Skip to Main Nav Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content

Oral Arguments Schedule

Accommodation for a Disability

If you need an accommodation for a disability when participating in a court program, service, or activity, please contact the ADA Coordinator at the Supreme Court at phone number 539-4700 as far in advance as possible to allow time to provide an accommodation. You are also welcome to send an e-mail to adarequest@courts.hawaii.gov or complete the  Disability Accommodation Request Form. The Disability Accommodations Coordinator will try to provide, but cannot guarantee, the requested auxiliary aid, service, or accommodation.  


COVID-19 Protocols for In-Person Oral Arguments before the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court and Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals

Effective April 11, 2023 (supersedes the oral argument protocols made effective January 3, 2023)

In-person oral arguments have resumed in the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals as of January 1, 2022. To ensure the continued safety of all participants, the following guidelines will be followed:

  1. Everyone entering Aliʻiolani Hale to attend oral argument must adhere to the building entry and screening requirements, which includes symptom-free conditions (e.g., no fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or other symptoms of respiratory illness) and no positive COVID-19 test result within 5 days of entry into the building. Additionally, everyone entering Aliʻiolani Hale will undergo a contactless temperature check at the time of entry. No one will be allowed into the building with a temperature over 100.4°F.
  2. Members of the public will be allowed to attend oral argument, subject to building entry and screening requirements and capacity restrictions.
  3. Face coverings are no longer required. However, in the event that circumstances warrant, the Chief Justice, Chief Clerk, Presiding Judge in an Oral Argument by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, or the Administrative Director of the Courts may require face coverings.
  4. Polycarbonate sheets have been constructed around the front and sides of the bailiff and law clerk seating area and may be used to cover the top surface of the podium. 
  5. Air cleaners will operate throughout the courtroom.
  6. There will be enhanced cleaning of key surfaces throughout the courtroom.

Oral Arguments 

Case Details

Court

RESCHEDULED: Date and time to be announced.

No. SCAP-22-0000371, Thursday, February 22, 2024, 2 p.m.

LINDA K. ROSEHILL, Trustee of the Linda K. Rosehill Revocable Trust dated August 29, 1989, as amended; MARK B. CHESEBRO and CAROLINE MITCHEL, Trustees of the First Amendment and Restatement of the 1999 Mark Brendan Chesebro and Caroline Mitchel Revocable Trust U/D/T dated January 6, 1999; SOMTIDA S. SALIM, Trustee of the Somtida Salim Living Trust dated February 15, 2007; TODD M. MOSES; PSALMS 133 LLC; JOHN T. FENTON, Trustee of the John T. Fenton Revocable Trust dated February 27, 2014; FRANCES T. FENTON, Trustee of the Frances T. Fenton Revocable Trust dated February 27, 2014; DIRK AND LAURA BELLAMY HAIN, Trustees of the Bellamy-Hain Family Trust dated September 13, 2017; PETER A. GUNAWAN; JANTI SUTEDJA; NEIL ALMSTEAD; DOYLE LAND PARTNERSHIP; CHARLES E. and NANCY E. ROSEBROOK; MICHAEL CORY and EUGENIA MASTON; PAUL T. and DELAYNE M. JENNINGS, Trustees of the Jennings Family Revocable Trust dated January 5, 2010; MAGGHOLM PROPERTIES LLC; NETTLETON S. and DIANE E. PAYNE, III, Appellants-Appellees, vs. STATE OF HAWAI‘I, LAND USE COMMISSION, Appellee-Appellant, and COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I, Appellee-Appellee.

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

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali‘iōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ʻŌlelo Community Television on OLELO55.  

Attorneys for Appellee-Appellant STATE OF HAWAI‘I LAND USE COMMISSION:

Julie H. China, Deputy Attorney General; Douglas S. Chin, Christina N. Ohira, Eric S. Robinson, Cori J. Terayama of Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, Special Deputy Attorneys General

Attorneys for Appellants-Appellees LINDA K. ROSEHILL, et al.:

Roy A. Vitousek, III, Calvert G. Chipchase, Christopher T. Goodin, and Katherine E. Bruce of Cades Schutte

Attorneys for Appellee-Appellee COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I:

Mark D. Disher and Jean Campbell, Deputies Corporation Counsel

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Judge Gary W.B. Chang and Circuit Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti due to vacancies, filed 06/05/23.

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 06/08/23.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna and Eddins, JJ., and Circuit Judge Chang and Circuit Judge Castagnetti, assigned by reason of vacancies

Brief Description:

The County of Hawai‘i’s zoning code regulates the development and use of land within the county. On April 1, 2019, the County amended its zoning code to regulate the use of short-term vacation rentals by requiring owners to register and obtain nonconforming use certificates from the County Planning Department. Any person that operates a short-term vacation rental without a certificate is subject to criminal prosecution and administrative penalties. Hawai‘i County Code (HCC) §§ 25-4-16(b)(7), 25-2-31, 25-2-35. Under HCC § 25-4-16.1(e), a nonconforming use certificate may only be issued for single-family dwellings on lots existing before June 4, 1976.

The County denied the Rosehill petitioners’ requests for non-conforming use certificates for short-term vacation. The Rosehill petitioners then challenged the County’s actions in administrative proceedings before the County Board of Appeals. The parties stipulated to stay the proceedings before the County Board of Appeals and both filed petitions with the Land Use Commission asking whether a short-term vacation rental of less than thirty-one days is a permissible use of a “farm dwelling” in the agriculture district. The Commission consolidated the cases and issued a Declaratory Order denying the Rosehill Petition and granting the County Petition, concluding that the County met its burden of demonstrating that short-term vacation rentals as defined by the County’s ordinances were not consistent with the elements of a “farm dwelling” as defined by HRS § 205-4.5(a)(4). The Rosehill petitioners appealed the Land Use Commission’s Order to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit, which reversed the decision of the Commission. The Circuit Court concluded that (1) the definition of farm dwelling did not prohibit rentals of less than 31 days and (2) the Commission abused its discretion by denying the Rosehill petition as “speculative or purely hypothetical.”

In June 2022, the Commission appealed the decision to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. In March 2023, this Court issued its decision in Matter of Kanahele, 152 Hawai‘i 501 (2023), holding that declaratory orders entered by the Land Use Commission have the “same status” for judicial review as orders in contested cases under Hawai‘i law. The Rosehill petitioners then applied for transfer to this court, and we granted transfer in June 2023.

The case primarily presents two questions: (1) whether the agency appeal can be transferred from one appellate court to another in light of Kanahele; and (2) whether a short-term vacation rental is a permitted use of a “farm dwelling” in the agricultural district.

Supreme Court

NO. SCAP-23-0000310, Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 5 p.m.

HILO BAY MARINA, LLC, and KEAUKAHA MINISTRY LLC, Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. STATE OF HAWAI‘I; BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Defendants-Appellees.

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

William S. Richardson School of Law
Classroom 2 (Courtroom) and
       Classroom 3 (Overflow)
2515 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ʻŌlelo Community Television.  

Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants HILO BAY MARINA, LLC, and KEAUKAHA MINITRY LLC:

Kenneth R. Kupchak and Clint K. Hamada of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

Attorneys for Defendants-Appellees STATE OF HAWAI‘I and BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI‘I:

Julie H. China and Miranda C. Steed, Deputy Attorneys General  

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 01/16/24.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, Eddins, Ginoza, and Devens, JJ.

Brief Description:

In 1922, the Territory of Hawai‘i sold property to Heber J. Grant, trustee for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, pursuant to a Land Patent.  The Land Patent contained a restriction requiring the property be used “for Church purposes only” and a reversionary interest to the Territory if the property is “used for other than Church purposes” (Deed Restriction).

Plaintiffs-Appellants Hilo Bay Marina, LLC and Keaukaha Ministry LLC (Petitioners) are the current owners of the property.  Petitioners sued Defendants-Appellees State of Hawai‘i and Board of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawai‘i (State) in the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Circuit Court) asserting the Deed Restriction is void under Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) § 515-6(b), it violates article I, section 4 and article VII, section 4 of the Hawai‘i Constitution, and it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and the Circuit Court granted summary judgment for the State.  Petitioners appealed and the appeal was transferred to this Court.

Petitioners assert the Circuit Court erred by concluding:

(1) the practice of selling government lands with deed restrictions was an early form of use-zoning and is interpreted as a historical practice of zoning;

(2) HRS § 515-6(b) does not void the deed restriction;

(3) the deed restriction does not violate article I, section 4 of the Hawai‘i Constitution for the same reasons that it does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and even if article I, section 4 of the Hawai‘i Constitution is not coextensive with the Establishment Clause in the United States Constitution, the deed restriction passes constitutional muster under Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971); and

(4) the deed restriction does not violate the Establishment Clause in the United States Constitution.

Supreme Court

NO. SCWC-21-0000679, Friday, April 26, 2024, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. CHARLES TUNG MING YUEN, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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

Kailua High School Gymnasium
451 Ulumanu Drive
Kailua, HI 96734

The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ʻŌlelo Community Television at olelo.org/tv-schedule/

Attorney for Petitioner CHARLES TUNG MING YUEN:

      Alen M. K. Kaneshiro of the Law Offices of Alen M. K. Kaneshiro

Attorney for Respondent STATE OF HAWAI‘I:

      Brian R. Vincent, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney  

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 01/30/24.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, Eddins, Ginoza, and Devens, JJ.

Brief Description:

Defendant-Appellant Charles Yuen is alleged to have rear-ended another car 50 feet outside of the O’Malley Gate of the Hickam Air Force Base.  Military officers apparently came to the scene, administered a standard field sobriety test (“SFST”) on Yuen, and called the Honolulu Police Department (“HPD”).  HPD officers then arrived, conducted their own SFST, and then arrested Yuen for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (“OVUII”).

None of the military officers testified at trial, and their SFST was not introduced as evidence.  HPD officers testified to observing Yuen experience signs of intoxication upon arriving at the scene.  The District Court of the First Circuit found Yuen guilty of OVUII.  The Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed. On certiorari, Yuen asserts the ICA erred in holding that: (1) Yuen’s trial counsel was not ineffective for not filing a motion to suppress under article I, section 7 of the Hawai‘i Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act under 18 U.S.C. § 1385 (1994), which generally prevents military officers from participating in civilian law enforcement; and (2) substantial evidence existed to support Yuen’s conviction for OVUII.

Supreme Court

For Oral Arguments Recordings Archive, click here.