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Schwartz v. State

Supreme Court of Hawaii

November 19, 2015

SANDRA KAY SCHWARTZ, Petitioner/Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF HAWAI'I, Respondent/Respondent-Appellee

Page 1162

CERTIORARI TO THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS. CAAP-10-0000199; DC-S.P. NO. 10-1-0005; CASE NO. 2DTA-08-00292.

Hayden Aluli for petitioner.

Renee Ishikawa Delizo for respondent.

McKENNA AND POLLACK, JJ., AND CIRCUIT JUDGE KIM, ASSIGNED BY REASON OF VACANCY; WITH NAKAYAMA, J., CONCURRING SEPARATELY, WITH WHOM RECKTENWALD, C.J., JOINS.

OPINION

Page 1163

[136 Hawai'i 260] Richard W. Pollack, J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Sandra Schwartz applied for a writ of certiorari from the judgment on appeal of the Intermediate Court of Appeals to determine whether omission of an element of a charged offense renders the trial court without subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. We find no deficiency of jurisdiction and affirm the judgment on appeal, but for the reasons stated herein.

II BACKGROUND.

On February 20, 2008, the State of Hawai'i (State) filed a two-count criminal traffic complaint against Sandra Schwartz (Schwartz) in the District Court of the Second Circuit (district court). Count One alleged commission of the offense of Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVUII), in violation of Hawai'i Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-61(a) (2007).[1] The complaint charged Count One as follows:

That on or about the 26th day of January, 2008, in the Division of Lahaina, County of Maui, State of Hawaii, SANDRA KAY SCHWARTZ did operate or assume actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant meaning that she was under the influence of alcohol in an amount sufficient to impair her normal mental faculties or ability to care for herself and guard against casualty, thereby committing the offense of Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant in violation of Section 291E-61 (a) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The complaint did not allege that the offense took place on a public way, street, road, or highway.[2]

On April 2, 2008, Schwartz pleaded guilty to the OVUII charge.[3] At the change of plea hearing, counsel for Schwartz stated, " Your Honor, we are in receipt of a written complaint. We waive oral reading of the written complaint." The court examined Schwartz with respect to her ...


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