STAND. COM. REP. NO. 390
RE: H.B. No. 570
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 570, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Expand the time period by which a civil action for childhood sexual abuse may be initiated;
(3) Allow victims to recover treble damages in certain circumstances; and
(4) Allow a court to order the personnel of a legal entity against whom a claim is brought to undergo training on trauma-informed response to sexual abuse allegations.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Imua Alliance, CHILD USA, CHILD USAdvocacy, Talbert Law LLLC, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, and eight individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that survivors of childhood sexual abuse often do not divulge the truth of their abuse until adulthood, with some survivors delaying disclosure for fifty years or more. This measure will provide victims of childhood sexual abuse a better opportunity to seek justice.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that a certificate of merit filed by the attorney for a plaintiff in a civil action arising from sexual offenses must be electronically filed under seal;
(2) Adding language to provide greater flexibility for different approaches to what may constitute "trauma-informed response"; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 570, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 570, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,
MARK M. NAKASHIMA, Chair