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Oral Arguments before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

NO. 28283 – Tuesday, November 10, 2009 – 10 a.m.

THOMAS E. FRATINARDO and JOSEPH SELF, JR., on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, Defendant-Appellant, and JOHN DOES 1-10, JANE DOES 1-10, DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10, DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10, DOE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS 1-10, and DOE ENTITIES 1-10, Defendants.

Attorney(s) for Defendant-Appellant
Honorable Mark J. Bennett, Attorney General and Russell A. Suzuki and
Diane S. Kishimoto, Deputies Attorney General, State of Hawai`i

Attorney(s) for Plaintiffs-Appellees
Margery S. Bronster, Jeff Crabtree, Robert Hatch and Catherine Aubuchon

COURT: Foley, Fujise and Leonard, JJ.

SPECIAL NOTE: The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief description:

Plaintiff-Appellees Thomas E. Fratinardo and Joseph Self, Jr. (Plaintiffs) are retired police officers and members of the pension plan managed by Defendant-Appellant Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawai`i (ERS). Plaintiffs filed individual claims and a class-action complaint in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit against ERS, seeking damages for the alleged miscalculation of their benefits. ERS sought a dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to filing suit. The Circuit Court denied ERS’s motion to dismiss, remanded Plaintiffs’ individual claims to the Board of Trustees, and stayed the class action pending the Board’s resolution of the individual claims. ERS’s request for an interlocutory appeal was granted. On appeal, ERS again argues that the Circuit Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and, therefore, the suit should have been dismissed, not stayed, based on the doctrines of primary jurisdiction, exhaustion, standing, ripeness, and sovereign immunity.