Oral Arguments Schedule

Argument DetailCourt

No. SCWC-13-0000069, Monday, November 24, 2014, 1 p.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. IKAIKA REED, Petitioner/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:

Craig W. Jerome, Deputy Public Defender

 Attorneys for Respondent:

Sonja P. McCullen, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/12/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

Brief Description:

Defendant-Appellant Ikaika Reed (“Reed”) filed an application for writ of certiorari to review the June 9, 2014 Judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”), entered pursuant to its April 25, 2014 Memorandum Opinion. The ICA’s Judgment affirmed Reed’s conviction and sentence for Assault in the First Degree in violation of Hawai`i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) ' 707-710. The charges against Reed stemmed from a physical altercation at Waianae Boat Harbor involving the Complaining Witness.

On the day of trial, prior to jury selection, Reed’s counsel moved to withdraw, explaining that Reed had retained private counsel. The circuit court denied Reed’s request, stating that the motion could be considered a “dilatory tactic” and that a jury was ready to proceed with trial. On appeal, the ICA held that although there were factors supporting and weighing against granting Reed’s request, it could not conclude that the circuit court abused its discretion.

Reed presents a single issue on appeal:

Whether the ICA gravely erred in holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Reed’s motion for withdrawal and substitution of counsel.

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-13-0000703, Monday, November 24, 2014, 2:15 p.m.

GENE WONG, Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, vs. HAWAIIAN AIRLINES, INC., Respondent/Defendant-Appellee/Cross-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:

R. Steven Geshell

Attorneys for Respondent:

C. Michael Heihre and Allison Mizuo Lee

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/14/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

Brief Description:

Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee Gene Wong (Petitioner) timely filed an application for a writ of certiorari (Application) from the June 25, 2014 judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals’ (ICA), issued pursuant to its May 23, 2014 Summary Disposition Order (SDO). The SDO affirmed the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s (circuit court) Order Granting Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Defendant/Respondent Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.’s (Respondent) Motion for Summary Judgment and Final Judgment.

Petitioner, a retired pilot, states that a Respondent representative incorrectly informed him that if he chose to forego enrolling in Medicare Part B, he could enroll later at no penalty. Later, a representative informed Petitioner that he would be subject to late penalties if he enrolled in the Medicare program.

Petitioner filed a complaint against Respondent alleging negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair or deceptive practices under Hawai?i Revised Statutes Chapter 480 (UDAP Claim). Respondent filed a summary judgment motion and the circuit court granted Respondent summary judgment on all of Petitioner’s claims. The circuit court also granted Respondent’s motion for costs.

Petitioner timely filed a notice of appeal to the ICA. Petitioner argued that the circuit court erred in concluding that Petitioner’s negligence claims were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA), that the circuit court erred in concluding that the UDAP Claim was not applicable to a former employee’s claim against his former employer, and that his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection were violated by the circuit court’s dismissal of his claims. Petitioner also argued that the circuit court erred in taxing excessive costs against Petitioner and that Respondent’s motion for costs was untimely. Respondent answered each of Petitioner’s points of error by arguing that the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment was correct and also cross-appealed on the issue of Petitioner’s standing.

The ICA affirmed the circuit court. The ICA found that Petitioner’s liability for late enrollment penalties was a sufficiently cognizable injury to confer standing. The ICA concluded that the circuit court did not rule that ERISA preempted Petitioner’s negligence claims, and upheld the circuit court’s decision that the negligence claims were preempted by the RLA. The ICA held that the circuit court did not err in dismissing the UDAP claim. Finally, the ICA held that the circuit court did not err in awarding Respondent costs and that Petitioner failed to show that the award of costs was inequitable.

In the Application, Petitioner identified four errors in the ICA decision: (1) affirmance of the circuit court’s decision that Petitioner’s negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims were preempted by the RLA; (2) affirmance of the circuit court’s decision that Petitioner’s UDAP Claim failed because the alleged violation did not occur in the course of trade or commerce; (3) affirmance of the circuit court’s award of costs; and (4) refusal to consider Petitioner’s constitutional claims. Respondent countered each of Petitioner’s points of error by arguing that the decision of the ICA was correct.

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-30485, Monday, November 24, 2014, 3:30 p.m.

CLARENCE O. FURUYA AND LONA LUM FURUYA, Petitioners-Respondents/Plaintiffs-Appellees/Cross-Appellants, vs. ASSOCIATION OF APARTMENT OWNERS OF PACIFIC MONARCH, INC.; JAMES DOZIER; GRETA WITHERS; ELWIN STEMIG; FOIL CRAVER; KAZUO SAWADA, Respondents-Petitioners/Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.

