A lawsuit filed by the family of bowler Anastasia Saili against the Interscholastic League of Honolulu has been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright.
Saili, a senior at Sacred Hearts, unsuccessfully tried to regain her eligibility for the bowling season last fall. The suit also asked for punitive damages of “not less than five million dollars” from the ILH. Don Botelho, the league’s former executive director, and Georges Gilbert, his assistant, were named as defendants.
Saili, who won the ILH championship as a junior at Punahou, was deemed ineligible by the league due to a transfer rule. Saili’s family was trying to prove that she switched schools not for competitive reasons (which is the main reason the rule banning athletes moving from one school to another exists), but for academic reasons.
“Saili and her parents dismissed the suit with prejudice and released all claims she and they had or may have had against the ILH,” Jeffrey Harris, the lawyer representing the league, wrote Monday in a text to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World. “(The) ILH agreed to withdraw its motion for sanctions against Saili for filing a frivolous lawsuit and confirmed that it did not admit it did anything wrong to her or them.”
According to the Saili family at the time of the filing of the suit in late September, Anastasia wanted to defend her ILH bowling title but could not because she was dismissed from Punahou for failing one class and chose to enter another school (Sacred Hearts) that competes in the same league as Punahou. The suit also claimed that Anastasia was being denied her rights under the First (freedom of speech) and Fourteenth (equal protection) Amendments.
Barry Sooalo, the Saili family’s lawyer, did not rule out other legal avenues.
“We needed more time to evaluate other claims available to (the clients) and how best to proceed with all their claims,” he texted Monday.
The suit was originally filed in the state’s First Circuit Court before it moved to federal court.