Oral Arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court
NO. SCWC-27897, Thursday, May 19, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. LLOYD PRATT, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.
(Camping Without a Permit)
Attorney for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant: Daniel G. Hempey of Hempey & Meyers, LLP
Attorney for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee: Tracy Murakami, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order accepting application for writ of certiorari, filed 04/21/11.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, JED & SSM, JJ.
The above argument took place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Aliʻiolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The defendant in this case, Lloyd Pratt, received three citations for camping without a permit in Na Pali State Park on the island of Kauaʻi. He filed a motion to dismiss the charges, asserting a defense that his activities were constitutionally protected as native Hawaiian practices. The State stipulated that Pratt’s conduct was a traditional and customary native Hawaiian practice, but argued that the State’s interest in regulating the volume of visitors to the State Park outweighed Pratt’s interest in his practice. The Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit agreed with the State, denied Pratt’s motion, and entered a final judgment convicting Pratt on all three counts. Pratt appealed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”), where a divided court reexamined the State’s concession, and ultimately affirmed Pratt’s conviction. Pratt applied for a writ of certiorari, presenting two questions:(1) when asserting a defense of native Hawaiian practices, should the court balance the defendant’s interests in the practices against the interest of the state to regulate, and if so, what are the mechanics of that balancing test; and (2) did the ICA err in sua sponte reexamining the concession made at the trial court?