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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCWC-16-0000798

No. SCWC-16-0000798, Thursday, July 15, 2021, 2 p.m.

STATE OF HAWAI I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. BRONSON SARDINHA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee.

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

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

Attorney for Petitioner Sardinha: 

Thomas M. Otake

Attorney for Respondent State: 

Stephen K. Tsushima, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 06/03/21.

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

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

This appeal arises from two events involving Petitioner/Defendant-Appellee Bronson Sardinha (“Sardinha”): (1) an incident where Sardinha allegedly drove his vehicle, collided with a car, and left (the “fled scene” case); and (2) an incident where he allegedly assaulted a police officer shortly after the first incident (the “assault” case). The assault happened in a parking lot after police officers noticed that Sardinha’s vehicle may have been involved in the fled scene incident and learned that he had a possible contempt warrant.

Sardinha entered a no-contest plea in the fled scene case on the day he was indicted in the assault case. Sardinha moved to dismiss the assault case arguing that Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 701-109 required compulsory joinder of these cases. The circuit court granted his motion and dismissed the assault case with prejudice. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (the “ICA”) disagreed. It vacated the circuit court’s order.

On certiorari, Sardinha argues that the ICA erred in vacating the circuit court’s order dismissing the assault case. He argues that the fled scene incident and the assault incident were closely related in time, place, and circumstances such that compulsory joinder was necessary pursuant to HRS § 701-109(2).