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Oral Arugment Before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-30324, Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 11 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI`I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ATMARAMA D. DIAZ, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

(Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree)

Attorneys for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant:

Eric A. Seitz, Della A. Belatti, Ronald N.W. Kim, and Sarah R. Devine

Attorneys for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee:

Keith M. Kaneshiro, Prosecuting Attorney, and Loren J. Thomas, 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: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/10/12.


[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner Atmarama D. Diaz seeks review of the May 30, 2012 judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, affirming the Order Denying in part Petitioner’s Motion to Set Aside Bail Forfeiture entered by the district court of the first circuit.

Petitioner was charged with HRS § 712-1249, Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree. At the time, he had another case pending before the circuit court. Petitioner posted $1,000 bail on the drug charge, was released, and proceeded that same day to California. Petitioner maintains that although he did not obtain permission to leave the state from the district court, he obtained permission to do so from the circuit court. On August 9, 2009, Petitioner missed his arraignment on the drug charge and the district court forfeited the $1,000 bail, issued a bench warrant for his arrest, and set additional bail at $150 for the charge of criminal contempt of court.

Subsequently, Petitioner’s counsel asked the court to reinstate the $1,000 forfeited bail, explaining that Petitioner was unable to attend the August 9, 2004 arraignment because he was in custody in California. The court instructed Petitioner’s counsel to file a motion.

On the first day of trial, Petitioner and his counsel appeared and the court dismissed both the drug charge and criminal contempt charge with prejudice. The court released the $150 bail and assessed $50 in costs against Petitioner. However, the court cashier informed Petitioner the $1,000 bail had not been reinstated. Petitioner filed a motion to set aside the bail forfeiture judgment. Respondent State of Hawaiʻi opposed on procedural grounds. Petitioner’s Motion was denied by the court.

In his Application, Petitioner asks whether the ICA gravely erred in concluding that (1) the record did not demonstrate good cause to set aside the bail forfeiture judgment, (2) Petitioner failed to provide an explanation as to the circumstances of his incarceration in California, and (3) Petitioner violated the general conditions of his release, HRS § 804-7.4, by being absent from the state.