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Showing posts from December, 2017

If no Prelim in Two Days, the Defendant must (more or less) Always be Released

Moana v. Wong (HSC November 21, 2017) Background. This case is comprised of two cases that have been consolidated and address the same procedural issue. First, Si Ufaga Moana was arrested on June 20, 2017 for assault in the second degree. Two days later he was charged by way of a complaint of felony abuse of a household member. That same day, on June 22, Moana appeared in custody before the family court. The family court confirmed bail at $30,000 and set a preliminary hearing for June 26, 2017. On the day of the preliminary hearing, the prosecution moved to continue on the grounds that the complaining witness “absented herself” from the proceedings. The prosecutor represented that the complainant might be on the mainland and may be refusing to come, but was unsure. Moana moved to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, moved for supervised release. The prosecution opposed. The family court granted the continuance and denied Moana’s motions. The preliminary hearing had been contin…

Police in Helicopter a Search fah Marijuana

State v. Quiday (HSC November 21, 2017) Background. Honolulu Police Department officers got an anonymous tip that there was marijuana growing on a residential property in Waipahu. The officers conducted “aerial reconnaissance” of the suspected grow site in a helicopter at a height of 420 feet (no joke) and spotted 20-25 plants in the open air of the property along a wall. The officers drove by the house to see if the plants were visible from the street. They weren’t. The police checked the residence to see if it was a grow site for medical marijuana; it wasn’t. The officers did two more flyovers and saw the same thing: plants in pots along the wall of the property. Based on these observations, the officers applied for and got a search warrant of the property.
The day before the warrant was to be executed, police drove by the property and saw a man watering something along the wall. The next day the warrant was executed and police arrested Benjamin Quiday for possession of the plants. He…