92F-27 Civil actions and remedies. (a) An individual may bring a civil action against an agency in a circuit court of the State whenever an agency fails to comply with any provision of this part, and after appropriate administrative remedies under sections 92F-23, 92F-24, and 92F-25 have been exhausted.

(b) Opinions and rulings of the office of information practices shall be admissible and shall be considered as precedent unless found to be palpably erroneous, except that the opinion or ruling upholding the agency's denial of access to the aggrieved person shall be reviewed de novo. The circuit court may examine the record at issue, in camera, to assist in determining whether it, or any part of it, may be withheld.

(c) In any action brought under this section the court may order the agency to correct or amend the complainant's personal record, to require any other agency action, or to enjoin such agency from improper actions as the court may deem necessary and appropriate to render substantial relief.

(d) In any action brought under this section in which the court determines that the agency knowingly or intentionally violated a provision of this part, the agency shall be liable to the complainant in an amount equal to the sum of:

(1) Actual damages sustained by the complainant as a result of the failure of the agency to properly maintain the personal record, but in no case shall an individual complainant entitled to recovery receive less than the sum of $1,000; and

(2) The costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

(e) The court may assess reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred against the agency in any case in which the complainant has substantially prevailed, and against the complainant where the charges brought against the agency were frivolous.

(f) An action may be brought in the circuit court where the complainant resides, the complainant's principal place of business is situated, or the complainant's relevant personal record is situated. No action shall be brought later than two years after notification of the agency denial, or where applicable, the date of receipt of the final determination of the office of information practices. [L 1988, c 262, pt of 1; am L 1989, c 192, 8; am L 2012, c 176, 5]

 

Cross References

 

Vexatious litigants, see chapter 634J.

 

Law Journals and Reviews

 

2013 Law and Administrative Rules Governing Appeal Procedures of Hawaii's Office of Information Practices. 36 UH L. Rev. 271 (2014).

 

 

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