Justia Consumer Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Hawaii
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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirming the district court's order on motion for summary judgment and judgment, holding that the ICA erred when it affirmed the district court regarding Plaintiff-buyers' claims alleging unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) remaining after summary judgment.Following the execution of two purchase agreements, Buyers took possession of the vehicle in dispute in this case, which, unbeknownst to Buyers at the time, had a defective clutch assembly. Seller refused to repair the vehicle at no cost to Buyers or to return Buyers' deposit. Buyers brought this action alleging that Seller had engaged in UDAP. The district court granted summary judgment for Seller and then entered judgment against Buyers on all remaining claims. The ICA affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the lower courts' judgments in part, holding that the district court erred in interpreting Haw. Rev. Stat. 481J-2 to conclude that the warranty for used motor vehicles does not cover a clutch assembly. View "Leong v. Honolulu Ford, Inc. " on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacating the district court’s order dismissing with prejudice Petitioners’ charges of one count of prostitution under Haw. Rev. Stat. 712-1200(1)(b) based on State v. Modica, 567 P.2d 420 (1977), holding that the ICA erred in determining that Petitioners’ due process and equal protection rights had not been violated.In their motions to dismiss, Petitioners argued that sections 712-1200(1)(a) and (1)(b) prohibited the same conduct but that subsection (1)(b) barred a harsher penalty and that, pursuant to Modica, where two crimes prohibit the same conduct, to convict them of the crime carrying the harsher penalty would violate their due process and equal protection rights. The district court agreed and dismissed the charges. The ICA disagreed, concluding that subsections (1)(a) and (1)(b) prohibited different conduct, and therefore, the district court erred in finding a Modica violation. The Supreme Court disagreed with the ICA and remanded these cases for further proceedings, holding that, based on the plain language of sections 712-1200(1)(a) and (1)(b), as they existed at the time Petitioners were charged, Petitioners’ charges violated the Modica rule. View "State v. Sasai" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Attorney alleging that Attorney failed properly to advertise and conduct non-judicial foreclosure sales of their properties in violation of duties under Plaintiffs’ mortgages, statutory law, common law, and the consumer protection statute. The circuit court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that dismissal was appropriate where (1) the statutory requirements of former Haw. Rev. Stat. 667-5 and 776-7 do not give rise to a private right of action against a foreclosing mortgagee’s attorney; and (2) an unfair or deceptive acts or practices acts or practices claim against Attorney as the foreclosing mortgagee’s attorney was not recognized. View "Sigwart v. Office of David B. Rosen" on Justia Law