As we noted here, our practice isn't limited to land and related issues, we also take appeals in other areas of law presenting unsettled or untested questions. Tomorrow, the Hawaii Supreme Court will be hearing one such case.
In Hamilton v. Lethem, No. 27580 (cert. accepted Oct. 14, 2011), we represent the Petitioner, and our Damon Key colleague Rebecca Copeland will be presenting oral arguments. In a published opinion, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals concluded that the family court correctly applied Hawaii's civil TRO statute and held that a father actions were not appropriate parental discipline.
Here is the summary of the issues presented from the Judiciary web site:
Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Christy L. Lethem (Petitioner) filed an Application for Writ of Certiorari seeking review of the September 21, 2011 judgment of the ICA, filed pursuant to its June 30, 2011 published opinion, affirming the Order Regarding Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) pursuant to HRS Chapter 586 entered by the Family Court of the First Circuit (the court) on October 5, 2005.
Petitioner’s ex-wife (Respondent) sought an ex parte TRO on behalf of their minor daughter (Minor) alleging that Petitioner abused Minor. The court granted the TRO the same day. The TRO prevented Petitioner, who did not have custody of Minor but had visitation rights, from contacting Minor for ninety-days. Within fifteen days of granting the TRO, the court held a hearing to determine whether the TRO should continue. Petitioner appeared at the hearing to contest the allegations of abuse. The court ruled that the TRO should remain in force. The ICA affirmed.
In his Application, Petitioner asks whether the parental right to discipline children required the court to apply an articulable standard by which to distinguish abuse from discipline. Petitioner also asks whether, in issuing the TRO, the court should have recognized that non-custodial parents retain a residual parental right to discipline their children.
The cert application is posted here.