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 Petitioners-Respondents Furuyas:

George W. Van Buren, Robert G. Campbell, and John B. Shimizu

Attorneys for Respondents-Petitioners AOAO Pacific Monarch, et al.:

Matt A. Tsukazaki

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari (Furuyas), filed 08/13/14.

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari (AOAO Pacific Monarch, et al.), filed 09/11/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

Brief Description:

The parties in this case both applied for applications for writ of certiorari. This case contains issues from both of these applications.

Clarence and Lona Lum Furuya (“Furuyas”) own a leasehold interest in Apartment Unit 3206 at the Pacific Monarch Condominium (“Condominium”) located in Waikiki. Pursuant to the original June 1, 1979 Pacific Monarch Condominium Conveyance Document (“Conveyance Document”) from the developer, Unit 3206 enjoys an exclusive easement to 106 parking stalls at the Condominium.

In 1995, facing the possibility of a decrease in the value of the units in the Condominium and a rent increase after the lease expired on the Condominium, AOAO’s Board sought to purchase the leased fee interest in the Condominium from the Lessor to offer the owners the opportunity to own their units in fee simple. AOAO successfully purchased the leased fee interest to all the units in the Condominium.

The application submitted by Clarence and Lona Lum Furuya (“Furuyas”) involves a contract dispute between the Furuyas and AOAO regarding the alleged contract between the Furuyas and AOAO for the leased fee interest in Unit 3206 and the appurtenant 106 stalls.

The Furuyas present the following questions on certiorari:

Did the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) commit a grave error of law and/or rule in a manner that was obviously inconsistent with this Court’s decisions by:

(1) Misinterpreting the governing documents of the Association of Apartment Owners of Pacific Monarch (“AOAO”) contrary to the plain language and intent of the governing documents and the Hawaii statute so as to not require an AOAO that acquires the leased fee interest from the lessor to then offer it to the individual lessees;

(2) Ruling that the Furuyas had waived the admission by the AOAO that a contract (offer/acceptance) had been formed yet ruling in favor of the AOAO on an argument not earlier made, i.e., that the AOAO was not required to offer the fee to the Furuyas; and

(3) Affirming the Circuit Court’s incorrect rulings that the promissory estoppel claim failed based on alleged breaches of a written contract that the ICA and Circuit Court ruled was never even formed?

At issue in AOAO’s application is the lease payment schedule for Unit 3206’s exclusive easement to the 106 Parking Stalls appurtenant to the Unit 3206. In addition, AOAO’s application involves two of the 106 stalls, which AOAO used for laundry related facilities for the Condominium without payment to the Furuyas.

AOAO presents the following questions on certiorari:

1. Did the ICA commit grave error in holding that the Condominium Conveyance Document for Apartment Unit 3206 at the Pacific Monarch was unambiguous as to the developer’s intent that the owner of Apartment Unit 3206 was not obligated to pay lease rent for the 106 Parking Stalls after April 26, 2014 despite the owner’s continued use and generation of income from the stalls for the remaining 40 years of the ground lease?

2. Did the ICA commit grave error in holding that Hawaii Revised Statute ' 514C-22(c) did not create an independent obligation for the payment of lease rent to the lessor (i.e., the Association)?

3. Did the ICA commit grave error in substituting its discretion for that of the Trial Court which held that the knowledge of the Furuyas for more than 21 years along with the investment in, and reasonable reliance by the Association on, the assigned use of two (2) parking stalls to the laundry facilities meant that the Furuyas’ loss of income form the use of the wo stalls from the date of the filing of the Complaint was not unjust?

 

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-10-0000102, Thurday, December 4, 2014, 10 a.m.

NORMAN SAMSON and FRANCINE SAMSON, Individually, and as Guardians Prochein Ami of KU`ULEILANI SAMSON, a Minor, Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. NOLA ANN NAHULU, Respondent/Defendant-Appellee.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Mililani High School Gymnasium
95-1200 Meheula Parkway
Mililani, HI 96789

Attorney for Petitioners:

Ronald Albu

Attorneys for Respondent:

Jonathan L. Ortiz, Wade J. Katano, and Jacqueline E. Thurston

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/11/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

Brief Description:

This appeal arises from a motor vehicle-pedestrian accident in which a vehicle operated by Respondent-Defendent-Appellee Nola Ann Nahulu (“Nahulu”) struck a minor (“Minor”) as she crossed Farrington Highway on foot. At trial, the parties disputed Nahulu’s speed and whether Minor was in a crosswalk at the time she was hit. A jury returned a unanimous special verdict finding Nahulu not negligent.

