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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCAP-19-0000501

Posted on Sep 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

Amended 07/10/2020

No. SCAP-19-0000501, Friday, September 18, 2020, 8:45 a.m.

MĀLAMA CHUN, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI I, and HAWAII LONGLINE ASSOCIATION, Defendants-Appellees.

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

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

Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant Mālama Chun: 

Lance D. Collins of the Law Office of Lance D Collins

Attorney for Defendant-Appellee State of Hawaii: 

William J. Wynhoff, Deputy Attorney General

Attorney for Defendant-Appellee Hawaii Longline Association: 

Geoffrey M. Davis of K&L Gates LLP

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 02/07/20.

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 05/22/20.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge John M. Tonaki, in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 05/22/20.

NOTE: Order granting motion to change date of oral argument from 08/5/20 to 09/18/20 at 8:45 a.m., filed 07/09/20.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, and Wilson, JJ., and Circuit Court Judge Tonaki, in place of Pollack, J., recused.

Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

This case involves the interaction between the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) issuance of commercial marine licenses and HRS §§ 189-2 and 189-5, statutes which limit the taking of marine life.

HRS § 189-2(a) states, “No person shall take marine life for commercial purposes whether the marine life is caught or taken within or outside of the State, without first obtaining a commercial marine license[.]” HRS § 189-5 states, “It is unlawful for any person who has not been lawfully admitted to the United States to engage in taking marine life for commercial purposes in the waters of the State.”

Mālama Chun (Chun) challenged the issuance of commercial marine licenses to foreign non-immigrant crewmembers on longline fishing boats that dock in Honolulu to sell their catch. Chun sought a declaratory order that the DLNR lacks the authority to issue commercial marine licenses to persons not lawfully admitted to the United States. The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) denied the petition; Chun appealed the decision to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, which affirmed the BLNR. The Supreme Court accepted Chun’s application for transfer of this case. Chun contends that the circuit court erred on three grounds when it upheld the BLNR’s decision denying Chun’s Petition for Declaratory Order:

(1) Affirming BLNR’s conclusion that alien longline fishing crewmembers were “lawfully admitted” to the United States;

(2) Affirming BLNR’s conclusion that commercial fishing licenses may be issued to persons not lawfully admitted to the United States; and

(3) Concluding that Chun must present a factual record of violations of HRS § 189-2(a) by foreign non-immigrant crewmembers in order to obtain relief.