APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIFTH CIRCUIT (CIVIL NO. 10-1-0186)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Foley, J.
FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER
FOLEY, PRESIDING J., REIFURTH AND GINOZA, JJ.
OPINION OF THE COURT BY FOLEY, J.
Plaintiff-Appellant Steven Nishimura (Nishimura), in his official capacity as the Chairman of the Kauai County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, appeals from the Final Judgment filed on September 14, 2010 in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit *fn1 (circuit court). The circuit court dismissed Nishimura's Verified Complaint against Defendant- Appellee Harry E. Williams (Williams) and entered judgment in favor of Williams and against Nishimura.
On August 19, 2010, Nishimura filed a Verified Complaint, alleging in relevant part:
3. Plaintiff [Nishimura] is the Chairman of the Kauai County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
4. Defendant [Williams] is a nominee in the Republican primary election for the 14th District.
5. Scott T. Nago (Nago) is the State of Hawaii's Chief Election Officer.
6. [Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §] 12-3.
Nomination Papers; format; limitations. [sic] states in part:
(a) No candidate's name shall be printed upon any official ballot to be used at any primary, special primary, or special election unless a nomination paper was filed [on] the candidate's behalf and in the name by which the candidate is commonly known. The nomination paper shall be in a form prescribed and provided by the chief election officer containing substantially the following information:
(6) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath by the candidate that the candidate qualifies under the law for the office the candidate is seeking and that the candidate has determined that, except for the information provided by the registered voters signing the nomination papers, all of the information on the nomination papers is true and correct;
(7) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath by a party candidate that the candidate is a member of the party;
(f) Nomination papers which are incomplete and do not contain all of the certifications, signatures, and requirements of this section shall be void and will not be accepted for filing by the chief election officer or clerk. (Emphas[e]s added.)
7. HRS [§] 12-7. Filing of oath., [sic] states in part:
The name of no candidate for any office shall be printed upon any official ballot, in any election, unless the candidate shall have taken and subscribed to the following written oath or affirmation, and filed the oath with the candidate's nomination papers.
The oath or affirmation shall be subscribed before the officer administering the same, who shall endorse thereon the fact that the oath was subscribed and sworn to or the affirmation was made together with the date thereof and affix the seal of the officer's office or of the court of which the officer is a judge or clerk. It shall be the duty of every notary public or other public officer by law authorized to administer oaths to administer the oath or affirmation prescribed by this section and to furnish the required endorsement and authentication. (Emphas[e]s added.)
8. Williams' nomination papers for the 14th
District were filed after the statutory filing deadline of 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, 2010.
9. Williams' nomination papers were allowed to be filed after the statutory filing deadline by Nago based upon David R. Hamman's (Hamman) July 19, 2010 alleged "withdrawal" as a "candidate" for the 14th District.
10. On or about July 20, 2010, Nago allowed the
Republican Party three (3) additional days until 4:30 p.m. on July 22, 2010 to file nomination papers for a "replacement" nominee for the 14th District due to Hamman's "withdrawal" on July 19, 2010 from the 14th District Primary election.
11. On July 21, 2010 Williams obtained an Application for Nomination Papers for the 14th District.
12. On July 22, 2010 at 8:15 a.m., Williams filed his nomination papers to run in the Republican primary election for the 14th District.
13. Williams' nomination papers were filed on July 22, 2010 after the 4:30 p.m. July 20, 2010 statutory deadline, pursuant to Nago's erroneous application and interpretation of HRS [§] 12-1, et seq. and HRS [§] 11-117 and HRS [§] 11-118.
14. Nago's reliance on HRS [§] 11-117 and HRS [§] 11-118 to allow the Republican Party three (3) additional days to find a "replacement" ...