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Hussey v. Say

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai'i

April 23, 2014

RAMONA HUSSEY, M. KA'IMILA NICHOLSON, NATALIA ANTONIA HUSSEY-BURDICK, BRENT S. DUPUIS, MARVIN D. HESKETT, and JOEL L. MERCHANT, Petitioners-Appellants,
v.
CALVIN K.Y. SAY, Respondent-Appellee

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT. SPECIAL PROCEEDING NO. 12-1-0736.

On the briefs: Lance D. Collins, for Petitioners-Appellants.

Bert T. Kobayashi, Jr., Maria Y. Wang, for Respondent-Appellee.

NAKAMURA, C.J., FOLEY AND LEONARD, JJ.

OPINION

Page 642

[133 Hawai'i 230] FOLEY, J.

Petitioners-Appellants Ramona Hussey, M. Ka'imila Nicholson, Natalia Antonia Hussey-Burdick, Brent S. Dupuis, Marvin D. Heskett, and Joel L. Merchant (Petitioners) appeal from: (1) the March 11, 2013 " Order Granting Respondent Calvin K.Y. Say's Motion to Dismiss Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto" (Order Granting Motion to Dismiss Petition); (2) the February 20, 2013 Denied " Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto; " and (3) the July 5, 2013 Final Judgment, all entered in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit [1] (circuit court).

Petitioners contend the circuit court erred by:

(1) finding it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear quo warranto actions challenging an individual's possession of title to office of representative when allegations have been averred that the individual is no longer a qualified voter of the representative district pursuant to article III, section 6 of the Hawai'i Constitution (rev. 1978); [2] and

Page 643

[133 Hawai'i 231] (2) finding a quo warranto action challenging an individual's possession of title to elected office when allegations have been averred that the individual is no longer a qualified voter of the representative district pursuant to article III, section 6 of the Hawai'i Constitution, was a voter registration challenge pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 11-25 (2009 Repl.).[3]

I. BACKGROUND

On December 31, 2012, Petitioners filed their Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto (Petition) with the circuit court pursuant to HRS § 659-4 (1993).[4] Petitioners alleged Respondent-Appellee Calvin K.Y. Say (Say), a member of the House of Representatives from the Twentieth Representative District, " has lived and continues to live at 2247 Star Road in Pauoa Valley in the Twenty Fifth Representative District and the house at 2247 Star Road is where his habitation is fixed; " and that " [Say] is registered to vote and claims legal residency at 1822 10th Avenue in Palolo Valley [(Palolo residence)] but previously admitted he does not actually live there . . . ." Petitioners sought a writ of quo warranto requiring Say " to appear before this Honorable [circuit c]ourt at a time certain and as soon as possible and answer unto petitioners and show by what warrant and authority he claims title."

In 2006, Say prevailed in two challenges to his voter registration, partly on the basis of his contention that his absence from his Palolo residence was " due to extraordinary circumstances relating to the provision of health and living assistance for a member of his family." Another ...


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