Showing posts from January, 2013

Jurisdictional Snits and the Right to Be at your own Trial

State v. Kaulia (January 4, 2013) Background. Dennis Kaulia was charged with assault in the third degree. HRS § 707-712(1)(a). Kaulia demanded a jury trial, an attorney, and submitted a notice stating that Kaulia was a "foreign nation to USA and State of Hawaii as a subject of the Kingdom of Hawaii." The other document was a "Motion For Nolle Prosequi With Prejudice As to All Counts." The trial court interpreted these documents as a motion to dismiss the charge for lack of jurisdiction. A formal motion to dismiss was later filed. Kaulia argued that the motion was based on the continuing existence of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. At the hearing, Kaulia requested an evidentiary hearing and wanted to call witnesses to establish the existence of the kingdom. The request and ultimately the motion were denied. The prosecution filed a motion to amend the complaint to provide for only a petty misdemeanor of assault by mutual affray--an offense for which Kaulia had no

Excessive Speeding Requires Mens Rea and is not Strict Liability Offense

State v. Gonzalez (HSC November 28, 2012) Background. Jose R. Gonzalez was charged with excessive speeding. HRS § 291C-105(a). At his arraignment, he was orally charged with the following: [Gonzalez,] you're charged with on or about the 14th of January, 2011, in the City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii, you did drive a motor vehicle at a speed exceeding the applicable State of Hawaii or county speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more and/or 80 miles per hour or more irrespective of the applicable State of Hawai'i or county speed limit. By doing so you violated Section 291C-105(a)(1) and/or (a)(2) of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes. Gonzalez orally moved to dismiss the charge on the grounds that the charge failed to state the requisite state of mind. The prosecution argued that state of mind is not required. The motion was denied. At trial, HPD Officer Jeremy Franks testified that on the H-2 Freeway just before the Mililani Mauka off-ramp he used his Laser T