Electronically Filed Supreme Court SCEC-12-0000716 27-AUG-2012 02:17 PM
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND JUDGMENT
(By: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, Acoba, McKenna and Pollack, JJ.)
We have considered the August 16, 2012 election complaint filed by Plaintiff Martin Han and the declaration and documents appended thereto, and the August 23, 2012 motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Scott Nago. Having heard this matter without oral argument and in accordance with HRS § 11-173.5(b) (2009) (requiring the supreme court to "give judgment fully stating all findings of fact and of law"), we set forth the following findings of fact and conclusions of law and enter the following judgment.
1. Plaintiff Martin Han ("Han") was one of three candidates for the District 7 seat on the Honolulu City Council in the August 11, 2012 first special election for the City and County of Honolulu, which was held on conjunction with the primary election.
2. The election results for the District 7 seat on the Honolulu City Council were: (1) Joey Manahan: 7,123 votes (51.0%); (2) Martin Han: 3,469 votes (24.8%); and (3) Lillian Hong: 1,784 votes (12.8%).
3. On August 16, 2012, Han filed a complaint challenging the election results. Han named Joey Manahan ("Manahan"), his opponent in the election, Romy Cachola ("Cachola"), the current District 7 councilmember who was unable to run for a seat on the Honolulu City Council due to term limits but ran as a Democratic candidate for the District 30 seat in the State House of Representatives, and Scott Nago ("Nago"), the chief election officer for the State of Hawaii, as defendants. The record, however, is devoid of any evidence that the city clerk for the City and County of Honolulu was named a defendant. 4. Han contends that Manahan received an increase in votes by violating Hawaii's electioneering law (HRS § 11-132 (2009)) and "work[ing] together for votes" with Cachola.
5. Han alleges that: (a) Manahan violated HRS § 11- 132 by displaying campaign posters less than two hundred feet from two polling places on the day of the election; (b) Manahan violated HRS § 11-132 by "purposefully le[aving] his campaign signs within the 200 foot perimeter of two polling areas to influence the approximately 40% undecided voters;" and (c) the "unusually high amount of absentee ballots in Representative District Precinct 30-02 . . . may indicate voter fraud in District 7".
6. Han seeks the following relief: (a) Judgment ordering that Han's name appear on the ballot for the November 6, 2012 general election; (b) Judgment ordering the Office of Elections to review and compare the absentee voter names for the absentee votes that Manahan and Cachola received from Representative District Precinct 30-02; (c) Judgment ordering the Office of Elections to review the absentee ballots for the absentee votes that Manahan and Cachola received from Representative District Precinct 30-02 for actual signatures compared to an "X" marking; (d) Judgment ordering that the absentee voters from Representative District Precinct 30-02 who voted for Manahan and Cachola be interviewed "to determine if their ballots were handled correctly or if there was any coercion by any public official or persons acting on behalf of a public official;" (e) Judgment ordering that the absentee ballots from Representative Precinct 32-02 be reviewed and recounted; (f)
Judgment finding that Manahan and Nago violated HRS § 11-132; and (g) "[O]ther judicial determinations and orders necessary to effectuate Defendant Manahan and Defendant Nago's responsibility in the violation of HRS § 11-132."
7. Defendant Nago moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to name a necessary and indispensable party and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
8. Defendants Manahan and Cachola were served with the complaint and summons on August 24, 2012 and August 25, 2012, respectively. The time for them to respond has not yet expired but neither response is ...