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No. SCWC-16-0000444, Thursday, June 27, 2024, 2 p.m.

No. SCWC-16-0000444, Thursday, June 27, 2024, 2 p.m.

MAUI LANI NEIGHBORS, INC., a Hawai‘i Nonprofit Corporation, Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. STATE OF HAWAI‘I; STATE OF HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES; STATE OF HAWAI‘I BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES; DAWN N.S. CHANG, in her official capacity as Chair of the State of Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources; COUNTY OF MAUI; COUNTY OF MAUI PLANNING COMMISSION; COUNTY OF MAUI DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING; KATE L.K. BLYSTONE, in her official capacity as County of Maui Planning Director, Respondents/Defendants-Appellees.

Listen to the audio recording in MP3 format ]

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 YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and ʻŌlelo Community Television olelo.org/tv-schedule/.

Attorneys for Petitioner/Plaintiff-Appellant MAUI LANI NEIGHBORS, INC.:

Peter N. Martin of Peter N. Martin, Attorney at Law, LLLC, and Tom Pierce of Tom Pierce, Attorney at Law, LLLC

Attorneys for Respondents/Defendants-Appellees STATE OF HAWAI‘I, et al.:

     Daniel A. Morris and Miranda C. Steed, Deputy Attorneys General

Attorneys for Respondents/Defendants-Appellees COUNTY OF MAUI, et al.:

     Kristin K. Tarnstrom and Mariana Lowy-Gerstmar, Deputies Corporation Counsel

Attorneys for Respondent/Intervenor-Appellee ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, LLC:

     Calvert G. Chipchase and Christopher T. Goodin fo Cades Schutte

NOTE:     Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Lisa M. Ginoza, filed 03/27/24.

NOTE:     Order assigning Circuit Judge Jeannette H. Castagnetti, in place of Ginoza, J., recused, filed 05/02/24.

NOTE:     Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 05/24/24.

COURT:    Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, Eddins, and Devens, JJ., and Circuit Judge Castagnetti, in place of Ginoza, J., recused

Brief Description:

In 2014, Maui Lani Neighbors, Inc. (MLN) sued the State of Hawai‘i and several other defendants concerning a county special use permit (CUP) allowing the State to develop the Central Maui Regional Sports Complex (Sports Park) on 65 acres of land acquired from intervenor Alexander & Baldwin, LLC.  MLN sought, under the Hawai‘i Constitution, Hawai‘i Environmental Policy Act (HEPA), and relevant ordinances, the following relief: (1) a declaration, among other things, that the CUP violated the relevant zoning ordinances and (2) an injunction to prevent the State from developing the Sports Park.

The State moved for partial dismissal.  The Circuit Court of the Second Circuit granted the motion over MLN’s opposition, dismissing eight of the nine counts because those counts were barred due to “failure to exhaust administrative remedies.”

On appeal, the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed in part and vacated in part, concluding that six of the counts were properly dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.  The ICA remanded the case to the circuit court to address the other two counts “to the extent those claims seek relief other than to invalidate the CUP.”

MLN applied for a writ of certiorari, presenting seven questions regarding whether they may prosecute their claims under article XI, section 9 of the Hawai‘i Constitution, HEPA, and related provisions.  Inter alia, MLN argues that administrative exhaustion was not necessary before bringing their challenges to court.