Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — SCWC-20-0000714
No. SCWC-20-0000714, Thursday, June 30, 2022, 10 a.m.
STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. GEORGE VAN BLYENBURG, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.
The oral argument was held remotely and livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.
Attorney for Petitioner:
Emmanuel G. Guerrero of the Law Offices of Emmanuel G. Guerrero, LLLC
Attorney for Respondent:
Donn Fudo, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 04/04/22.
NOTE: Order granting motion to postpone oral argument from 04/26/22 to 06/02/22 at 10:00 a.m., filed 04/06/22.
NOTE: Second Amended Notice of Setting for Oral Argument due to rescheduling from 06/02/22 at 10:00 a.m. to 06/30/22 at 10:00 a.m., filed 04/27/22.
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.
After a jury trial, the Circuit Court of the First Circuit convicted George Van Blyenburg of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious bodily injury in violation of HRS § 291C-12 (“count 1”) and negligent homicide in the second degree in violation of HRS § 707-703(1)(b) (“count 2”).
Before the judgment of conviction was entered by the circuit court, Van Blyenburg filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the indictment violated his constitutional due process right to be adequately informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Van Blyenburg contended that count 1 was defective because it failed to provide notice of the attendant circumstances element of the offense, that the defendant “did not stop either at the accident scene or stop at the location closest to the accident scene and forthwith return thereto without obstructing traffic more than is necessary[,]” as provided in HRS § 291C-12. Van Blyenburg contended that count 2 was defective because it failed to provide notice as to the definition of “simple negligence,” an element of the crime of negligent homicide in the second degree.
The circuit court denied Van Blyenburg’s motion to dismiss, finding the indictment constitutionally sufficient, and entered the judgment of conviction, which the ICA then affirmed. On certiorari, Van Blyenburg relies on State v. Baker, 146 Hawaii 299, 463 P.3d 956 (2020) and State v. Shaw, 150 Hawaii 56, 297 P.3d 71 (2021) to assert that the circuit court and the ICA erred in finding the indictment sufficient.