Cases Description and Files

Honolulu Civil Beat v. Department of Education

Online publication Civil Beat challenged the Department of Education’s refusal to provide documents concerning 34 closed cases of employee misconduct reported to the Board of Education in May 2018.  The case is before Judge Bert I. Ayabe. Civil No. 19-1-191-2 BIA.  Civil Beat moved for partial summary judgment on August 14, 2019.  On November 19, 2019, Judge […]

In re Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest

The Law Center objected to several motions to seal filed by Defendants Katherine Kealoha, Gordon Shiraishi, and Minh-Hung Nguyen in an effort to conceal documents filed in connection with motions to dismiss the indictment or suppress evidence in United States v. Katherine P. Kealoha, 17-CR-582 JMS RLP.  The Law Center’s objections were filed under 19-MC-10, […]

In re Motion to Unseal Court Records

The Law Center moved to unseal multiple documents filed under seal without apparent explanation in United States v. Katherine P. Kealoha, 17-CR-582 JMS RLP-1.  The Law Center’s motion is filed under 18-MC-477 JMS-RLP.  On December 21, 2018, Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi denied the motion to unseal, stating that the documents were sealed to protect a […]

Walden v. Hi`ilei Aloha LLC

Plaintiff Andrew Walden, Editor of Hawaii Free Press, filed an action to obtain copies of the check registers and income/expense statements of three limited liability companies controlled by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  The Law Center moved for leave to file an amicus curiae—friend of the court—brief regarding procedural and substantive issues raised by the […]

League of Women Voters of Honolulu & Common Cause v. State of Hawai`i

League of Women Voters of Honolulu and Common Cause challenged whether the process for adopting Act 84 (2018) complied with the Hawai`i Constitution.  The lawsuit focused on the gut-and-replace legislative process that makes it difficult for members of the public and the Legislature to follow, understand, and provide meaningful comments on legislation.  Specifically, in 2018, […]

State v. Wellman

Maui News submitted a memorandum supporting the unsealing of court-ordered mental competency reports filed in State v. Ashley Wellman, Cr. No. 2CPC-17-909.  In October 2016, Wellman drove in excess of 120 MPH through a busy intersection on Maui, striking other vehicles and killing two women.  The court ordered three experts to examine Wellman’s mental fitness. […]

Roy v. GEICO

Edward Wagner found a 2013 Courthouse News Service article describing a Hawai`i court case involving allegations of unlawful conduct by GEICO.  But when he attempted to investigate what happened, there was no public record of the case–no docket; no filed pleadings or documents; and no listing of the judge, parties, or counsel.  The only remnant of […]

SHOPO v. City & County of Honolulu

On February 22, 2018, Civil Beat requested the arbitration decision concerning Darren Cachola.  In September 2014, video surfaced that showed Cachola repeatedly beating a woman.  After the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) sought to terminate Cachola, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) filed a grievance, and an arbitrator ordered him reinstated in February […]

Grube v. Trader

Nick Grube, a reporter at Honolulu Civil Beat, challenged an order entered in State. v. Ahn, Cr. No. 15-1-1338, that sealed all records and docket entries related to a September 9, 2016 proceeding before the Honorable Rom A. Trader.  Grube questioned whether the prosecution’s conclusory assertion of interference with a pending investigation was sufficient to […]

SHOPO v. City & County of Honolulu

On July 31, 2017, Civil Beat requested the name, position, and compensation for Honolulu Police Department employees.  The City & County of Honolulu planned to disclose the information until the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) filed a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order on September 1 to stop the City’s disclosure. […]