Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCAP-15-0000462
No. SCAP-15-0000462 (Consolidated with
SCAP-15-0000463 and SCAP-16-0000331), Thursday, February 16, 2017, 9:45 a.m.
DIANE KAWASHIMA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, vs. STATE OF HAWAIʻI, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; KATHRYN S. MATAYOSHI, in her official capacity as Superintendent of Schools; LANCE A. MIZUMOTO, BRIAN J. DELIMA, PATRICIA BERGIN, GRANT Y.M. CHUN, MAGGIE COX, HUBERT MINN, KENNETH UEMURA, BRUCE VOSS, JIM WILLIAMS, ANDREA LYN MATEO, and COLONEL PETER P. SANTA ANA, in their official capacities as members of the STATE OF HAWAIʻI BOARD OF EDUCATION, Respondents/Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.
Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorneys for Petitioner:
Paul Alston and Eric G. Ferrer
Attorneys for Respondent State of Hawaiʻi:
Harvey E. Henderson, Jr., James E. Halvorson, and William J. Wynhoff, Deputy Attorneys General
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 02/12/16.
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna, filed 02/12/16.
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judges Gary W.B. Chang and Virginia L. Crandall, in place of McKenna, J., and Pollack, J., recused, respectively, filed 02/23/16.
NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 03/30/16.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, and MDW, JJ., and Circuit Court Judges Chang and Crandall, in place of McKenna, J., and Pollack, J., recused, respectively.
[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]
This is a consolidated case that involves Department of Education (DOE) substitute and part-time temporary teachers, seeking back wages for years in which they claim they were underpaid. The Kawashima case involves a group of part-time temporary teachers who filed a class action, seeking unpaid wages from the DOE. The Garner case involves of a group of substitute teachers who filed a class action, seeking unpaid wages from the DOE.
In both cases, the circuit court granted summary judgment for the teachers, and concluded that they were entitled to recover back wages. In the Kawashima case, the circuit court ruled that the part-time teachers were not entitled to statutory interest on the unpaid wages. However, in the Garner case, the circuit court ruled that the substitute teachers were entitled statutory interest on the delayed payment of the unpaid wages.
In both cases, the State appealed the circuit courts’ respective judgments to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA). On appeal in the Kawashima case, the State argues that the circuit court erred in: (1) ruling that school code regulation 5203 is a rule that can only be amended by rulemaking pursuant to HRS ch. 91; and (2) denying the State’s motion for summary judgment where Kawashima admitted that she had a contract to be paid a certain amount and was paid the amount. The part-time temporary teachers also cross-appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred in denying their claim to interest on the unpaid wages.
On appeal in the Garner case, the State argues that the circuit court erred in: (1) disregarding a previous ruling that the case did not involve claims for hourly wages; (2) ruling that regulation 5203 can only be amended through HRS ch. 91’s rulemaking process; (3) granting summary judgment in favor of the substitute teachers where the teachers admitted they had express contracts to be paid a certain amount and were paid the amount; and (4) ignoring a previous ruling that the class was not entitled to any interest.
Both the part-time temporary teachers and substitute teachers filed applications for transfer to this court. This court accepted transfers of both of the cases from the ICA. The Garner and Kawashima cases were then consolidated.