THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2090

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT OF THE UNIFORM INFORMATION PRACTICES ACT.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. Section 92F-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"92F-15 Judicial enforcement. (a) A person aggrieved by a denial of access to a government record may bring an action against the agency at any time within two years after the agency denial to compel disclosure.

(b) In an action to compel disclosure, the circuit court shall hear the matter de novo; provided that if the action to compel disclosure is brought because an agency has not made a record available as required by section 92F-15.5(b) after the office of information practices has made a decision to disclose the record and the agency has not appealed that decision within the time period provided by 92F-43, the decision of the office of information practices shall not be subject to challenge by the agency in the action to compel disclosure. 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 in an action to compel disclosure brought by an aggrieved person after the office of information practices upheld the agency's denial of access to the person as provided in section 92F-15.5(b), the opinion or ruling upholding the agency's denial of access shall be reviewed de novo. The circuit court may examine the government record at issue, in camera, to assist in determining whether it, or any part of it, may be withheld.

(c) The agency has the burden of proof to establish justification for nondisclosure. No later than 30 days after service of process, the agency shall file a motion for summary judgment in support of its denial of access to the government record that is presently before the court; provided that the court may extend the 30 day deadline if doing so is in the interest of justice. If the agency does not timely file a motion for summary judgment, the circuit court shall order immediate disclosure of the government record, except to the extent prohibited by law.

(d) If the complainant prevails in an action brought under this section, the court shall assess against the agency reasonable attorney's fees and all other expenses reasonably incurred in the litigation.

(e) The circuit court in the judicial circuit in which the request for the record is made, where the requested record is maintained, or where the agency's headquarters are located shall have jurisdiction over an action brought under this section.

(f) Except as to cases the circuit court considers of greater importance, proceedings before the court, as authorized by this section, and appeals therefrom, take precedence on the docket over all cases and shall be assigned for hearing and trial or for argument at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.

(g) Either party may appeal the decision of the circuit court. An appellate court shall uphold the circuit court decision to compel disclosure unless that decision was palpably erroneous; provided that any decision or portion of a decision affirming the agency's denial of access shall be reviewed de novo. Enforcement of a circuit court decision to compel disclosure is stayed automatically for 14 days after its entry, during which time the agency may petition the supreme court for a determination that the circuit court's decision to compel disclosure is palpably erroneous. If the agency timely files a petition, the complainant may file a response within 7 days after service. After a timely petition, enforcement of the circuit court's decision is stayed pending the supreme court's determination."

SECTION 2. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Judicial Enforcement and Review; Request for Government Records; Time for Agency to Appeal; Appeals and Stays

 

Description:

Clarifies and expands procedural requirements for judicial review of an agency's denial of access to a government record. Provides procedural requirements and standards of review upon appeal. (SD1)

 

 

 

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