Posted on Oct 21, 1993 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 93-20
October 21, 1993
Membership List of Citizens’ Group Confidential

[OIP Op. Ltr. No. 05-03 partially overrules this opinion to the extent that it states or implies that the UIPA’s privacy exception in section 92F-13(1), HRS, either prohibits public disclosure or mandates confidentiality.]

Public disclosure by the County of Hawaii Planning Department of a list of the names and addresses of members of The Citizens for Protection of the North Kohala Coastline (CPNKC) would constitute a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” under the UIPA. CPNKC had submitted its membership list to the Department in connection with its request to the County of Hawaii Planning Commission to conduct a contested case hearing concerning applications submitted by a developer for permits to build a resort in North Kohala. The Commission denied CPNKC’s request, and CPNKC appealed to the Circuit Court.

The OIP found that individuals have a “significant” privacy interest in information that reveals their associations, exposing their beliefs and ideas, which are not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. In this opinion, the OIP did not address either a discovery request for the issuance of a subpoena for the production of records by a party in a contested case hearing, or any discovery

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