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Showing posts from June, 2009

Excessive Speeding Statute's Sentencing Provision Leaves Nothing to Discretion of Sentencing Courts.

State v. Nakamura (ICA June 29, 2009)Background. Nakamura pleaded guilty to a single count of excessive speeding (HRS § 291C-105). Nakamura agreed to, pursuant to the district court's "suggestion," a six-month license suspension among other things like a fine and community service. The district court sentenced him pursuant to the suggested agreement. Nakamura later filed a motion to correct his illegal sentence on the grounds that the suspension period was improper. Nakamura maintained that the suspension period should have been 30 days. The motion was granted in part. The district court imposed a 30-day suspension running concurrently with the original six-month suspension. Nakamura appealed.Discretionary Authority to Suspend License Superseded by Specific Excessive Speeding Statute. Nakamura pleaded guilty to excessive speeding. A person violating the excessive speeding statute for the first time "shall be sentenced as follows . . . [t]hirty-day prompt s…

Limitations on Campaign Contributions Depend on who gets it, not who Gives it.

Charmaine Tavares Campaign v. Wong (ICA June 25, 2009)Background. Charmaine Tavares ran for mayor of Maui County, a non-statewide office with a four-year term. Tavares' campaign committee was called the Charmaine Tavares Campaign (CTC) and was organized to spend money on behalf of and accept contributions for her mayoral campaign. The CTC told the public it could accept contributions up to $4,000. Quong Enterprises, a real-estate development corporation from California, gave $2,000 to the CTC. Talboy Construction also gave $2,000. Cheeseburger in Paradise and its partner, Cheeseburger in Paradise-Waikiki, each gave $1,000. Barbara Wong, the Executive Director of the Campaign Spending Commission, informed the contributors that they violated the campaign spending laws and were subject to penalties and fines. The CTC filed a complaint seeking injunctive and declarative relief against Wong and the Campaign Spending Commission. Quong intervened. The circuit court granted summ…

ICA Extends Tachibana to Juvenile Proceedings

In re TKC (ICA June 24, 2009)Background. The State filed a petition against TC, a juvenile, alleging ten counts of engaging in sexual conduct with a person less than fourteen years old. TC was less than fourteen years old at the time of the incidents. The family court conducted a "stipulated trial." Police reports and the reports of a psychologist were stipulated into evidence for the family court--as the trier of fact--to review. The stipulation did not discuss TC's waiver of his right to testify; it merely said that the stipulation was "through and upon the advice of his attorney." After the evidence was submitted, TC's parents filed a motion to examine the makers of the various reports. The motion was opposed by the State on the grounds that the parents lacked standing. The family court denied the motion and entered findings of fact, conclusions of law, and rendered a decision that TC was a "law violator" for all counts. The family cou…