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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court – SCAP-22-0000368

SCAP-22-0000368, Thursday, December 14, 2023, 2 p.m.

SONIA DAVIS, JESSICA LAU, LAURALEE B. RIEDELL, and ADAM M. WALTON, Plaintiffs-Appellees, vs. RICHARD T. BISSEN, JR., County of Maui Office of the Mayor, SCOTT TERUYA, County of Maui Department of Finance, and COUNTY OF MAUI, Defendants-Appellants.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

The above-captioned case was 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 was livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ‘Ōlelo TV 55.

Attorneys for Appellants RICHARD T. BISSEN, JR., County of Maui Office of the Mayor, SCOTT TERUYA, County of Maui Department of Finance, and COUNTY OF MAUI:

Caleb P. Rowe and Keola R. Whittaker, Deputies Corporation Counsel

Attorney for Appellees SONIA DAVIS, JESSICA LAU, LAURALEE B. RIEDELL, and ADAM M. WALTON:

Jongwook “Wookie” Kim of ACLU of Hawaii Foundation

NOTE Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 11/17/22.

NOTE Order assigning Circuit Judge Shanlyn A.S. Park and Circuit Judge James S. Kawashima due to vancancies, filed 05/25/23.

NOTE Order granting motion to postpone oral argument now re-scheduled to 12/14/23 at 2 p.m., filed 08/30/23.

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

Brief Description:

Appellees are unhoused individuals who formerly resided in the area surrounding the Kanahā Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Treatment Plant (the Kanahā area)on Maui. In September 2021, Appellant County of Maui distributed notices stating that the area would be cleared of personal property and that all persons remaining on site would be cited for trespassing. The notices did not provide information about where property removed in the sweep would be stored, whether and how it could be retrieved, whether it would be destroyed, or how affected individuals could challenge the sweep. Unhoused individuals submitted written requests for contested case hearings to the office of then-mayor Michael Victorino before the sweep. No contested case hearings were held. The County then conducted the sweep in late September 2021.

Two of the unhoused individuals allege they lost personal property and filed a notice of appeal in the circuit court, asserting the County violated their state and federal constitutional due process rights by failing to provide adequate notice before executing the sweep and by failing to hold a contested case hearing before depriving them of their property. The circuit court ruled that the unhoused individuals who sustained property losses were entitled to a contested case hearing before the deprivation. The circuit court then granted the County leave to file an interlocutory appeal; this court accepted a transfer of the appeal.