 223, 233
(D.D.C. 2008), rev'd in part on other grounds
605 F.3d 1052 (D.C. Cir. 2010), that ruling is inapplicable
to Sai's claims here.
the Hague Convention does not afford relief for private
individuals. Nattah, 770 F.Supp.2d at 206
(“The Hague Conventions cannot be construed to afford
individuals the right to judicial enforcement as they have
never been regarded as law private parties could
enforce.”) (alterations and internal quotation marks
omitted) (citing Tel-Oren, 726 F.2d at 810).
Therefore, Sai may not seek relief under the Hague or the