U Memo 10-5

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 10-5
January 8, 2010
Hawaii Access to Justice Commission 
Subject to UIPA

OIP was asked whether the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission is an agency subject to the UIPA. If so, Requester specifically asked whether notes of discussions proposing changes to existing policies or procedures would be subject to disclosure.

OIP concluded that the Commission, a public-private hybrid, does not meet the definition of “agency” under the UIPA. See HRS § 92F-3; Olelo v. OIP, 173 P.3d 184 (Haw. 2007). Thus, the records maintained by the Commission are not subject to the UIPA.

The Judiciary, however, is included within the UIPA’s definition of “agency” for its “administrative” functions. See HRS § 92F-3 (“agency” does not include the “nonadministrative functions” of the state courts). Therefore, Commission-related records maintained by the Judiciary are subject to the UIPA only if the creation and oversight of the Commission is an “administrative” as opposed to a “judicial” function.

OIP presumes that records created pursuant to the court’s authority to oversee and control the practice of law in this State, particularly as expressed by Supreme Court rule, relate to its judicial function and would thus be exempt from the UIPA.