Report Title:

Consumer Actions

Description:

Establishes, if a constitutional amendment authorizes it, a right of a consumer to bring an action for declaratory relief for any new law enacted by the legislature that has, as its primary impact, a negative economic impact on consumers.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

103

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO CONSUMER ACTIONS.

 

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

SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"CHAPTER

CONSUMER RIGHT OF ACTION

   -1 Right of the consumer. The legislature shall not enact any law whose primary impact is an economic impact on the consumer, unless the impact is a beneficial one.

   -2 Enforcement. Any consumer in this State, upon the effective date of this Act, may bring an action for declaratory relief in the circuit court of the circuit in which the consumer resides on the ground that the law complained of violates the right of the consumer as set forth in section    -1. The circuit court, in its discretion, may permit the joinder of other consumers or the consolidation of suits filed simultaneously on the same grounds.

   -3 Limitation on number of actions. There shall be no more than one action brought before the circuit court challenging any single law on the grounds that it violates section    -1.

   -4 Vigorous prosecution. Any consumer who brings or joins a lawsuit under this chapter shall prosecute the action diligently. Failure to do so will permit the court, in its discretion, to dismiss the plaintiff from the lawsuit and substitute another consumer if another consumer so moves.

   -5 Costs and fees. A consumer who brings a successful action under this chapter shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

   -6 Review of the law. In reviewing a law challenged under this chapter, the court shall first determine, as best it can from the text of the law and legislative materials, what the primary intent of the law is. If the court determines that the primary intent is an economic impact on consumers as a class in the State, the court shall next decide whether the impact is positive or negative. If the court finds that different classes of consumers would be subject to different impacts, the court shall determine whether, as to the majority of the whole class, the law has a positive or negative impact.

   -7 Effective of judgment. Upon a finding that the law violates the rights set forth in section    -1, the court shall enter a declaratory judgment voiding the parts of the law that have the negative impact. If the court finds that part of the law cannot be voided without substantially changing the intent of the law, the whole law shall be voided. Any portion of the law so voided shall be deemed void from the effective date of that law."

SECTION 2. This Act, upon its approval, shall take effect upon ratification of a constitutional amendment prohibiting the legislature from enacting any law whose primary impact is a negative economic impact on consumers in the State.

INTRODUCED BY:

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