Judges for Justice v. Nakamoto

Judges for Justice, a Washington nonprofit, filed a motion to unseal in In re Schweitzer, S.P. No. 07-1-0007.  The only filings in the case (two stipulations) had been sealed without explanation.  The motion to unseal outlined the recent Hawaii Supreme Court cases that require a circuit court to explain why filings continue to be sealed.  The Honorable Henry T. Nakamoto denied the motion to unseal and ordered monetary sanctions ($17,075.11) against Judges for Justice because it was not a party to the Schweitzer proceeding.  On February 21, 2020, Judges for Justice filed a petition for writs of prohibition and mandamus with the Hawaii Supreme Court, challenging the continued sealing without justification as well as the refusal to consider, and order of sanctions for filing, a non-party motion to unseal.  On September 9, 2020, the Hawaii Supreme Court denied the petition in light of a pending appeal filed by Judges for Justice to challenge the imposition of sanctions.  No. SCPW-20-85.


Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert (Robert Thomas and Mark Murakami) represents Judges for Justice in its appeal of the order denying the motion to unseal and imposing sanctions.  On November 30, 2020, Judges for Justice asked the Hawaii Supreme Court to transfer the case, but the supreme court declined.  On June 15, 2021, the ICA vacated the circuit court order denying unsealing, reversed the sanctions, and remanded for a hearing before the circuit court on the Judges for Justice motion to unseal.  Nos. CAAP-20-374, SCAP 20-374.