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Legislative Update 2021

The Judiciary provided testimony on the following measures during the 31st Legislature, 2021:

Click to view the list of Judiciary-related measures the Hawaii State Judiciary submitted testimony on during the 2021 Legislative Session – click on measure number to view testimony, status, and other pertinent information.

BILL NO. COMP. TITLE DESCRIPTION
JUDICIARY PACKAGE BILLS      
HB184 SB384 RELATING TO TAX APPEALS JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Clarifies that filing fees for tax appeals are nonrefundable and that no deposits are required for tax appeals
HB185 SB383 RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Appropriates funds for the Judiciary for the fiscal biennium beginning 7/1/2021, and ending 6/30/2023. Effective 7/1/2021.
HB186 SB383 RELATING TO THE UNIFORM TRUST CODE. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Enacts the 2018 Uniform Trust Code. Repeals the Uniform Trustees’ Powers Act, Uniform Prudent Investor Act, and laws regarding trust administration under the Uniform Probate Code. Takes effect on 1/1/2022.
HB188 SB387 RELATING TO THE ROOM CONFINEMENT OF CHILDREN AT DETENTION AND SHELTER FACILITIES. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Establishes conditions and time limits for placing a child in room confinement at a detention or shelter facility. Effective 7/1/2060.
HB189 SB388 RELATING TO DESIGNATING SUBSTITUTE JUDGES ON THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Authorizes the Chief Justice to designate circuit court judges, retired intermediate appellate judges, or retired supreme court justices to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
SB383 HB185 RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Appropriates funds for the Judiciary for the fiscal biennium beginning 7/1/2021, and ending 6/30/2023. Effective 7/1/2021.
SB384 HB184 RELATING TO TAX APPEALS. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Clarifies that filing fees for tax appeals are nonrefundable and that no deposits are required for tax appeals.
SB385 HB186 RELATING TO THE UNIFORM TRUST CODE. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Enacts the Uniform Trust Code (2018). Repeals the Uniform Trustees’ Powers Act, Uniform Prudent Investors Act, and Article VII (trust administration) of the Uniform Probate Code. 
SB386 HB187 RELATING TO THE DETENTION OF A MINOR IN AN ADULT JAIL OR LOCKUP. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Requires a family court to make findings, after a hearing and in writing, before a minor can be transferred to an adult jail or lockup or be permitted sight or sound contact with adult offenders.
SB387 HB188 RELATING TO THE ROOM CONFINEMENT OF CHILDREN AT DETENTION AND SHELTER FACILITIES. JUDICIARY PACKAGE: Establishes conditions and time limits for placing a child in room confinement at a detention or shelter facility. Effective 5/1/2029. 
Courts of Appeal Measures      
HB336 SB639 RELATING TO COURTS OF APPEAL. Prohibits courts of appeal from affirming, modifying, reversing, or vacating a matter on grounds other than those raised by the parties to the proceeding, unless the parties are provided the opportunity to brief the court and present oral argument on the matter. 
HB338 SB641 RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY. Requires an appellate court to conduct a hearing when a conflict of interest pertaining to a judge or justice is alleged by motion of a party to any suit, action, or proceeding of the appellate court.
HB339 SB632 RELATING TO THE FAMILY COURT. Makes decisions of the family court appealable to the supreme court instead of the intermediate court of appeals. Effective 7/1/2060.
SB639 HB336 RELATING TO COURTS OF APPEAL. Prohibits courts of appeal from affirming, modifying, reversing, or vacating a matter on grounds other than those raised by the parties to the proceeding, unless the parties are provided the opportunity to brief the court and present oral argument on the matter. 
Circuit Court Measures      
HB303 SB619 RELATING TO ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES. Amends provisions concerning fitness to proceed examinations in criminal proceedings to include qualified advanced practice registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses with prescriptive authority who hold an accredited national certification in an advanced practice registered nurse psychiatric specialization.
HB652 SB460 RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM JURY DUTY. Exempts active members of the Hawaii emergency management agency and county emergency management agencies from jury duty.
HB1326 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Allows a narrow hearsay exception for statements made by domestic violence victims to certain government officials within 24 hours of an incident of domestic violence and prior to the arrest of the defendant, even if the statement is testimonial in nature, as long as the statement bears sufficient indicia of reliability.
