State ex rel. Mah v. Affordable Casket Outlet, LLC (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 these cases generally deserved this extreme level of secrecy.  One case was an employment dispute involving GEICO Insurance Company (No. 1CC131002053), and another case concerned disputes over the union nonprofit Unity House (No. 1CC000056396).  At the request of the Law Center, the State Judiciary provided the case numbers for all regular civil cases filed in circuit court with a confidential flag since 2005.

On April 1, 2021, the Law Center requested access to another of those cases.  The court subsequently removed the confidential flag from the case to reveal that it was a state false claims act case, captioned State of Hawai`i ex rel. Chi-Hun S. Mah v. The Affordable Casket Outlet, LLC aka and dba Moanalua Mortuary; John Hutton Weiser, Jr.; John Hutton Corp. dba Tora Flight Adventure Club, Rainbow Connections, and Hawai`i Sky Tours; Paragaon Air, Inc.; Panda Importers, LLC; Z&A Properties, LLC; Fisk Properties, LLC; Funeral Compare, LLC; Claus Zimmerman Hansen.  No. 1CC171002047.