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 prohibiting the Law Center from “publishing the name or identity of any of the parties in the instant case.” On September 17, 2021, the Law Center asked the Hawai`i Supreme Court to order the circuit court to comply with constitutional standards for sealing cases and for prior restraint of nonparties. On May 11, 2022, the Hawai`i Supreme Court denied the petition without prejudice to provide the circuit court an opportunity to enter written findings consistent with constitutional standards. No. SCPW-21-511.  On May 16, the Law Center moved to unseal the Complaint and Defendants’ names and to vacate the gag order.

Second Motion to Unseal