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Showing posts from March, 2009

Apology Resolution has no Legal Effect on Admission Act.

Hawaii v. OHA (SCOTUS March 31, 2009)
Background.In 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was replaced with the Republic of Hawaii.Under the Newlands Resolution of 1898, Congress proclaimed that the Republic of Hawaii ceded Government and Crown Lands to the federal government in fee.In 1900, the Territory of Hawaii was established and Congress passed the Organic Act of 1900, which "made clear that the new Territory consisted of the land that the United States acquired in 'absolute fee.'"In 1959, Congress admitted Hawaii to the Union through the Admissions Act.The Admissions Act stated that "the United States grant[ed] to the State of Hawaii . . . the United States' title to all the public lands and other public property within the boundaries of the State of Hawaii[.]"Admission Act § 5(b).Public lands were held in trust to promote public purposes like the betterment of Native Hawaiians, developing home ownership, and public education.Admission Act § 5(f).Under state…

Revocation Proceedings are Exclusive Means for Enforcing Probation Conditions

State v. Asuncion (ICA March 30, 2009)
Background.Asuncion was convicted of custodial interference in the second degree (HRS § 707-727).In 2004, the district court sentenced Asuncion to one year probation.One of the conditions of probation was not to contact the complaintant.Later that year, Asuncion was arrested on two separate occasions for custodial interference.When he appeared for trial in 2006, he was charged with two counts of contempt of court.The contempt of court charge was based on having contact with the complaintant again.At the close of the State's evidence, Asuncion moved for an acquittal on the grounds that the State merely proved a probation violation.The motion was denied and Asuncion was found guilty.Asuncion appealed.
A Primer on Probation.The ICA began with sentencing under HRS chapter 706."No sentence shall be imposed otherwise than in accordance with this chapter."HRS § 706-600.The sentencing court is authorized, in most cases, to place a person on p…

HSC Reels in ICA over Inherent Court Powers.

State v. Hinton (HSC March 20, 2009)
Background.Hinton was first indicted for allegedly touching a girl (sex assault in the 3d. -- HRS § 707-7321(1)(b)).As the jury deliberated, the jurors informed the trial court that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.The jury was hopelessly deadlocked and the trial court declared a mistrial.Hinton moved for a dismissal pursuant to State v. Moriwake, 65 Haw. 47, 647 P.2d 705 (1982).The trial court granted the motion and the State appealed.
The ICA reversed the trial court's dismissal.Relying on cases from different jurisdictions, the ICA concluded that separation of powers concerns require that a Moriwake dismissal be used sparingly.The ICA held that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the Moriwake motion.Judge Foley dissented.Hinton appealed.
Moriwake and the Inherent Power to Dismiss.The trial court's inherent power "to protect itself; the power to administer justice whether any previous form of remedy has been grante…

Men (and Large-Capacity Ferry Vessels) Governed by (General) Laws.

Sierra Club v. DOT (HSC March 16, 2009)
Background.The Hawai'i Superferry was an interisland boat service that used state harbors throughout the islands.The Sierra Club and two other non-profit organizations sued the Department of Transportation and the Superferry on the grounds that no environmental assessment was prepared prior to launch of the Superferry.After the circuit court dismissed the case, the HSC vacated and remanded it back to Maui in Sierra Club v. Dept. of Transp., 115 Hawai'i 299, 167 P.3d 292 (2007).On remand, the circuit court entered summary judgment against the DOT and Superferry.It also granted a permanent injunction against the Defendants.The circuit court concluded that Sierra Club was the prevailing party and awarded attorney's fees and costs.In the meantime, the Legislature, at Governor Lingle's urging, convened a special session and promulgated "A Bill for an Act Relating to Transportation," known as Act 2, in order "to facilitat…