SB619 HB303 RELATING TO ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES. Amends provisions concerning fitness to proceed examinations in criminal proceedings to specify circumstances in which qualified advanced practice registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses with prescriptive authority who hold an accredited national certification in an advanced practice registered nurse psychiatric specialization may participate. Takes effect 7/1/2050
SB1189 HB1035 RELATING TO PRETRIAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE INTAKE SERVICE CENTERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. Amends Section 353-6.2, Section 353-10, and Section 804-7.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, enacted as part of Act 179, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, to delete the additional duties and responsibilities of the Intake Service Centers (ISC), Department of Public Safety, in providing augmented bail reports under the Act’s bail reform initiatives, due to the imposition of budget restrictions for the fiscal biennium 2021-23 that defunded the ISC positions responsible for this work.
Family Court
Measures
     
HB345 SB199 RELATING TO ASSISTED COMMUNITY TREATMENT. Mandates appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of a mentally ill individual in assisted community treatment proceedings. Effective 7/1/2060.
HB565 SB828 RELATING TO DIVORCE. Grants exclusive original jurisdiction in matters of divorce to the family court of the circuit in which an applicant is domiciled at the time the application is filed. Repeals the requirement that a person be domiciled or physically present in the State for a continuous period of at least six months before completing a divorce. Effective 7/1/3021.
HB722 SB543 RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Establishes a statewide program overseen by the department of the attorney general to provide services and assistance to commercially sexually exploited children and victims of human trafficking. Requires the
attorney general to submit annual reports to the legislature. Requires the children’s justice program to coordinate the investigation and case management of child human trafficking cases, including cases involving
the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Effective 7/1/2060.
HB835 RELATING TO THE NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY. Appropriates funds to support the ongoing operations of the Hawaii national guard youth challenge program. Effective 7/1/3050.
HCR100 HR83 REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO ESTABLISH A STATEWIDE PROGRAM TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND THE COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN.  
SB199 HB345 RELATING TO ASSISTED COMMUNITY
TREATMENT.
Mandates appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the best interest of a mentally ill individual in assistant community treatment proceedings and regarding an MH-1 application. Eliminates the need for
the office of the public offender to participate in the proceedings. Effective 5/1/2029.
SB543 HB722 RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Establishes a statewide coordinator and program within the department of the attorney general to provide services and assistance to sexually exploited children and victims of human trafficking. Requires the attorney general to submit reports to the legislature. Requires the children’s justice program to coordinate the investigation and case management of human trafficking cases, including cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.
SB577 HB82 RELATING TO FAMILY COURT. Amends provisions relating to criteria and procedures in family court determinations regarding custody and visitation rights. Clarifies that a parent’s felony conviction for a violent or sexual offense in which the victim was a minor, or requirement to register as a sex offender, raises a rebuttable presumption that custody or visitation by that parent is not in the best interest of the child. Requires courts to consider registration as a sex offender a presumption of risk that affects the burden of producing evidence. Requires courts to state reasons for findings in writing or on the record, including specific findings that there is no risk to the child’s health, safety, and welfare. Requires nondisclosure of certain information when a court makes a finding of abuse or domestic violence against a parent.
SB821 HB453 RELATING TO CHILDREN. Allows a minor who has reached the age of sixteen to petition the family court for emancipation. Requires the court to take certain actions regarding investigation of the petition, appointment of legal counsel and a guardian ad litem for the petitioning minor, and the findings necessary to grant the petition. Specifies the rights gained by the minor upon emancipation. Requires the court to require the minor’s parents or legal guardians to pay for any services ordered by the court.
SB822 HB450 RELATING TO CHILD WELFARE. Defines and recognizes rights in trust for children within the Child Protective Act. Requires family court to appoint guardian ad litem in custody cases. Provides that when a child is subject to harm or imminent harm, has been harmed, or may suffer probable harm is sufficient for police officer to take child into protective custody without court order, for department of human services to assume temporary foster custody of child, and for the department of human services to conduct an investigation.
