Showing posts from November, 2020

Court Fees at Sentencing Limited to Defendant who can pay at Sentencing

  State v. Pulgados (ICA October 30, 2020) Background. Desmond Pulgados was prosecuted for property and drug offenses in six separate cases. He and the prosecution reached a plea agreement in which Pulagdos would plead no contest to sixteen offenses and the parties agreed to recommend probation. The circuit court—the Hon. Judge Rhonda I. L. Loo presiding—sentenced Pulgados to prison for ten years instead, imposed restitution in the amount of $906.99, fined him $500, and two imposed fees: the crime victim compensation fee in the total amount of $1,575 and the internet crimes against children at $1,500.   Pulgados moved to waive the fees on the grounds that he could not afford to pay them. Pulgados argued there was a “presumption of indigency” based on his qualification for representation by the Office of the Public Defender and that presumption had not been rebutted at sentencing. At the hearing on the motion, Pulgados testified that he had no income, savings, checking account, r

ICA Extends Sheffield Definition of "Restraint" to the Rest of Kidnapping Statute

  State v. Forbes (ICA November 20, 2020) Background. Ephrim Richard Forbes was charged with kidnapping, robbery, and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. At trial, the complainant testified through a Japanese interpreter that he was a driver dispatched to a hotel at Kapolei. He saw Forbes, an African-American, sitting on the curb and when he got in, the complainant did not have a good feeling about him because he thought he was smelly. Forbes got in and asked the driver to go to the airport. According to the complainant, Forbes asked him to head to Haleiwa instead. The complainant refused. Forbes told the driver to head to Ko Olina, which was nearby. Then he started talking on his phone. After another ten to fifteen minutes, Forbes asked him to head to Campbell Industrial Park. Forbes continued to talk on his phone and removed the camera on the windshield. According to the complainant, Forbes showed what he believed to be a gun and ordered him to keep driving.   The com

Insurance Coverage Extended to Those with “Some Connection” to the Vehicle

  State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. v. Mizuno (HSC November 20, 2020) Background. Michael Mizuno borrowed his girlfriend’s car to run errands. He drove the vehicle to the post office to mail paid bills. He was in the crosswalk between the vehicle and the post office when he was hit and injured by an unidentified driver. The vehicle drove away. Mizuno sought uninsured motorist coverage from his girlfriend’s policy. State Farm, the insurance company, filed a motion for declaratory judgment in federal court. The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment for State Farm and determined there was no coverage under Hawai'i law for Mizuno. Mizuno appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The appellate court was unsure how far to extend Hawai'i law in this area and certified the question to the HSC.   The Uninsured Motorists Statute and the Chain-of-Events Test. “[A]ny motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State” must have liability coverage “for the protection of persons insured

HSC Adopts California's Test to Determine if Prenuptial Agreement Voluntarily Entered

  L.O. v. N.O. (HSC November 5, 2020) Background. Back in 2013, LO, the husband, was introduced online through a relative to NO, the wife, who had been living in Vietnam. LO was 45; NO was 22. NO’s aunt, who introduced them, paid for LO to fly to Vietnam and meet NO. Four months later, LO goes back to Vietnam and proposes to marry her. She accepted and came to the United States in 2014 on a K-1 fiancee visa, which allowed her 90 days to marry.   A month after arriving to the United States, the parties entered into a premarital agreement. The agreement released the parties in the event of a divorce of alimony and support obligations. It also provided that each spouse’s property upon entry into the marriage would be treated as separate property. It also stated that “it is the intention of the husband in the event that he sells his current residence . . . that any equity shall be used to finance another shared property with the wife and said equity will be considered shared and joint

Privacy Rights of Arrestees Trump Disclosure of Their Addresses to the Public

  Mott v. City and County of Honolulu (ICA January 30, 2020) Background. The Honolulu Police Department keeps a daily arrest log known as a blotter. The log includes the name of the arrestee and his or her address. For years, HPD would provide a requesting member of the public blotter information containing the address. In 2017, HPD changed its policy and started to disclose only the adult arrest log, which did not include the address. Karen Mott wrote to HPD seeking disclosure of the blotter with the address. The request was denied. Mott filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief and an order compelling disclosure of the addresses. The City moved to dismiss the complaint. The circuit court, with the Hon. Judge Gary W. B. Chang presiding, granted the motion. Mott appealed.   The Uniform Information Practices Act Balances Open Government Against Invasion of Privacy. The State seeks to “conduct[] government business as openly as possible . . .tempered by a recognition of the right