Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 217

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 217, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require that when an officer has custody of a child under the age of 16 for an alleged violation of law, the child shall consult with legal counsel before the child waives any constitutional rights and before any custodial interrogation.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Rainbow Family 808, Community Alliance on Prisons, and Human Rights for Kids.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu and Honolulu Police Department.


     Your Committee finds that custodial interrogation of an individual by the State requires the individual be advised of the individual's rights to make a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of those rights before the interrogation proceeds.  Your Committee further finds that children generally lack the maturity and experience to effectively understand and assert their rights.  However, your Committee additionally finds that requiring children to assert their right to legal counsel is potentially vulnerable to constitutional challenge.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Requiring that a child in custody have contact with legal counsel or a parent or legal guardian instead of mandating consultation with legal counsel; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     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 H.B. No. 217, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 217, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


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