Saturday, June 22, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Big Island Council Candidate’s Eligibility
By Robert Thomas @ 11:42 PM :: 6092 Views :: Judiciary, Office of Elections

Cinematic Rude Awakenings from Roman Holiday on Vimeo.

HAWSCT To Decide On Timing Of Voter Registration Appeals: When Is An Appeal "Filed?"

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, May 20, 2016

If there's one thing that makes lawyers sit bolt upright in a sweat at 3 am, it's the prospect of missing a jurisdictional deadline. A statute of limitations, a notice of appeal. Come on, you know you've been there. Keep your carrier's number on speed dial.

Well here's one that might help you sleep better by making the rules for when and how to file more clear, at least in voter registration challenges.

On May 11, 2016, the Hawaii Supreme Court accepted certiorari and agreed to review the Intermediate Court of Appeals' unpublished memorandum opinion which upheld the dismissal by the Big Island's Board of Registration of a voter registration challenge. The ICA held that the appeal to the BoR was not timely filed even though the challenger mailed the appeal to the state's Office of Elections (located on Oahu) within the 10-day time limit, because it was not received in that window.

This is a challenge to a candidate's voter registration for not being a resident of the district. In these cases, the County Clerk makes the initial determination, reviewed by a county's BoR, with appeal to the ICA. The Big Island clerk determined that the candidate was indeed a resident of the district in which he registered. The challengers filed an appeal with the BoR by putting it in the mail addressed to the Office of Elections' Pearl City, Oahu, office. It arrived on after the deadline. Nightmare time.

We put it in the mail within the deadline, the challengers argued, and in civil litigation, putting something in the mail gives you a couple of extra days. Nope, concluded the ICA, the statute requires the appeal be "filed" within 10 days, and filed means received by the Office of Elections, not sent. That rule of civil procedure which gives extra time in civil cases? Not applicable here, this isn't civil litigation subject to the Rules of Civil Procedure, but is governed by the statute. And the statute says "filed" with no mention of any mailbox rule. And that extra day because of Discoverers' Day? Not a state holiday, so that doesn't help either.  

The Supreme Court's order accepting cert did not schedule oral argument, so unless one party requests it and the court agrees, we're probably not going to get an early sense of why the justices took up this case, or which way they might be leaning. But it does seem like two threads intersect in this case. On one hand, the need for quick resolution and repose in election law cases. The court tends to view election-related challenges through a very narrow lens, with the idea that they need to be resolved quickly and subject to exacting standards. A rule that the 10-day deadline must be strictly complied with would further that. On the other, however, the court might be bothered by the practicalities here: there was no place on the Big Island where the appellants could file in person, so what were they supposed to do, get on a flight and bring it over to Oahu? Or do non-Oahu challengers just have less time to appeal? This seems like an unfair and unequal burden on neighbor island challengers.

Stay tuned, and sleep tight.

PDF: Hyland v. Gonzales, No. CAAP-15-0000053 (Haw. App. Feb. 10, 2016)



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii