§91-8  Declaratory rulings by agencies.  Any interested person may petition an agency for a declaratory order as to the applicability of any statutory provision or of any rule or order of the agency.  Each agency shall adopt rules prescribing the form of the petitions and the procedure for their submission, consideration, and prompt disposition.  Orders disposing of petitions in such cases shall have the same status as other agency orders. [L 1961, c 103, §8; Supp, §6C-8; HRS §91-8]


Case Notes


  Hawaii public employment relations board was empowered to make declaratory ruling regarding whether violation of collective bargaining agreement is a prohibited practice.  60 H. 436, 591 P.2d 113.

  Where an agency employee's only interest in obtaining a declaratory ruling from that agency stems from his or her work as an agency employee, that interest is insufficient to satisfy this section's standing requirements; where executive director's interest in filing the petition stemmed from the director's work as executive director, the Hawaii civil rights commission did not have jurisdiction to issue a declaratory order on the petition.  104 H. 158, 86 P.3d 449.

  Orders disposing of petitions for declaratory rulings under this section are appealable to the circuit court pursuant to §91-14; thus, circuit court had proper jurisdiction to review Hawaii labor relations board order.  107 H. 178, 111 P.3d 587.

  As both the title and the pertinent text make clear, the declaratory ruling procedure of this section is meant to provide a means of seeking a determination of whether and in what way some statute, agency rule, or order, applies to the factual situation raised by an interested person; it was not intended to allow review of concrete agency decisions for which other means of review are available.  114 H. 184, 159 P.3d 143.

  Where insurance commissioner's decision was appealable pursuant to §91-14 because it was an order disposing of a petition brought pursuant to this section, and plaintiff was a "person aggrieved" by the commissioner's decision because it faced increased competition from allegedly improperly licensed competitors in the managed care plan contract process, and the decision held that plaintiff's competitors were in fact properly licensed to offer the services required under those contracts, plaintiff had standing to appeal the insurance commissioner's decision.  126 H. 326, 271 P.3d 621.

  Out-of-state sex offender's pro se letter to state Attorney General inquiring as to whether the offender's offense was a "covered offense" that triggered a requirement to register if the offender vacationed in Hawaii should have been liberally construed as a petition for a declaratory ruling, notwithstanding that the offender mis-cited the appropriate statutory provision, where offender's letter to the appropriate agency unequivocally and timely sought to initiate administrative proceedings provided for by statute.  135 H. 390, 351 P.3d 1156 (2015).