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Oral Arguments Schedule

No. SCAP-19-0000450,Thursday, July 23, 2020,  10 a.m.

 STATE OF HAWAII ORGANIZATION OF POLICE OFFICERS (SHOPO), exclusive representative for Bargaining Unit 12, Police, Plaintiff‑Appellant/Cross-Appellee, vs. CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Defendant‑Cross‑Claim Defendant‑Appellee/Cross‑Appellee, and HONOLULU CIVIL BEAT, INC., Intervenor‑Defendant‑Crossclaimant‑Appellee/Cross‑Appellant.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be live-streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts

Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee SHOPO: 

Vladimir P. Devens and Keani Alapa of the Law Offices of Vladimir P. Devens, LLC

Attorneys for Defendant-Crossclaim Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellee City and County of Honolulu: 

Molly A. Stebbins and Duane W. H. Pang, Deputies Corporation Counsel

Attorneys for Intervenor-Defendant-Crossclaimant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant Honolulu Civil Beat: 

Robert Brian Black and Lisa Emily Engebretsen of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 10/24/19.

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 05/26/20.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Karen T. Nakasone, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 05/26/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Nakasone, in place of Pollack, J., recused.

Brief Description:

Pursuant to the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), Civil Beat requested documents from Defendant City & County of Honolulu (City) related to the reinstatement of a Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officer.  The City and HPD agreed to the documents’ disclosure.

Thereafter, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) sued the City to prevent the public release of the documents, relying both on statutory and constitutional privacy protections.  Civil Beat intervened, arguing that no cause of action existed for SHOPO to sue to prevent the disclosure of public records.  The circuit court concluded that there was, but after in camera review of the records, ordered that they be disclosed in redacted form.  In making this determination, the circuit court relied on Peer News LLC v. City & County of Honolulu, 138 Hawai‘i 53, 376 P.3d 1 (2016).

SHOPO and Civil Beat cross-appealed, and the Supreme Court accepted transfer.  On appeal, SHOPO asserts that the circuit court failed to address all of its claims for relief and misapplied the Peer News test.  Civil Beat argues that there is no cause of action for SHOPO to sue to prevent the disclosure of the documents, and that UIPA does not require an agency to withhold records.

Supreme Court

No. SCAP-19-0000372, Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 10 a.m.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF HONOLULU and COMMON CAUSE, Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Defendant-Appellee.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be live-streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts

Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants League of Women Voters:

Robert Brian Black and Lisa Emily Engebretsen of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

Attorney for Defendant-Appellee State of Hawaii: 

Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry, Solicitor General

NOTE:  Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 12/18/19.

NOTE:   Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 05/22/20.

NOTE:   Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Shirley M. Kawamura, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 05/22/20.

COURT:  Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Kawamura, in place of Pollack, J., recused.

Brief Description:

Plaintiffs-Appellants League of Women Voters of Honolulu and Common Cause (collectively “Plaintiffs-Appellants”) appeal the circuit court’s final judgment, which granted Defendant-Appellee the State of Hawaii’s (the State) motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiffs-Appellants appealed the circuit court’s decision to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and this court granted Plaintiffs-Appellants’ application for transfer.

Plaintiffs-Appellants challenge the adoption of a law requiring the State to consider hurricane shelter space when designing new public schools.  They contend that the bill was not validly adopted because the bill did not receive three readings in each house of the Hawai‘i State Legislature and the title — “A Bill for an Act Relating to Public Safety” — was overly broad.  The bill as originally introduced in the Senate required annual reporting of recidivism statistics.  After the bill crossed over to the House, it was amended to require hurricane shelter space in new State buildings and all reference to recidivism reporting was deleted.        

On appeal, Plaintiffs-Appellants contend that the bill was adopted through an unconstitutional process and therefore is void as unconstitutional.  First, they argue that the bill’s enactment violated article III, section 15 of the Hawaii Constitution because after the House made non-germane amendments to the recidivism reporting bill, the Senate did not hold the required three readings to consider the hurricane shelter bill.  Second, they argue that the bill’s title violates article III, section 14 of the Hawai‘i Constitution because “Relating to Public Safety” is overly broad and vague, and thus fails to provide the public with proper notice of the bill’s content.