SB828 HB565 RELATING TO DIVORCE Grants exclusive original jurisdiction in matters of divorce to the family court of the circuit in which an applicant is domiciled at the time the application is filed. Repeals the requirement that a person be domiciled or physically present in the State for a continuous period of at least six months before completing a divorce. 
SB885 HB480 RELATING TO THE CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT. Requires the family court to appoint counsel to indigent parents in foster care cases and make every effort to do so at the first hearing attended by the parent.
District Court Measures      
HB202 SB391 RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT. Authorizes a court to expunge the records of a person for certain offenses if they are substantially related to the person’s homeless status.
HB631 SB896 RELATING TO FINANCIAL HARDSHIP. Provides judges with greater discretion to adjust the amount owed or financial circumstances by a person who violates certain traffic offenses based on the person’s inability to pay. Decreases the imprisonment term to contumacious nonpayment ratio. Increases the amount of credit given to a person committed for contumacious nonpayment.
HB726 RELATING TO FACE COVERINGS. Requires every person to wear a face covering when in a public setting, subject to certain exceptions. Establishes a civil fine for failure to wear a face covering. Sunsets December 31, 2021, or when the last emergency proclamation related to the COVID-19 emergency issued by the governor expires, whichever is sooner. Effective 7/1/2050.
HB1245 RELATING TO FIREWORKS INFRACTIONS. Establishes an expeditious adjudication system for the processing of fireworks infractions. Appropriates funds. Effective 1/1/2050.
HB1376 SB1388 RELATING TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT CODE. Extends the period for a notice of summary possession from five days to fifteen. Requires landlords to enter into mediation and delays when a landlord may seek possession of a dwelling unit if the tenant schedules or attempts to schedule mediation. Requires landlords to provide the notice to mediation centers that offer free mediation for residential landlord- tenant disputes. Restricts when a landlord may exercise these remedies depending on the amount of rent due. Appropriates funds for the judiciary to contract for mediation services. Repeals one year after the expiration date of the final eviction moratorium imposed pursuant to a COVID-19 state of emergency proclamation. Effective 1/1/2050.
HB1377 RELATING TO CITATIONS. Creates an electronic citation program under the judiciary and establishes an electronic citation surcharge.
SB240 RELATING TO MASK AND QUARANTINE VIOLATIONS. Limits first offense violations of a governor’s emergency proclamation requiring wearing cloth face coverings to a fine of not more than $500. Limits first offense violations of a governor’s emergency proclamation requiring persons traveling from out of state to quarantine to a fine of not more than $500, except for those violators who post media of themselves violating the governor’s order on social media or who travel to the State with symptoms or a positive test result for COVID-19.
SB391 HB202 RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT. Authorizes a court to expunge the records of a person for certain offenses if they are substantially related to the person’s homeless status.
SB513 RELATING TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. Establishes an expeditious adjudication system for the processing of fireworks infractions. Increases the fireworks display permit fee from $110 to $150 and the fine for certain fireworks violations from $2,000 per violation to $5,000 per violation. Clarifies that each aerial device, display firework, or article pyrotechnic having a total weight of twenty-five pounds or less that is illegally imported, transferred, or sold constitutes a separate violation. Increases the penalty for removing or extracting the pyrotechnic contents. Authorizes the sheriff division to enforce the fireworks control law. Requires the attorney general to establish an explosion detection technology working group. Requires the department of public safety to develop and implement a web-based fireworks reporting tool. Appropriates funds.
SB540 HB1197 RELATING TO EMERGENCY RULES. Allows for lesser emergency period penalties to be adopted and promulgated by the governor or a mayor. Allows for the emergency period infractions to be processed under the traffic adjudication process in chapter 291D, Hawaii Revised Statutes. Allows electronic copies of notices of infractions, infraction adjudication hearings, and notices of infraction judgments to be sent via email. Grants the District Court concurrent jurisdiction over emergency period rule infractions committed by minors.
SB758 RELATING TO MARIJUANA. Increases from 3 grams to 1 ounce: (1) the minimum amount of marijuana that a defendant must possess to be charged with a petty misdemeanor; and (2) the maximum amount of marijuana that a defendant convicted of possessing marijuana could have possessed without being disqualified from the subsequent expungement of the record of that conviction.
