Cases

Cases Description and Files

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 […]

Honolulu Civil Beat v. Department of Public Safety

Online publication Civil Beat challenged the Department of Public Safety’s refusal to identify and provide autopsy reports for individuals who died while in the Department’s custody. The Department has asserted that the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits disclosure. HIPAA has exceptions that apply to Civil Beat’s request.  As the U.S. Department of […]

Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest v. Chang

The Law Center requested public access to a “confidential” civil case. The Judiciary’s confidential flag seals the entire case from public view, including the names of the parties, the docket, and the identities of counsel. In response to the Law Center’s motion to unseal, the circuit court denied the motion and entered a gag order […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center moved to unseal the plea agreement in United States v. Akau, 19-CR-99 DKW-KJM.  Contrary to local rule, the Defendant did not file a motion to seal and proffered no justification for sealing the plea agreement. The case is assigned to Judge Derrick K. Watson.  The Law Center’s motion was filed under 21-MC-298. […]

State Dep’t of Human Services v. Papalii (Confidential Flag)

In 2018, the Law Center learned more about the State Judiciary’s use of a confidential flag for normal civil court cases.  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 […]