HONOLULU — The Hawaii Supreme Court issued an order today addressing two pending petitions filed by the State Office of the Public Defender regarding the release or changes in the conditions of confinement of inmates amid concerns of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in Hawaii’s correctional centers and facilities. In its order, the court consolidated the two petitions and appointed retired Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) Judge Daniel R. Foley as Special Master to work with the parties in a collaborative and expeditious manner to address the issues raised in the petitions, and to recommend a resolution while protecting public health and safety. An initial summary report from the Special Master is due by April 9, 2020.
Judge Foley is a respected jurist who served on the ICA from 2000 to 2016, handling appeals from Hawaii circuit, district, and family courts, and from administrative agencies. He chaired the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission and co-chaired the Hawaii Appellate Review Task Force and Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts.