In June 2021, the ACLU of Hawaiʻi filed a lawsuit in Hawaiʻi's First Circuit Court on behalf of Robin Hall against the City and County of Honolulu, several officers of the Honolulu Police Department, and private citizen Leonard Letoto for numerous illegal and unconstitutional actions taken against Ms. Hall that were exacerbated by conflicts of interest involving HPD officers.

As detailed in the complaint, on June 10, 2019, Ms. Hall ended her employment with the dog-training business, “Exceptional Obedience, LLC,” which was owned by Letoto. While meeting to end the employment relationship, Letoto terrified and injured Ms. Hall by trying to forcibly enter her residence when he disagreed with her about payment. Letoto rammed the home’s front door into her body, leaving her screaming for help. Ms. Hall called 911 seeking police assistance, not realizing that the officer who would respond was a close friend and business partner of Letoto.

Although Ms. Hall was unaware of it at the time, the responding HPD officer, Christopher Koanui, co-owned Exceptional Obedience with Letoto, making Officer Koanui Ms. Hall's other employer, whom she had never met. When he arrived at Ms. Hall's home--- instead of protecting her from Letoto--Officer Koanui wrote up a criminal complaint falsely claiming that Ms. Hall had stolen the work phone. Finally, Officer Koanui threatened to arrest her in the future if she persisted in trying to report Letoto's crimes to the police. Ms. Hall spoke with multiple members of HPD over the following days trying to correct the record, to no avail. Her physical injuris slowly healed, but the criminal theft charge on her record remained open for nearly two years, leaving her constantly fearful of police and additional retaliation. 

The lawsuit asserts that HPD officers maliciously abused the criminal legal process, unlawfully discriminating against her in the provision of police services, and violated Ms. Hall’s First Amendment petition and equal protection rights by preventing her from filing a police report, opening a false criminal complaint against her, and falsely arresting her.

Date filed

June 9, 2021


Circuit Court of the First Circuit State of Hawaiʻi