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Justice v. Fuddy

Justice v. Fuddy

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Appeals Court opinion upholding previous ruling denying an individual's request to inspect President Barack Obama's birth certificate.
Appeals Court opinion upholding previous ruling denying an individual's request to inspect President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

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Published by: Star-Advertiser Politics on Apr 07, 2011
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09/27/2011

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FORPUBLICATION
IN
WEST'SHAWAI'IREPORTSANDPACIFICREPORTER
ElectronicallyFiledIntermediateCourtofAppeals3017607-APR-201107:35AM
INTHEINTERMEDIATECOURTOFAPPEALSOFTHESTATEOFHAWAI'I
---000---
DR.ROBERTV.JUSTICE,anindividual,Plaintiff-Appellant,vs.LORETTAFUDDY,l/DirectoroftheDepartmentofHealth,andtheSTATEOFHAWAI'I-DEPARTMENTOFHEALTH,anagencyoftheStateofHawai'i,Defendants-Appellees.NO.30176APPEALFROMTHECIRCUITCOURTOFTHEFIRSTCIRCUIT(CIVILNO.09-1-0783)APRIL7,2011NAKAMURA,CHIEFJUDGE,andFUJISE,J.;withLEONARD,J.,concurringseparatelyOPINIONOFTHECOURTBYNAKAMURA,C.J.ThisappealinvolvesarequestfordisclosureofPresidentBarackObama'sbirthcertificateundertheHawai'iUniformInformationPracticesAct(Modified)(UIPA),HawaiiRevisedStatutes(HRS)Chapter92F.Plaintiff-AppellantDr.
1/Dr.ChiyomeFukino
l
M.D.(Dr.Fukino),wassuedinherofficialcapacityastheDirectoroftheDepartmentofHealthoftheStateofHawai'i.Dr.Fukino'stermasDirectorexpiredonDecember
6
1
2010,andthecurrentDirectorisLorettaFuddy.PursuanttoHawai'iRulesofAppellateProcedureRule43(c)(1)(2010)
I
DirectorLorettaFuddyhasbeensubstitutedasapartyforDr.Fukino.
 
FORPUBLICATIONINWEST'SHAWAI'IREPORTSANDPACIFICREPORTER
RobertV.Justice(Plaintiff),appearingprose,filedacomplaint,pursuanttotheUIPA,seekinganorderdirectingtheDepartmentofHealth(DOH)oftheStateofHawai'itopermithim"toinspectandcopy"PresidentObama'soriginalbirthcertificate.ThetrialcourtdismissedPlaintiff'scomplaintforfailuretostateaclaimuponwhichreliefcouldbegranted.TobeeligibletoserveasPresidentoftheUnitedStates,apersonmustbeanaturalborn
citizen.~1
PlaintiffseeksdisclosureofPresidentObama'sbirthcertificatesothatPlaintiffcanassurehimselfthatPresidentObamaiseligibletoserveasPresident.PlaintiffcontendsthatheisentitledtosuchdisclosurebasedonaprovisionoftheUIPAwhichrequiresthedisclosureof"[g]overnmentrecordspursuanttoashowingofcompellingcircumstancesaffectingthehealthorsafetyofanyindividual[.]"HRS
s
92F-12(b)(3)(1993).ThesoleargumentPlaintiffraisesonappeal,whichisalsotheonlyspecificbasisforreliefheassertedinthetrialcourt,isthathiscomplaintstatesaclaimforreliefunderthis"compellingcircumstances"provision.Thatprovision,however,isdirectedatrequiringaccesstorecordsinmedicalorsafetyemergencysituations.WeholdthatPlaintifffailedtostateaclaimforreliefbasedonthe"compellingcircumstances"provision(HRS
§
92F-12(b)).Accordingly,weaffirmthetrialcourt'sdismissalofPlaintiff'scomplaint.I.BACKGROUNDA.ByletterdatedDecember31,2008,PlaintiffwrotetoDr.ChiyomeFukino,M.D.(Dr.Fukino),whowasthentheDirectoroftheDOH(Director)
,11
"requestingtheinspectionoftheoriginalbirthcertificateforBarackHusseinObamaII,"pursuant
~/ArticleII,Section1oftheUnitedStatesConstitutionprovidesinrelevantpartthat"NoPersonexceptanaturalbornCitizen,oraCitizenoftheUnitedStates,atthetimeoftheAdoptionofthisConstitution,shallbeeligibletotheOfficeofPresident[.]"2/Seefootnote1,supra.
2
 
FORPUBLICATIONINWEST'SHAWAI'IREPORTSANDPACIFICREPORTER
totheUIPA.Plaintiffstatedthat"[t]heinspectionoftheoriginalbirthcertificatewillallowmeandotherfellowAmericanstodeterminewhetherornotMr.ObamaiseligibletoholdtheOfficeofPresident."TheDirectorrespondedbywritingalettertoPlaintiffdatedJanuary23,2009,denyingPlaintiff'srequest.TheDirectorexplainedthatHRS
§
338-18(b)(2010)prohibitedtheDOHfromdisclosingtoPlaintifftherecordshesoughtandthatHRS
§
92F-13(4)(1993)oftheUIPAdidnotrequiredisclosureofgovernmentrecordsprotectedfromdisclosurebystatelaw.OnApril7,2009,PlaintiffinstitutedtheinstantactionintheCircuitCourtoftheFirstCircuit(CircuitCourt)
il
byfilinga"ComplainttoCompelAgencytoDisclosePublicRecordsUndertheUniformInformationPracticesAct(UIPA)"againstDr.Fukino,inherofficialcapacityastheDirector,andtheDOH(collectively,"Defendants").Inhiscomplaint,Plaintiffallegedthathehadpreviouslyrequested,inaccordancewiththeUIPA,"accesstoandcopiesoftheallegedrecordsinthepossessionorcontrolof[theDOH]"andthathisrequesthadbeendeniedbytheDirector.PlaintiffattachedasexhibitstothecomplaintandincorporatedbyreferencetheDecember31,2008,letterhehadsenttotheDirectoraswellastheDirector'sresponse.Plaintiffassertedthatthe"specificdocumentrequestedisdetailedin[theDecember31,2008,letterhesenttothe
Director]."
Plaintiffsoughtajudgment,pursuanttotheUIPA,directingDefendants"topermitPlaintifftoinspectandcopytheallegedsubjectrecord(s)inthesupposedcustodyof[Defendants]towhichaccesshasbeendenied[.]"B.DefendantsfiledamotiontodismissPlaintiff'scomplaintpursuanttoHawai'iRulesofCivilProcedure(HRCP)
if
TheHonorableEdenElizabethHifopresided.
3

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