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Showing posts from November, 2009

Footing the Bill of Particulars

State v. Corder (HSC November 19, 2009)Background. The family court granted Allison Corder's extension of a protective order against Lawrence Corder. Months later, Corder was charged with two separate counts of violating the order of protection (HRS §§ 586-5.5 and 586-11(a)(1)(A)). In the complaint the counts referred to police report numbers. Those police reports detailed Corder's conduct and noted the allegedly violated section in order of protection. The police reports were provided in discovery. Corder filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, a bill of particulars. The family court denied the motion and a jury found Corder guilty. The ICA concluded that the trial court erred in denying Corder's motion for a bill of particulars.Requiring a Bill of Particulars. "If the court is of the opinion that the accused . . . has been actually misled and prejudiced in the accused's defense upon the merits of any defect, imperfection, or omission in the in…

The Hidden Element in OUI

State v. Wheeler (HSC November 17, 2009)Background. Wheeler was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (HRS § 291E-61(a)(1)). The State's charges went like this:"on or about May 31st, 2001, in the City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii, [Wheeler] did operate or assume actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in amounts sufficient to impair [his] normal mental faculties and [his] ability to care for [him]self and guard against casualty[.]"Wheeler indicated that he did not understand the charge because the term "operate" was a term of art. The State refused to clarify the charge. Wheeler moved to dismiss on the grounds that the charge failed to state an offense. The motion was denied. Wheeler lost at trial. The ICA vacated and remanded. The State appealed.The Elements of the DUI Statute Include Where the Conduct took Place. The elements of an offense include conduct, attendant ci…

Conferences with Standby Counsel, Written Transcripts, and Other Rights

State v. Mundon (HSC November 13, 2009)Background. Mundon was charged with several counts of sex assault in various degrees, kidnapping, terroristic threatening, and assault. Mundon requested to represent himself at trial and requested appointed standby counsel. The circuit court granted those requests. At trial, the complainant that she encountered Mundon one night at Kapa'a Beach. She testified that she was looking for a cheap hotel room. Mundon allowed her to sleep in the back of his truck. As she slept, Mundon began to putting his hands under her underwear and feeling her outer labia. She also testified that he started to kiss and touch her breasts approximately ten to fifteen times. When she tried to get away, Mundon produced a knife and threatened to kill her if she tried to get away. A struggle ensued on the beach and eventually she got away. Testimony from police officers corroborated the complainant's version. Mundon testified and his version of events is …

Abuse of Incompetent Persons Statute Not Unconstitutional

State v. Billam-Walker (ICA August 11, 2009)Background. Walker was charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent person. HRS § 709-905. This was initially a summary disposition order. The ICA granted the state's motion for publication. The ICA presented no background facts.No Abuse of Discretion in Denying Continuance. The ICA rejected Walker's argument that the family court erred in denying his motion to continue trial. "An attorney cannot reasonably expect a court to alter its calendar, and disrupt a scheduled trial to which witnesses have been subpoenaed and to which the adverse party is ready, simply by the filing by counsel of a last minute motion for continuance." State v. Lee, 9 Haw. App. 600, 603-04, 856 P.2d 1279, 1281-82 (1993). Here, the ICA noted that the motion for continuance was requested one week prior to trial. According to the ICA, the defense had adequate time and resources to prepare for trial. The ICA also noted that there was…