STATE OF HAWAI`I, Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellee vs. MATTHEW LOCKEY, Respondent/Defendant-Appellant.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellee:
Brandon H. Ito, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Attorney for Respondent/Defendant-Appellant:
Harrison L. Kiehm
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 07/19/13.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.
Petitioner/plaintiff-appellee State of Hawai`i timely filed an application for a writ of certiorari to review the April 8, 2013 judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA), issued pursuant to its February 26, 2013 summary disposition order. The ICA’s judgment vacated the Family Court of the First Circuit’s (family court) September 28, 2011 Judgment of Conviction and Sentence, which convicted Matthew Lockey of Harassment in violation of HRS § 711-1106.
In brief summary, the State filed a written complaint charging Lockey with harassment in violation of HRS § 711-1106(1)(a). On the day of the bench trial in family court, Lockey objected to the charge, arguing that the use of the disjunctive in the charge did not provide him with sufficient notice of the allegations against him. The State argued that Lockey’s objection was untimely. The family court denied the motion, and following a bench trial, found Lockey guilty as charged. Lockey appealed, arguing that the family court erred in denying his motion to dismiss and that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction.
A majority of the ICA determined that Lockey’s objection to the sufficiency of the charge was timely and that the use of disjunctive language in the complaint failed to provide him with sufficient notice of the allegations against him. The ICA majority did not address Lockey’s insufficient evidence claim. The ICA vacated Lockey’s conviction and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss without prejudice.
The State raises three questions in its application: (1) whether the ICA erred in holding that Lockey’s objection to the charge was not waived, (2) whether the ICA erred in vacating the family court’s judgment of conviction and remanding with instructions to dismiss the case without prejudice, and (3) whether existing Hawai`i precedent concerning pleading in either the conjunctive, disjunctive, or conjunctive/disjunctive should be re-examined and overruled.