Mr. Jack Stone’s recent lawsuit against Senator Schatz and his employee has been dismissed. Mr. Stone had contacted Senator Schatz’s office, and spoke with the senator’s employee, Jennifer Wooten. If you recall prior blog posts, Mr. Stone previously sued the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo in the D.C. Circuit and his child’s mother in Florida State Court. The various lawsuits revolve around Mr. Stone’s son, who is residing in Japan. Mr. Stone alleges that the child’s mother abducted the child to Japan. This particular lawsuit was initiated against the Senator and Ms. Wooten after Mr. Stone spoke with Ms. Wooten, seeking help in obtaining the reissuance of his son’s U.S. passport. Ms. Wooten asked Mr. Stone to sign a privacy waiver form in ink, however Mr. Stone was unable to scan and send a physical copy because he lacked the necessary technology. Mr. Stone apparently communicated this difficulty to Ms. Wooten “with angry words out of frustration.” “Given that rambling communication and the extent of [Mr. Stone’s] profanity,” Ms. Wooten contacted the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo suggesting that it was appropriate that the Embassy staff conduct a welfare check on Mr. Stone’s son. She provided copies of Plaintiff’s privacy-release form with his son’s contact information. Sometime after the email communication and some phone calls between Ms. Wooten and the Embassy, Mr. Stone’s son was denied reissuance of his passport. Mr. Stone alleged that Ms. Wooten wrongfully violated his privacy rights, including “the federal Privacy Act, Hawaii’s Privacy Act, the Goldman Act, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, the Hague Convention, and Plaintiff’s parental rights, in addition to defaming Plaintiff.” Since Ms. Wooten and the Senator were acting within the scope of their federal employment, the court substituted the U.S. as the defendant, who then filed a Motion to Dismiss on February 11, 2022. Mr. Stone did not file a response.
Five of Mr. Stone’s 7 claims were dismissed for failure to state a legal claim. The Senator’s office is not an agency under the Privacy Act. Furthermore, there is no violation by the federal senator’s office of Hawaii’s Privacy Act. The Goldman Act, ICARA, and the Hague Abduction Convention do not confer a private cause of action against the government for damages. The two remaining claims – defamation under Hawaiian law and wrongful interference with parental rights – are dismissed due to the U.S. government’s sovereign immunity.