Justia Juvenile Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Hawaii
The Supreme Court vacated the order of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirming the judgment of the family court adjudicating Minor as a law violator for sexually assaulting the nine-year-old complaining witness (CW), holding that the exclusion of certain evidence proffered in this case was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.On appeal, Minor argued that the family court erred in excluding his proffered extrinsic evidence of CW's past false sexual assault allegations and by failing to make a preliminary determination as to the truth or falsity of those past sexual assault allegations. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA's judgment on appeal and the family court's decree, holding (1) if a defendant seeks to admit a complaining witness's false allegations of sexual assault, admissibility of such evidence is not subject to Haw. R. Evid. 412; and (2) the family court abused its discretion by excluding the proffered evidence based on the procedural requirements of Rule 412. View "In re GH" on Justia Law