04-06Posted on Mar 23, 2004 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 04-06
March 23, 2004
Disclosure of Court Abstracts
The Judiciary asked the OIP whether the UIPA requires public access to court abstracts and miscellaneous criminal abstracts of the Traffic Violations Bureau of the District Courts.
The Judiciary provided information to the OIP concerning court abstracts, but not miscellaneous criminal abstracts (which are apparently rarely used). Thus, with the Judiciary’s agreement, this opinion is limited to the court abstracts.
The OIP opined that court abstracts are not subject to the UIPA. The court abstracts are part of the nonadministrative functions of the courts, and hence are not maintained by an “agency” subject to the UIPA.
The UIPA governs the public’s right to inspect and copy records maintained by an agency. See Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 92F-3 (definitions of “government record” and “personal record”), 92F-11 (access to government records), and 92F-21 (access to personal records) (1993). The UIPA specifically defines “agency” to exclude “the non-administrative functions of the courts of this State.” Thus, the UIPA does not apply to records associated with the non-administrative functions of the courts.