Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: S.B. No. 2685



Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii


Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2685 entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to toll or suspend the statute of limitations for civil actions against a defendant while the defendant is in prison serving a sentence for certain crimes that form the basis of the civil suit.

Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Judiciary, Attorney General, Department of Public Safety, Maui Prosecuting Attorney, and Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney. Testimony in opposition was received from the Public Defender.

The crimes covered by this measure are crimes that constitute sexually violent offenses and criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor. These crimes very often entail physical and mental injury to the victim, which form the basis of a separate civil cause of action. However, current law does not make exception to the running of the statute of limitations to file a civil suit if the defendant is incarcerated. This measure would require that the statute of limitations be tolled, enabling the victim to file the suit after the defendant is released from incarceration if there is still time available under the statute of limitations.

This measure also requires notification of the victim or surviving family of the victim if the incarcerated person receives any civil judgment or settlement or other income exceeding $10,000. Release from incarceration to parole would be preconditioned upon the incarcerated person paying restitution and judgments to the victim or victim's family, if the Hawaii Paroling Authority determines that the person is financially able to do so. This measure also provides immunity to the State and any county from damages in any lawsuit based upon these requirements.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2685 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,