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Oral Arguments Schedule

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No. SCWC-18-0000940, Friday, March 5, 2021, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. AIVEN ANGEI, 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 live streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.

Attorney for Petitioner:

Dana S. Ishibashi

Attorney for Respondent:

Chad M. Kumagai, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Faʻauuga Toʻotoʻo due to a vacancy, filed 10/20/20.

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 11/18/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Judge Toʻotoʻo, assigned by reason of vacancy.

Brief Description:
This case arises from defendant’s indictment for Murder in the Second Degree (“Second Degree Murder”), in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §§ 707-701.5 and 706-656 (2014), after a physical altercation with the victim. The defendant was convicted of the lesser included offense of Manslaughter based on reckless conduct in violation of HRS § 707-702(1)(a) (2014), and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. The circuit court denied defendant’s request to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of Reckless Endangering in the Second Degree (“Reckless Endangering Second”) under HRS § 707-714 (2014). The circuit court also denied defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal, where defendant argued that compliance with the HRS § 327C-1 death determination procedure applies to this case and all criminal actions. This case requires the court to consider whether Reckless Endangering Second is a lesser included offense of Second Degree Murder, and whether there was a rational basis in the evidence to support a lesser included offense instruction for Reckless Endangering Second. This case also requires this court to consider whether the HRS § 327C-1 procedure for death determinations applies to all criminal actions involving death. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) determined Reckless Endangering Second is a lesser included offense of Second Degree Murder, but held that there was no rational basis in the evidence to support the Reckless Endangering Second instruction. The ICA also held that the HRS § 327C-1 procedure for death determinations does not apply to all criminal actions involving death. The defendant appealed the ICA’s decision to this court.

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-16-0000666, Friday, March 5, 2021, 2 p.m.

In the Matter of the Arbitration Between UNITED PUBLIC WORKERS, AFSCME, LOCAL 646, AFL-CIO, Respondent/Union-Appellant, and STATE OF HAWAII, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, LA-15-02 (Glenn Tanaka) (2016-0003), Petitioner/Employer-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

Attorney for Petitioner:

Robert T. Nakatsuji, First Deputy Solicitor General

Attorney for Respondent:

Jonathan E. Spiker of Koshiba Price & Gruebner

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 12/08/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

Brief Description:

This case arises from a dispute regarding attorney’s fees. Before the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”), the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation (“State”) sought $20,044.49 in attorney’s fees under Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 658A-25(c), which allows a court to award “incurred” attorney’s fees. The ICA denied the State’s request for attorney’s fees because it determined that the State failed to demonstrate that it “incurred” attorney’s fees. The State appealed the ICA’s decision to this court. This case requires the court to consider whether the State incurred attorney’s fees under HRS § 658A-25(c), and whether “incurred” attorney’s fees requires the prevailing party to demonstrate an “expense, liability, or legal obligation to pay.” 

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-17-0000581, Friday, March 19, 2021, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ALLAN MICHAEL G. FELICIANO, aka ALLAN M. GAMON FELICIANO, 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 live streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.

Attorney for Petitioner:

William H. Jameson, Jr., Deputy Public Defender

Attorneys for Respondent:

Linda L. Walton, Stephen L. Frye, and Charles E. Murray III, Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 12/30/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

Brief Description:

This case arises from a charge of abuse of family or household member in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 709-906(1) (Supp. 2016) in the Family Court of the Third Circuit (“family court”). Defendant was charged with striking his wife, the complaining witness (“the CW”), in the early morning hours of January 14, 2017.

Before trial, the defendant moved to exclude evidence of a previous incident in which he pushed the CW out of a chair (“chair incident”). The family court ruled that if the “door was opened” to the CW’s marijuana use, the State could admit evidence of the chair incident. The family court ultimately allowed evidence of the chair incident with limiting instructions, and the jury convicted defendant as charged.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) majority ruled the family court did not abuse its discretion in allowing evidence of the chair incident. The ICA majority concluded (1) the family court properly admitted evidence of the chair incident under the “opening the door” doctrine because the defendant offered evidence that could be shown to be false or misleading in isolation; (2) the chair incident was also properly admitted under Hawaii Rules of Evidence (“HRE”) Rule 404(b) (1994) as prior-bad-act evidence; and (3) the family court’s limiting instructions mitigated any unfair prejudice from admission of the chair incident. Judge Leonard dissented. On certiorari, the defendant contests the ICA majority’s rulings.

Supreme
Court

No. SCWC-15-0000478, Friday, March 19, 2021, 2 p.m.

PROTECT AND PRESERVE KAHOMA AHUPUA‘A ASSOCIATION, an unincorporated association, MICHELE LINCOLN, MARK ALLEN, LINDA ALLEN, and CONSTANCE B. SUTHERLAND, Respondents/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. MAUI PLANNING COMMISSION, COUNTY OF MAUI, and STANFORD CARR DEVELOPMENT, LLC, a domestic limited liability company, Petitioners/Defendants-Appellees/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 YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.