Petitioners-Plaintiffs-Appellants Norman Samson and Francine Samson (hereinafter “the Samsons”), Individually and as Guardians Prochein Ami of their daughter, Minor, challenge the circuit court’s (1) exclusion of a photograph with markings made or authorized by a witness that placed Minor in a crosswalk, (2) exclusion of certain testimony about Nahulu’s speed, (3) giving certain jury instructions, and (4) giving instructions, as a whole, that allegedly misstated the standard of care in automobile-pedestrian collisions. The ICA concluded that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed the verdict.

The Samsons present the following questions on certiorari:

1. Did the ICA grievously err in affirming the verdict in favor of an SUV driver where erroneous instructions, taken as a whole, gave the wrongful impression that a pedestrian must strictly adhere to traffic rules or forfeit the right to any recovery from a negligent driver who injures the pedestrian.

2. Did the ICA grievously err in holding that, although the lower court erroneously excluded eyewitness testimony that Nahulu was “traveling at an unsafe speed,” the error was nevertheless harmless.

3. Did the ICA grievously err in excluding from evidence a copy of another photograph already in evidence on which a key eyewitness confirmed a marking on the photograph showing [Minor’s] location at the time Nahulu hit her (which was within the crosswalk), based on an erroneous objection to and erroneous finding of unfair prejudice.

4. Did the ICA grievously err in holding that an instruction that is vague, incomplete and grammatically incorrect concerning Nahulu’s duty of care, and therefore presumptively harmful, did not require reversal because the ICA concluded that the Samsons failed to show that the faulty instruction had a detrimental effect on them.

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-13-0000182, Thursday, December 18, 2014, 8:45 a.m.

KILAKILA `O HALEAKALA, Petitioner/Plaintiff/Appellant-Appellant, vs. UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I and THOMAS M. APPLE, in his official capacity as Chancellor of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa; BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, WILLIAM AILA, in his official capacity as the Interim Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; and DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, Respondents/Defendants/Appellees-Appellees.

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

Attorneys for Petitioner:

David Kimo Frankel, Sharla Ann Manley, and Camille K. Kalama

Attorneys for Respondents BLNR, DLNR, and Aila:

William J. Wynhoff, Donna H. Kalama, and Julie H. China, Deputy Attorneys General

Attorneys for Respondents UH and Apple:

Bruce Y. Matsui, Lisa Woods Munger, Lisa A. Bail, and Christine A. Terada

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 09/12/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

Brief Description:

On October 25, 2010, University of Hawai`i (UH) issued a Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for its Management Plan for the Haleakal? High Altitude Observatory Site. The purpose of the FEA was to determine the nature and extent of any impacts the Management Plan may have on the environment. The FEA concluded that while there may be some adverse impacts from the Management Plan, there would not be significant impacts, and thus an environmental impact statement was not required to be prepared.

Kilakila `O Haleakala (Kilakila) filed a one-count Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief arguing that UH improperly concluded that the Management Plan would have no significant impacts and thus violated the Hawai`i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA), chapter 343 of the Hawai`i Revised Statutes. Thereafter, Kilakila made eight discovery requests of UH and Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), attempting to obtain and authenticate documents, obtain admissions, and discover the factual basis for UH’s defenses. UH and DLNR filed a motion for protective order with the circuit court, arguing discovery was prohibited in the case and that judicial review was limited to the administrative record. In response, Kilakila argued that a challenge to the adequacy of an EA is inherently a challenge to the adequacy of the administrative record. The circuit court granted the motion for protective order.

Each party filed a motion for summary judgment. In its motion, Kilakila argued that the FEA failed to consider the Management Plan’s components and reasonably foreseeable future actions and also their respective secondary and cumulative impacts. Thus, Kilakila argued the FEA improperly concluded that the Management Plan would have no significant impacts.

UH’s motion for summary judgment argued the Management Plan was designed to have a beneficial impact on the environment, and the FEA concluded that the Management Plan would have no significant impacts. UH argued that under HEPA, a FEA is sufficient if the agency followed proper procedures and if the content of the FEA is sufficient under the rule of reason. UH asserted that it satisfied these criteria. DLNR also filed a motion for summary judgment adopting the arguments made in UH’s Motion.

The circuit court granted DLNR and UH’s motions for summary judgment, finding that the FEA complied with HEPA under the rule of reason standard. Kilakila timely appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court (ICA), arguing that the circuit court erred in granting UH and DLNR’s motion for protective order and motions for summary judgment.

