Doe v. Ibana (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 November 16, 2020, the Law Center filed a motion to unseal in one of those cases. Based on responses received from the parties, the case has been identified as Jane Doe v. Ian Ibana, Keith Febrero, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii. The motion has been assigned to the Honorable James H. Ashford. No. 1CC121001422. On April 21, 2021, Judge Ashford granted the motion to unseal, removed the confidential flag, and began the process of preparing a public record of the case.
- Motion to Unseal (11/16/20)