Attorneys for Petitioner Stanford Carr:

Craig G. Nakamura and Arsima A. Muller of Carlsmith Ball LLP

Attorneys for Petitioners Maui Planning and County of Maui:

Moana M. Lutey, Corporation Counsel; Thomas W. Kolbe and Caleb P. Rowe, Deputies Corporation Counsel

Attorney for Respondent PPKAA:

Lance D. Collins of Law Office of Lance D Collins

NOTE: Order granting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 01/20/21.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

Brief Description:

This case arises from Stanford Carr Development, LLC’s (“Carr”) application for a Special Management Area (“SMA”) use permit to build a housing project (“the Project”) in the County of Maui’s SMA. The Protect and Preserve Kahoma Ahupua‘a Association (“PPKAA”) filed a petition to intervene in the SMA use permit application proceedings with the Maui Planning Commission (“Commission”), seeking to address the Project’s environmental and aesthetic impacts. The Commission denied PPKAA’s petition to intervene because PPKAA failed to demonstrate its interests were different from those of the general public. The Commission approved Carr’s SMA permit application.

On appeal, the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) determined PPKAA had standing to intervene as a matter of right, and that PPKAA was denied procedural due process to protect its Hawai‘i Constitution article XI, section 9 right to a clean and healthful environment, as defined by the Coastal Zone Management Act. The ICA also determined the Commission was required to make findings on the Project’s consistency with the Maui County general and community plans pursuant to Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (“HRS”) § 205A-26(2)(C) (2017).

On certiorari, Carr and the Commission maintain that PPKAA did not sufficiently assert an injury in fact to establish standing and that PPKAA was not denied due process. Carr and the Commission also argue the Commission was not required to make findings regarding the Project’s consistency with the general and community plans because a resolution by the Maui County Council permitted the Project to proceed without obtaining a community plan amendment.

Supreme
Court

No. SCAP-19-0000449,Thursday, April 1, 2021, 2 p.m.

KEEP THE NORTH SHORE COUNTRY, Appellant-Appellant, vs. BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, SUZANNE D. CASE, in her official capacity as Chairperson of the Land and Natural Resources, and NA PUA MAKANI POWER PARTNERS, LLC, Appellees-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 YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.

Attorneys for Appellant Keep the North Shore Country:

Lance D. Collins of Law Office of Lance D Collins, and Bianca Isaki of Law Office of Bianca Isaki

Attorneys for Appellees BLNR and Suzanne Case:

Kimberly T. Guidry, Solicitor General; Ewan C. Rayner, Deputy Solicitor General; William J. Wynhoff, Linda L.W. Chow, and Cindy Y. Young, Deputy Attorneys General

Attorneys for Appellee Na Pua Makani Power Partners:

John P. Manaut and Puananionaona P. Thoene of Carlsmith Ball LLP

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 02/26/20.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Matthew J. Viola due to a vacancy, filed 08/06/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Judge Viola, assigned by reason of vacancy)

Brief Description:

This appeal arises from Appellee-Appellee Board of Land and Natural Resources’ (BLNR) decision to approve Appellee-Appellee Na Pua Makani Power Partners, LLC’s (NPM) application for a habitat conservation plan and incidental take license (collectively, HCP). The HCP would allow NPM to take up to 51 ‘ōpe‘ape‘a, or Hawaiian hoary bats, over 21 years.

Appellant-Appellant Keep the North Shore Country (KNSC) challenged NPM’s HCP application in a contested case hearing before the BLNR. During the proceedings, KNSC objected to BLNR member Samuel ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon III’s (Gon) participation in the CCH. The BLNR did not disqualify Gon and approved the HCP.
KNSC appealed the BLNR’s decision to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court). The circuit court affirmed the BLNR’s decision, concluding that (1) KNSC raised mixed questions of fact and law, (2) substantial evidence supported the BLNR’s decision, (3) the BLNR did not err in allowing BLNR member Gon to participate in the BLNR proceedings, and (4) KNSC waived its challenge based on communications from a state legislator. The circuit court also concluded that KNSC’s challenge to the state legislator’s communications lacked merit.

KNSC appealed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the case was transferred to this court. On secondary appeal, KNSC argues that:

(1) The circuit court erred in reviewing the BLNR’s decision for “clear error” rather than de novo;
(2) The circuit court erred in affirming the BLNR’s reliance upon the Endangered Species Recovery Committee’s recommendation;
(3) The circuit court erred in affirming the BLNR’s decision to allow BLNR member Gon to participate in the proceedings; and
(4) The circuit court erred in concluding that KNSC waived its objection based upon the state legislator’s communications.

Supreme
Court