The ICA held that the circuit court did not err by concluding the FEA complied with HEPA and that an environmental impact statement was not required. The ICA additionally held that the circuit court did not err by limiting its review to the administrative record, or by granting the protective order, because the FEA’s compliance with HEPA did not require factual determinations outside of the administrative record.

On August 1, 2014, Kilakila timely filed an application for writ of certiorari raising the following questions: (1) Did the ICA err by affirming the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment to UH and DLNR and denial as to Kilakila; (2) Did the ICA err by affirming the circuit court’s holding that judicial review was limited to the administrative record; (3) Is it procedural error under HEPA to segment analysis, refuse to disclose information, fail to engage in a hard look, and neglect to assess all impacts of a project; (4) Does HEPA require an environmental impact statement for a project when the agency has admitted that a component will have a significant impact and the FEA has ignored potential impacts of the project; and (5) Did the ICA err by limiting its review to whether the FEA complied with HEPA’s procedures, rather than whether the FEA’s conclusion was itself correct?

In response, UH and DLNR ask that this court to affirm the ICA and circuit court, finding the FEA satisfied HEPA’s requirements and an environmental impact statement is not required.

 

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-13-0000785 Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 10 a.m.

FETU KOLIO, Petitioner/Appellant/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. HAWAI`I PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY, Respondent/Appellee/Defendant-Appellee.

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:

Philip W. Miyoshi

Attorneys for Respondent:

Diane K. Taira, John C. Wong, and Jennifer R. Sugita, Deputy Attorneys General

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 09/30/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, & MDW, JJ.

 Brief Description:

Petitioner/Appellant/Plaintiff-Appellant Fetu Kolio (Kolio) has applied for a writ of certiorari from the Intermediate Court of Appeals’s (ICA) June 25, 2014 Judgment on Appeal filed pursuant to its May 28, 2014 Summary Disposition Order. The ICA affirmed the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s judgment affirming the Hawai`i Public Housing Authority (HPHA) Eviction Board’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Order.

On appeal, Petitioner asserts the following question:

Whether the ICA erred in affirming the Eviction Board’s finding that Kolio’s theft conviction was a violation of his rental agreement which prohibited criminal activity that threatened the health, safety, or peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents or HPHA employees.

 

Supreme
Court

No. SCAP-14-0000843, Thursday December 18, 2014, 11:15 a.m.

REPRESENTATIVE BOB MCDERMOTT, GARRET HASHIMOTO, WILLIAM E.K. KUMIA, and DAVID ANGDON, Respondents/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. GOVERNOR NEIL ABERCROMBIE and LINDA ROSEN, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, STATE OF HAWAI`I, Petitioners/Defendants-Appellees.

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

Attorneys for Petitioners:

Deirdre Marie-Iha, Donna H. Kalama, and John F. Molay, Deputy Attorneys General

Attorneys for Respondents:

Robert K. Matsumoto and Shawn A. Luiz

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, filed 06/23/14.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti, in place of McKenna, J., recused, filed 07/11/14.

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 07/16/14.

COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, RWP, & MDW, JJ.; and Circuit Court Judge Castagnetti, in place of McKenna, J., recused.

Brief Description:

Respondents/Plaintiffs-Appellants Bob McDermott, in his official capacity as State Representative, Garret Hashimoto, William E.K. Kumia, and David Langdon (collectively Respondents) appealed from the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s April 21, 2014 judgment in favor of Petitioners/ Defendants-Appellees Neil Abercrombie, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Hawai`i, and Linda Rosen, in her official capacity as Director of the State of Hawai`i Department of Health (collectively Petitioners). Petitioners timely filed an application for transfer to this court.

This case involves Respondents’ challenge to Hawaii’s Marriage Equality Act, which the legislature signed into law on November 13, 2013. The law changed the definition of marriage in Hawai`i to allow couples to marry without regard to their gender. While the legislature was considering the bill, Respondents filed a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, which would have prevented the legislature from issuing any marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The circuit court denied this motion, and later granted summary judgment in favor of Petitioners.

On appeal to this court, Respondents contend that the trial court erred in denying their motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, and in granting the Petitioners’ motion for summary judgment.

Respondents argue, inter alia, that the Hawai`i Marriage Equality Act is unconstitutional because in 1998, the people of Hawai`i voted to amend article 1, section 23 of the Hawai`i Constitution to state that “the legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Respondents argue that the intent of this amendment was to constitutionally reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples, so the legislature was not authorized to pass the Hawai`i Marriage Equality Act. In response, Petitioners argue that article 1, section 23 allows the legislature to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples, but does not require it to do so. Petitioners also argue that Respondents lacked standing to bring this lawsuit.

Supreme
Court
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