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Shuman v. Department of the Medical Examiner

On January 3, 2024, Angus Mitchell died suddenly at his home.  Under those circumstances, the Honolulu Medical Examiner has a statutory duty to investigate the cause of death.  In the ordinary course, pursuant to well-established precedent and practice, the Medical Examiner would prepare an autopsy report and disclose that report to anyone who requests a copy.

The decedent Angus Mitchell, however, was the son of the late hairstylist Paul Mitchell and co-owner of the related global beauty product company.  His estate hired attorneys in an effort to prevent disclosure of the autopsy report.  Public First filed a request to submit an amicus curiae (friend of the court) memorandum of law to explain why there is no basis to withhold access to autopsy reports.  On April 1, Judge Kevin T. Morikone entered a public notation on the docket that Plaintiffs had alerted the Court that the Medical Examiner already disclosed the records publicly, so Judge Morikone held that no further action is necessary on the temporary restraining order.