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 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 August 3, 2021, the Law Center moved to unseal files in a Family Court case. Judge Brian A. Costa subsequently ordered partial disclosure of information in the case, captioned Julann Michiyo Sonomura v. Peter Kenji Kubota. No. 3DV111000121.
- Motion to Unseal (8/3/21)
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Opposition (8/13/21)
- Defendant’s Memorandum in Opposition (8/16/21)
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Request for Sanctions (8/18/21)
- Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Unseal (8/19/21)
- Order re: Motion to Unseal (10/8/21)
- Defendant’s Memorandum Regarding Court Order (11/15/21)
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum Regarding Court Order (11/16/21)
- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Unseal (12/16/21)
Unsealed Docket (additional records now available on request to the Hilo Legal Documents Branch)