Cases

Cases Description and Files

Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest v. Department of Public Safety

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of incarcerated individuals alleged that conditions within Hawai`i prisons were contributing to disease outbreaks.  The parties settled when the Department of Public Safety agreed to permit an independent panel to review the facilities and provide guidance and recommendations.  The monitoring panel produced six reports from October 2021 to March […]

Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. v. AOAO Harbor Lights

On May 18, 2022, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation filed a complaint against AOAO Harbor Lights on Maui demanding over $100,000 in damages for a contract claim.  The exact nature of the dispute, however, is unknown because the complaint was filed under seal without any prior order of the circuit court that explained the reason for the […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center moved to unseal search warrants related to the indictment filed in United States v. Michael J. Miske, Jr., et al., 19-CR-99 DKW-KJM.  Search warrants typically are withheld from the public before an indictment is filed so that potential targets cannot prematurely learn about the criminal investigation and destroy evidence or flee the jurisdiction. […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center moved to unseal the sentencing statements and memoranda filed in United States v. Jamie Kalani English, 22-CR-12 SOM RT and in United States v. Ty J. K. Cullen, 22-CR-13 SOM RT.  The statements should have the Defendants’ positions regarding sentencing disputes after the former legislators pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center moved to unseal the Government’s sentencing memorandum in United States v. Arthur Brun, 20-CR-24 DKW RT.  The memorandum should state the Government’s position regarding sentencing for Defendant Brun, a former Kauai councilmember who pleaded guilty to multiple drug-related charges.  The case was assigned to Judge Derrick K. Watson.  The Law Center’s motion […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center moved to unseal Defendant Daniel Seller’s sentencing memorandum and a motion by the Government filed under seal in United States v. Sellers, 19-CR-3 JMS RT.  In response, the Government argued that pretrial publicity from the disclosure would prejudice the imminent trial in United States v. Puana, 19-CR-15 JMS WRP, in which Daniel […]

Honolulu Civil Beat v. County of Maui

Online publication Civil Beat challenged the County of Maui’s refusal to disclose arbitration decisions regarding Maui Police Department employees. In response to similar requests, every other county police department disclosed responsive arbitration decisions. Contrary to Hawai`i Supreme Court precedent regarding police disciplinary files, Maui insisted that some unspecified number of decisions must be withheld in their […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center objected to the parties’ effort to authorize sealing of court records as part of a proposed protective order for discovery purposes in United States v. Leong, 21-CR-142 LEK-WRP.  In accordance with long-standing U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent, the Law Center requested that the Court require a proper motion to seal […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center objected to the proposed sealing of exhibits to a motion to compel discovery in United States v. Miske, 19-CR-99 DKW-KJM.  In his motion to compel discovery, the Defendant claimed that the discovery was so redacted that he could not identify witnesses, violating his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.  In […]

Sonomura v. Kubota (Confidential Flag)

In 2018, the Law Center learned more about the State Judiciary’s use of a confidential flag.  The confidential flag seals the entire case from public view, including the names of the parties, the docket, and the identities of counsel.  Subsequent motions to unseal in specific cases raised questions about whether these cases generally deserved this […]