Report Title:

Judiciary; Circuit Courts

 

Description:

Transfers from the supreme court to the circuit court original jurisdiction over contested issues relating to elections, the state budget, the procurement code, the Hawaii tourism authority, and the Hawaii community development authority.

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1457

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE hAWAII SUPREME COURT.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Section 11-172, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-172 Contests for cause; generally. With respect to any election, any candidate, or qualified political party directly interested, or any thirty voters of any election district, may file a complaint in the [supreme] circuit court[.] in the circuit in which the complainant or complainants reside. The complaint shall set forth any cause or causes, such as but not limited to, provable fraud, overages, or underages, that could cause a difference in the election results. The complaint [shall] also shall set forth any reasons for reversing, correcting, or changing the decisions of the precinct officials or the officials at a counting center in an election using the electronic voting system. A copy of the complaint shall be delivered to the chief election officer or the clerk in the case of county elections. Any party aggrieved by the final decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 2. Section 11-173.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-173.5 Contests for cause in primary, special primary elections, and county elections held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election. (a) In primary and special primary election contests, and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the [supreme] circuit court of the circuit in which the complainant or complainants reside not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixth day after a primary or special primary election, or county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, and shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court. The clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the [supreme] circuit court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day after service thereof.

(b) In primary and special primary election contests, and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, the court shall hear the contest in a summary manner and at the hearing the court shall cause the evidence to be reduced to writing and [shall], not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day after the return, shall give judgment fully stating all findings of fact and of law. The judgment shall decide what candidate was nominated or elected, as the case may be, in the manner presented by the petition, and a certified copy of the judgment shall forthwith be served on the chief election officer or the county clerk, as the case may be, who shall place the name of the candidate declared to be nominated on the ballot for the forthcoming general, special general, or runoff election. [The judgment shall be conclusive of the right of the candidate so declared to be nominated; provided that this subsection shall not operate to amend or repeal section 12-41.]

(c) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 3. Section 11-174.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-174.5 Contests for cause in general, special general, special, and runoff elections. (a) In general, special general, special, or runoff elections, the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the [supreme] circuit court of the circuit in which the complainant or complainants reside not later than 4:30 p.m. on the twentieth day following the general, special general, special, or runoff election and shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court. The clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the [supreme] circuit court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day after service thereof.

(b) In cases involving general, special general, special, or runoff elections the complaint shall be heard by the [supreme] circuit court in which the complaint was filed as soon as it reasonably may be heard. On the return day, the court, upon its motion or otherwise, may direct summons to be issued to any person who may be interested in the result of the proceedings.

At the hearing, the court shall cause the evidence to be reduced to writing and shall give judgment, stating all findings of fact and of law. The judgment may invalidate the general, special general, special, or runoff election on the grounds that a correct result cannot be ascertained because of a mistake or fraud on the part of the precinct officials; or decide that a certain candidate, or certain candidates, received a majority or plurality of votes cast and were elected. If the judgment should be that the general, special general, special, or runoff election was invalid, a certified copy thereof shall be filed with the governor, and the governor shall duly call a new election to be held not later than [one hundred twenty] one-hundred-twenty days after the judgment is filed. If the court shall decide which candidate or candidates have been elected, a copy of that judgment shall be served on the chief election officer or county clerk, who shall sign and deliver to the candidate or candidates certificates of election, and the same shall be conclusive of the right of the candidate or candidates to the offices.

(c) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 4. Section 11-175, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-175 Powers of [supreme] circuit court; costs. The [supreme] circuit court may compel the attendance of witnesses, punish contempts, and do whatsoever else may be necessary [fully] to determine the proceedings, and enforce its decrees therein. The court may make [such special rules] orders as it [may find] deems necessary or proper[.] to expedite the proceedings. The costs shall be as provided by the supreme court by rule."

SECTION 5. Section 37D-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]37D-9[]] Litigation; jurisdiction. The director of finance may petition the [supreme] circuit court of the first circuit for an opinion as to the validity of any financing or related agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The petition shall constitute a [case] civil proceeding for purposes of section [602-5,] 603-21.5(a)(3), and the [supreme] circuit court of the first circuit shall have exclusive and original jurisdiction to receive and determine the question presented in the petition, irrespective of an actual controversy or dispute regarding the agreement or its validity. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 6. Section 103D-709, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) Hearings to review and determine any request made pursuant to subsection (a) shall commence within twenty-one calendar days of receipt of the request. The hearings officers shall have power to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, hear testimony, find facts, make conclusions of law, and issue a written decision which shall be final and conclusive unless a person or governmental body adversely affected by the decision commences an appeal in the [supreme] circuit court under section 103D-710."