Supreme
Court

No. SCAP-19-0000501, Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 2 p.m.

MĀLAMA CHUN, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAII, and HAWAII LONGLINE ASSOCIATION, Defendants-Appellees.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be live-streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at https://www.YouTube.com/hawaiicourts

Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant Mālama Chun: 

Lance D. Collins of the Law Office of Lance D Collins

Attorney for Defendant-Appellee State of Hawaii:

William J. Wynhoff, Deputy Attorney General

Attorney for Defendant-Appellee Hawaii Longline Association: 

Geoffrey M. Davis of K&L Gates LLP

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 02/07/20.

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 05/22/20.

NOTE:  Order assigning Circuit Court Judge John M. Tonaki, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 05/22/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Tonaki, in place of Pollack, J., recused.

Brief Description:

This case involves the interaction between the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) issuance of commercial marine licenses and HRS §§ 189-2 and 189-5, statutes which limit the taking of marine life. 

HRS § 189-2(a) states, “No person shall take marine life for commercial purposes whether the marine life is caught or taken within or outside of the State, without first obtaining a commercial marine license[.]”  HRS § 189-5 states, “It is unlawful for any person who has not been lawfully admitted to the United States to engage in taking marine life for commercial purposes in the waters of the State.” 

Mālama Chun (Chun) challenged the issuance of commercial marine licenses to foreign non-immigrant crewmembers on longline fishing boats that dock in Honolulu to sell their catch.  Chun sought a declaratory order that the DLNR lacks the authority to issue commercial marine licenses to persons not lawfully admitted to the United States.  The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) denied the petition; Chun appealed the decision to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, which affirmed the BLNR.  The Supreme Court accepted Chun’s application for transfer of this case.  Chun contends that the circuit court erred on three grounds when it upheld the BLNR’s decision denying Chun’s Petition for Declaratory Order:

          (1) Affirming BLNR’s conclusion that alien longline fishing crewmembers were “lawfully admitted” to the United States;

          (2) Affirming BLNR’s conclusion that commercial fishing licenses may be issued to persons not lawfully admitted to the United States; and

          (3) Concluding that Chun must present a factual record of violations of HRS § 189-2(a) by foreign non-immigrant crewmembers in order to obtain relief.

Supreme
Court

Amended 06/30/20

No. SCWC-18-0000600,Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 2 p.m.

STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. RAMONCITO D. ABION, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

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

The oral argument will be held remotely and will be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts

Attorney for Petitioner:  

Benjamin E. Lowenthal, Deputy Public Defender

Attorneys for Respondent: 

Renee Ishikawa Delizo and Gerald K. Enriques, Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 05/15/20.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 05/15/20.

NOTE: Amended notice of setting for oral argument due to rescheduling from 08/20/20 at 2:00 p.m. to 08/18/20 at 2:00 p.m., filed 06/30/20.

COURT:  Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Castagnetti, in place of Pollack, J., recused.

Brief Description:

This case arises from the conviction of Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Ramoncito Abion (“Abion”) after a jury trial for assault in the second degree.  According to witness testimony at trial, Abion had been lying on his back and talking to himself in front of the gas station where the complaining witness (“CW”) worked.  After the CW asked him to leave, Abion struck her on the head with a hammer.

At a pre-trial hearing before the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (“circuit court”), Abion’s only witness, Dr. Martin Blinder (“Dr. Blinder”) testified that, in his opinion, Abion suffered from methamphetamine psychosis, that Abion was not under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the incident, and that Abion may have a genetic predisposition for psychosis that was activated by methamphetamine use.  After the hearing, the circuit court determined that a drug-induced mental illness was not a defense under HRS § 702-230 and State v. Young, 93 Hawai‘i 224, 999 P.2d 230 (2000).  The circuit court precluded Dr. Blinder from testifying at trial.

At trial, Abion asserted an HRS § 704-400 physical or mental disease, disorder, or defect defense.  Abion called no witnesses, and the jury found Abion guilty of assault in the second degree.

On certiorari, Abion contends the exclusion of his only witness violated his due process right to present a complete defense and undermined the jury’s role to resolve ultimate issues of fact.

Supreme
Court