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Pearson v. Administrative Dir. of Courts

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai'i

December 19, 2014

RYAN PEARSON, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COURTS, STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent-Appellee

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the Hawai'i reporter

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT HONOLULU DIVISION. (CASE NO. 1DAA-14-0002).

On the briefs: Samuel P. King, Jr., for Petitioner-Appellant.

Marissa Luning, Deputy Solicitor General, for Respondent-Appellee.

Nakamura, Chief Judge, Leonard and Reifurth, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Petitioner-Appellant Ryan Pearson (Pearson) appeals from the Judgment on Appeal filed on February 11, 2014, in the Honolulu Division of the District Court of the First Circuit (District Court) and challenges the District Court's Decision and Order Affirming Administrative Revocation filed on February 7, 2014.[1]

Pearson raises a single point of error, contending that the District Court erred in refusing to vacate the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office's (ADLRO's) decision to sustain the revocation of Pearson's driver's license on the grounds that he was denied his right to an expeditious hearing.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, we resolve Pearson's point of error as follows:

Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-38(a) (Supp. 2013) provides: (1) a schedule for the commencement of an ADLRO hearing, in-this case, within twenty-five days from the date the notice of administrative revocation was issued; and (2) that " the director may continue the hearing only as provided in subsection (j)." HRS § 291E-38(j) (Supp. 2013) provides (emphasis added):

(j) For good cause shown, the director may grant a continuance either of the commencement of the hearing or of a hearing that has already commenced. If a continuance is granted at the request of the director, the director shall extend the validity of the temporary permit, unless otherwise prohibited, for a period not to exceed the period of the continuance. If a continuance is granted at the request of the respondent, the director shall not extend the validity of the temporary permit. For purposes of this section, a continuance means a delay in the commencement of the hearing or an interruption of a hearing that has commenced, other than for recesses during the day or at the end of the day or week. The absence from the hearing of a law enforcement officer or other person, upon whom personal service of a subpoena has been made as set forth in subsection (g), constitutes good cause for a continuance.

Here, two continuances were granted " due to the absence from the hearing of a law enforcement officer or other person, upon whom personal service of a subpoena has been made" and thus for " good cause" as defined in the statute.[2] We decline to conclude that the total period of four-and-one-half months between the notice and the hearing was per se overly burdensome, violated Pearson's right to an expeditious hearing, and thus mandated dismissal. Therefore, we conclude that the ADLRO hearing officer did not abuse her discretion in granting the continuances, and thus the District Court did not err in affirming the administrative revocation.

For these reasons, the District Court's February 11, 2014 Judgment on Appeal is affirmed.


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