SECTION 7. Section 103D-710, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"103D-710 Judicial review. (a) Only parties to proceedings under section 103D-709 who are aggrieved by a final decision of a hearings officer under that section may apply for judicial review of that decision. The proceedings for review shall be instituted in the [supreme court.] circuit court of the first circuit.

(b) An application for judicial review shall not operate as a stay of the decision rendered under section 103D-709.

(c) Within twenty calendar days of the filing of an application for judicial review in the [supreme] circuit court, the hearings officer shall transmit the record of the administrative proceedings to the [supreme] circuit court.

(d) The review shall be scheduled as expeditiously as practicable. It shall be conducted on the record of the administrative proceedings, and briefs and oral argument. No new evidence shall be introduced in the [appellate] circuit court, except that the court may, if evidence is offered which is clearly newly discovered evidence and material to the just decision of the appeal, admit the same.

(e) Upon review of the record the court may affirm the decision of the hearings officer issued pursuant to section 103D-709 or remand the case with instructions for further proceedings; or it may reverse or modify the decision and order if substantial rights may have been prejudiced because the administrative findings, conclusions, decisions, or orders are:

(1) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;

(2) In excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the chief procurement officer or head of the purchasing agency;

(3) Made upon unlawful procedure;

(4) Affected by other error of law;

(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record; or

(6) Arbitrary, or capricious, or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion."

SECTION 8. Section 103D-712, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) Requests for judicial review under section 103D-710 shall be filed in the [supreme] circuit court within ten calendar days after the issuance of a written decision by the hearings officer under section 103D-709."

SECTION 9. Section 201B-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]201B-15[]] Court proceedings; preferences; venue. Any action or proceeding to which the authority, the State, or the county may be a party, in which any question arises as to the validity of this chapter, shall be preferred over all other civil cases, except election cases, in any court of this State and shall be heard and determined in preference to all other civil cases pending therein except election cases, irrespective of position on the calendar. The same preference shall be granted upon application of counsel to the authority in any action or proceeding questioning the validity of this chapter in which the authority may be allowed to intervene. In addition to the preference provided in this section, any action or proceeding to which the authority, the State, or the county may be party, in which any question arises as to the validity of [this chapter or any portion of this chapter, or] any action of the authority may be filed in [the supreme] any circuit court of the State, which court is hereby vested with original jurisdiction over the action. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, declaratory relief from the [supreme] circuit court may be obtained for any action. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 10. Section 206E-20, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"206E-20 Court proceedings; preferences; venue. Any action or proceeding to which the authority, the State, or the county may be a party, in which any question arises as to the validity of this chapter, shall be preferred over all other civil cases, except election cases, in any circuit court of this State and shall be heard and determined in preference to all other civil cases pending therein except election cases, irrespective of position on the calendar. The same preference shall be granted upon application of counsel to the authority in any action or proceeding questioning the validity of this chapter in which the authority may be allowed to intervene. In addition to the preference provided in this section, any [such] action or proceeding to which the authority, the State, or the county may be a party, in which any question arises as to the validity of this chapter or any portion of this chapter, may be filed in [the supreme] any circuit court of the State, which court is hereby vested with original jurisdiction over [such] the action, and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, declaratory relief may be obtained for [any such] the action. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 11. Section 206G-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]206G-10[]] Court proceedings; preferences; venue. Any action or proceeding to which the commission, the State, or the county may be a party, in which any question arises as to the validity of this chapter, shall be preferred over all other civil cases, except election cases, in any circuit court of this State and shall be heard and determined in preference to all other civil cases pending therein except election cases, irrespective of position on the calendar. The same preference shall be granted upon application of counsel to the commission in any action or proceeding questioning the validity of this chapter in which the commission may be allowed to intervene. In addition to the preference provided in this section, any [such] action or proceeding to which the commission, the State, or the county may be a party, in which any question arises as to the validity of this chapter or any portion of this chapter, may be filed in [the supreme] any circuit court of the State, which court is hereby vested with original jurisdiction over the action, and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, declaratory relief may be obtained for [any such] the action. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the circuit court may appeal in accordance with part I of chapter 641 and the appeal shall be given priority."

SECTION 12. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 13. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 14. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2001.

INTRODUCED BY:

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