Oral Arguments Before the Hawai`i Supreme Court

No. SCWC-29703, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 9 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. CHESTER PACQUING, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee.
 
(Unauthorized Possession of Confidential Personal Information)
 
Attorneys for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee: John M. Tonaki, Public Defender, and James S. Tabe, Deputy Public Defender
 
Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant: Brian R. Vincent, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
 
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
 
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by James E. Duffy, Jr., filed 04/24/12.
 
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge R. Mark Browning in place of Duffy, recused, filed 05/09/12.
 
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 06/05/12.
 
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, & SSM, JJ; Circuit Court Judge R. Mark Browning in place of Duffy, recused.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]
 

Brief Description:
 
The charge in this case arose as a result of two traffic stops. During the first stop, Petitioner Chester Pacquing (Petitioner) verbally identified himself using the name, birth date and address of his former neighbor (Complainant). The officer issued Petitioner two criminal citations in Complainant’s name. On appeal, Respondent State of Hawai`i asserted the citations also included Complainant’s driver’s license number and, although not raised by the parties, the ICA stated that there was testimony that the last four digits of Complainant’s social security number were also included on the citations. Complainant later informed police that the citations were mistakenly issued in his name.
 
During the second stop, when asked to provide his driver’s license and other documents, Petitioner presented the officer with the citation given to him during the first stop. Petitioner was arrested and charged by Respondent with the felony offense of Unauthorized Possession of Confidential Personal Information (UPCPI), HRS § 708-839.55, which prohibits the intentional or knowing possession, without authorization, of the personal information of another, including “a driver's license number [and] a social security number,” HRS § 708-800.
 
The court granted Petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss the charge as a de minimis infraction because the court determined, inter alia, that (a) the proper charge should have been a misdemeanor offense of HRS § 710-1063, Unsworn Falsification to Authorities, which prohibits, in part, a person from submitting or inviting reliance on any writing which the person knows to be falsely made, completed, or altered, and (b) Petitioner’s conduct did not fall within that envisaged by the legislature in HRS § 708-839.55.
 
In his application for writ of certiorari Petitioner contends that in vacating the court’s Order, the ICA gravely erred in concluding that the court was not presented with all the relevant facts to properly exercise its discretion.

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