Peer News LLC v. City & County of Honolulu

Online publication Civil Beat challenged the Honolulu Police Department’s policy (since 2001) to deny all public records requests for files concerning police officers suspended for misconduct. Civil Beat had requested the files for 12 officers suspended for assaults, falsification of records or obstruction of an investigation, hit-and-runs, or other unspecified criminal conduct. On March 27, 2014, Judge Karl Sakamoto ordered disclosure of the requested records. The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) appealed the decision.  On June 9, 2016, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the HPD policy that denied all requests for police disciplinary suspension files as confidential, but vacated the circuit court’s disclosure order and remanded for the circuit court to weigh the privacy interests of the officers against the public interest in disclosure as to each of the twelve disciplinary incidents.  No. SCAP-14-889 (ICA Nos. CAAP-14-681 & CAAP-14-889).  On remand, the case was before Judge Gary W.B. Chang.  On January 5, 2022, Judge Chang ordered release of the records.  Civil No. 13-1-2981-11 GWBC.

Released Records