Aloha. This blog covers recent Hawai‘i appellate cases regarding civil litigation. The emphasis is on civil trials, appellate procedure, evidence, consumer protection, personal injury, professional negligence, real property, commercial litigation, arbitration and insurance issues. New cases are usually posted within 24-48 hours after filing. The cases are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent cases on top.
The case summaries are condensed and do not cover all issues in the case — the goal is to give you a general idea of the main issues and holdings, so you can decide whether you want to read the entire opinion or order.
For criminal law, family court and other important cases not reported here, I recommend you go to and
The posts are searchable (use search circle in upper right corner). This blog started December, 2013, so very few cases before then are reported.
If you see any mistakes or think something should be added, please let me know. Mahalo, Jeff Crabtree

ICA Reverses District Court’s Dismissal of Interpleader Action Based On Lack Of Jurisdiction

County of Hawaii v. Ito (ICA, 10/21/14)(s.d.o., vacated and remanded). County filed interpleader action regarding ownership of a car, the value of which was within the jurisdictional limit of the district court. County also sought an order immunizing the county from liability regarding READ MORE

ICA Affirms Planning Commission Decision That Boat Tour Operator At Hanalei River Violated Permits

Sheehan v. County of Kauai (ICA, 10/17/14)(mem.op., affirmed). The circuit court affirmed the Planning Commission’s decision revoking Sheehan’s four permits authorizing Sheehan to own and operate a boatyard at the mouth of the Hanalei River. On appeal, Sheehan did not challenge any FOFs, READ MORE

ICA Affirms BLNR Decision Supporting Solar Telescope Project On Haleakala

Kilakila ‘O Haleakala v. Board of Land and Natural Resources (ICA, 10/17/14)(mem.op., affirmed). Below: the Board of Land and Natural Resources concluded the Solar Telescope will not substantially impact existing natural or cultural resources, view planes, plants, etc., especially when balanced against the READ MORE

ICA Upholds Arbitrator’s Award Finding That Employer’s Failure To Promote Police Officers Was Unfair

In re Grievance Arbitration Between SHOPO and County of Kauai (ICA, 10/16/14). SHOPO members/police officers challenged employer’s actions in not selecting officers for promotion, claiming the selection process was arbitrary because it relied too heavily on a subjective oral interview, and conflicted with READ MORE

HawSupCt Issues Writ of Prohibition Involving Seizure of Computer

Crofford v. Iha (HawSupCt, 10/13/14)(Order Granting Petition for Writ of Prohibition). The HawSupCt found the family court’s issuance of an order directing seizure of computers and data storage devices, ex parte and without a formal discovery request, was an abuse of discretion and READ MORE

HawSupCt Denies Cert In Personal Injury/CAAP Case

Waiolama v. State (HawSupCt, 10/10/14)(Order Rejecting Application for Writ of Certiorari). On 10/10/14, the HawSupCt denied cert in this case. The main issue on appeal was a challenge to the defendant’s expert witness (Gerald Bretting, accident reconstructionist using the PC-Crash software). Go here READ MORE

HawSupCt Grants Cert Re ICA’s Confirmation Of Arb Award Involving Disclosure Rules For Arbitrators

Noel Madamba Contracting, LLC v. Romero (HawSupCt, 10/1/14)(Order Accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari). On 10/1/14, the HawSupCt granted cert in this case. The following is a summary of the ICA action. Arbitration concerning an allegedly unfinished residential construction contract. The circuit court READ MORE

HawSupCt Accepts Cert Re Eviction From Public Housing Due To Criminal Conviction

Kolio v. Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HawSupCt, 9/30/14)(Order Accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari). The HawSupCt granted cert in this case on 9/30/14. The following is a summary of the ICA decision. Kolio was convicted of second-degree theft. His rental agreement provided for READ MORE

ICA Affirms Judgment for Institutional Trustee (Pro Se Appeal)

In re Edward C. Sterling QTIP Exempt Trust Dated August 24, 1995 (ICA, 9/30/14)(s.d.o., affirmed). Pro se appeal of Judgment for Trust/Trustee (First Hawaiian Bank). The Appellant/beneficiaries’ arguments were all rejected on appeal, including: doctrine of laches, refusal to grant discovery, the Master READ MORE

HawSupCt Accepts Cert: ICA Reversed SJ Against Implied Easement Claims

The Malulani Group, Ltd. fka Magoon Brothers, Ltd. v. Kaupo Ranch, Ltd. (HawSupCt, 9/19/14). Update: the HawSupCt accepted cert in this case on 9/19/14.   The following is a summary of the ICA action. Real property access/easement dispute. Plaintiff’s 20-acre Hana parcel was surrounded READ MORE

ICA Reverses SJ For Lender In Foreclosure Case

The Bank of New York Mellon v. R. Onaga, Inc. (ICA, 9/18/14)(s.d.o., vacated and remanded). Foreclosure case. Circuit Court entered SJ against defendants in favor of lender. On appeal, held: the declaration by an employee of the bank’s servicing agent (and exhibits) did READ MORE

ICA Vacates Judgment for Plaintiff in Election Law Challenge

Babson v. Nago (ICA, 9/17/14)(mem.op., vacated). Election law case. Circuit Court granted SJ for Plaintiffs, issuing a permanent injunction enjoining the state from adopting voluntary voting system guidelines and use of telephone lines to transmit ballot counts and election results without formal rule-making. READ MORE

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