SB765 RELATING TO OPERATING A VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AN INTOXICANT Defines “highly intoxicated driver”. Provides the evidentiary standard for establishing that a person was a highly intoxicated driver. Requires that ignition interlock devices be installed and maintained on one or more vehicles registered to, and all vehicles operated by, anyone convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, during the applicable period of license revocation. Increases the license revocation period ordered by the Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office and extends the applicable lookback periods from five to ten years. Establishes higher penalties for a highly intoxicated driver operating a vehicle. Establishes higher penalties for offenses of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.
SB1119 HB965 RELATING TO THE VIOLATION OF RULES DURING EMERGENCY PERIODS. Authorizes the governor and the mayors to establish lesser petty misdemeanor offenses and violations during emergency periods, including non-criminal infractions; and establishes a more expeditious system for the processing of these infractions to reduce the burden on the court system. Makes an appropriation.
Judiciary Administration Measures      
HB61 RELATING TO NON-GENERAL FUNDS. Reclassifies or repeals non-general funds of the department of Hawaiian home lands or judiciary. Effective 7/1/3021.
HB337 SB640 RELATING TO CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. Requires the language and meaning of any proposed constitutional amendment and ratification question to be simple, concise, and direct to the extent practicable. Allows the presiding officers of the legislature to request a written opinion of the supreme court regarding the legality of a proposed amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution and the corresponding constitutional ratification question. Requires the court to provide a written opinion within 48 hours of receipt of the request. Requires, for any written opinion by the court that invalidates a constitutional ratification question, a detailed and specific explanation of the reasons for this opinion. Prohibits any appeal of a written opinion. Effective 7/1/3021.
HB340 PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII TO REQUIRE THE JUDICIAL SELECTION COMMISSION TO BE GUIDED BY PRINCIPLES OF MERIT IN THE SELECTION OF JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS AND THE RETENTION OF JUDGES AND JUSTICES. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to require the judicial selection commission to be guided by principles of merit in the selection of judicial nominations and the retention of judges and justices.
HB344 RELATING TO GOVERNMENT. Provides that the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Commission on Water Resource Management shall not conduct contested case hearings, and counties shall not conduct contested case hearings regarding disputes over land use, but that decisions and disputes may be contested and adjudicated in circuit court.
HB356 RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL. Requires meetings of the judicial council to be open to the public, except for deliberations for the selection of nominees for the campaign spending commission and state ethics commission.
HB1036 SB1190 RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY. Authorizes the department of public safety to maintain a list of independent civil process servers and amends several statutes to allow process servers to serve specific types of legal documents.
HB1298 RELATING TO STATE FUNDS. Transfers to the general fund the excess balances of various non-general funds from various state departments and agencies.
HB1299 RELATING TO NON-GENERAL FUNDS. Repeals various non-general funds of the department of agriculture; department of budget and finance; department of business, economic development, and tourism; department of defense; department of education; department of health; department of human services; department of labor and industrial relations; department of land and natural resources; department of the attorney general; department of public safety; department of transportation; University of Hawaii; department of commerce and consumer affairs; department of Hawaiian home lands; judiciary; and Hawaii public housing authority. Implements recommendations of the auditor. Transfers most unencumbered balances to the credit of the general fund.
HCR5 ESTABLISHING A JOINT COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL SELECTION.  
HCR11 HR12, SCR8 REQUESTING THE HAWAII STATE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO STUDY MISSING AND MURDERED NATIVE HAWAIIAN WOMEN AND GIRLS.  
SB1244 HB1079 RELATING TO THE MODERNIZATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE. Defines serious crime as murder or attempted murder in the first degree or class A felony, or a call B or C felony involving violence of threat of violence. Allows the court to determine if bail may be denied where the charge is for a serious crime. Requires the judicial council to appoint a committee to review and recommend changes to the Hawaii penal code.
SCR8 HCR11 REQUESTING THE HAWAII STATE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO STUDY MISSING AND MURDERED NATIVE HAWAIIAN WOMEN AND GIRLS.  
SR7 HR12 REQUESTING THE HAWAII STATE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE TO STUDY MISSING AND MURDERED NATIVE HAWAIIAN WOMEN AND GIRLS.