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No. SCAP-22-0000482 (consolidated with SCAP-22-0000571 and SCAP-23-0000330), Thursday, June 27, 2024, 10 a.m.

This oral argument has been continued to a later date.

No. SCAP-22-0000482 (consolidated with SCAP-22-0000571 and SCAP-23-0000330), Thursday, June 27, 2024, 10 a.m.


ADAM GRAY, Appellant-Appellee, vs. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DIVISION, Appellee-Appellant.  (SCAP-22-0000571)

ADAM GRAY, Appellant-Appellant, vs. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DIVISION, Appellee-Appellee.  (SCAP-23-0000330)

The above-captioned case has been 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 will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at and ʻŌlelo Community Television

Attorneys for Appellant-Appellant BRYAN GERALD (SCAP-22-0000482):

     Douglas C. Smith and Ross Uehara-Tilton of Damon Key Leong Lupchak Hastert, Pro Bono Attorneys

Attorney for Appellant-Appellee (SCAP-22-0000571) and Appellant-Appellee (SCAP-23-0000330) ADAM GRAY:  

     Daniel M. Gluck, Hawaii Appellate Pro Bono Attorney, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii

Attorneys for Appellee-Appelle (SCAP-22-0000482), Appellee-Appellant (SCAP-22-0000571) and Appellee-Appellee (SCAP-23-0000330) DIRECTOR OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS:

     Li-Ann Yamashiro and Jack W. Relf, Deputy Attorneys General

NOTE:     Order granting Applications for Transfer and consolidating SCAP-22-0000482 and SCAP-22-0000571 under SCAP-22-0000482, filed 05/15/23.

NOTE:     Order granting Application for Transfer in SCAP-23-330 and consolidating SCAP-23-0000330, SCAP-22-0000482 and SCAP-22-0000571 under SCAP-22-0000482, filed 07/07/23.

COURT:    Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, Eddins, Ginoza, and Devens, JJ.

Brief Description:

These consolidated appeals address whether the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), Employment Security Appeals Referees’ Office (ESARO) properly dismissed appeals from initial determinations on unemployment insurance claims as untimely.  Bryan Gerald (Gerald) and Adam Gray (Gray) each made claims for unemployment benefits that were denied by the DLIR’s Unemployment Insurance Division (UID).  Gerald’s case involves one claim and Gray’s case involves two claims for different periods of asserted unemployment.  After their claims were denied, Gerald and Gray submitted appeals to the ESARO past the deadlines set out in Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 383-38(a) (2015).  HRS § 383-38(a) allows a party to appeal within ten days after notice of a claim determination is mailed, but also provides that for good cause the period of appeal may be extended to thirty days.  Gerald and Gray submitted their respective appeals to the ESARO more than thirty days after notices were mailed to them.  The ESARO dismissed each of the appeals.

Gerald appealed the ESARO’s dismissal to the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit (Fifth Circuit Court) asserting that his untimely appeal to the ESARO was due to mental health challenges.  The Fifth Circuit Court held that it lacked jurisdiction because Gerald’s underlying appeal to the ESARO was untimely.

Gray filed two appeals to the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (Second Circuit Court) corresponding to his different claims, asserting that circumstances related to the COVID pandemic and difficulty contacting the unemployment office affected the timing of his appeal to the ESARO.  Two Second Circuit Court judges decided Gray’s appeals differently.  The Honorable Kelsey Kawano held that the court lacked jurisdiction because Gray’s appeal to the ESARO was untimely.  The Honorable Kirstin Hamman vacated the ESARO’s dismissal on grounds that, due to the circumstances in the case, denial of Gray’s appeal was a denial of access to justice and a violation of his due process rights.

All three circuit court decisions were appealed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.  This court granted transfer of each appeal and consolidated them.  Both Gerald and Gray raise multiple issues, including whether the appeal deadlines in HRS § 383-38(a) are jurisdictional and whether the deadlines are subject to equitable tolling.