DANIEL K. KANAHELE, WARREN S. BLUM, LISA BUCHANAN, JAMES L. CONNIFF, and CAMBRIA MOSS, Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. MAUI COUNTY COUNCIL and COUNTY OF MAUI, Respondents/Defendants-Appellees, and HONUA`ULA PARTNERS, LLC, Respondent/Intervenor-Appellee.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom Ali`iolani Hale 417 South King Street Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants:
Lance D. Collins
Attorneys for Respondents/Defendants-Appellees:
Patrick K. Wong, Corporation Counsel, and Mary Blaine Johnston, Deputy Corporation Counsel
Attorneys for Respondent/Intervenor-Appellee:
William C. McCorriston and Jonathan H. Steiner of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 12/17/12.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, SSM, & RWP, JJ.
Petitioners filed suit in the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (circuit court) against Respondents Maui County Council and County of Maui (collectively, “MCC”), claiming that the MCC violated the requirements of Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 92, Part I (Sunshine Law) during its consideration of two bills related to a development project in Wailea, Maui. Respondent Honuaʻula Partners, LLC (Honua`ula), the developer and owner of the land at issue, intervened in the action. On January 22, 2009, the circuit court entered judgment in favor of Respondents MCC and Honuaʻula. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed the circuit court’s judgment on October 19, 2012, pursuant to its June 29, 2012 Summary Disposition Order.
Petitioners filed an application for writ of certiorari seeking review of the ICA judgment. Petitioners argue that the MCC violated the Sunshine Law by 1) recessing and reconvening a series of meetings without complying with the notice and public oral testimony requirements of the Sunshine Law, and 2) permitting board members to circulate written memoranda among all other members outside of a duly noticed public meeting, presenting and advocating for proposed actions.
Respondents argue that the reconvened meetings were permitted under HRS § 92-7(d), which allows agenda items of reasonably major importance to be considered at a “meeting continued to a reasonable day and time.” On the second issue, Respondents maintain that the memoranda were prepared as a matter of courtesy and did not violate the Sunshine Law because the memoranda were not discussed outside of a public meeting, were not used to secure commitments to vote, and were treated as public documents.