Hawaii: bills in House/Senate would change state supreme court’s jurisdiction back to old “deflector” system; force Supreme Court to decide some cases in 15 days

Hawaii’s Supreme Court and Intermediate Court of Appeals had, for decades, operated using a “deflector” system: appeals were filed with the Supreme Court which then either kept the case or “deflected” it down to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The system ended in 2006 and now appeals can be filed directly with the Intermediate Court of Appeals, but some legislators want a return to the old system and add a 15 day deadline for others.

HB 2191 / SB 3040 effectively repeal the 2006 changes and re-establish the deflector system.

HB 2194 / SB 3019 would add to the Supreme Court’s docket as well. The bills provide that a court of inferior jurisdiction may certify to the Hawaii Supreme Court a question or proposition of law on which the court of inferior jurisdiction seeks instruction for the proper decision of a remanded case. Finally they require the Supreme Court to answer the question within 15 calendar days.