Akina v. Hawaii, No. 15-17134 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs are Hawaiian residents who challenge the recent efforts by a group of Native Hawaiians to establish their own government. Plaintiffs challenge the district court’s order denying their request for a preliminary injunction to stop activities related to the drafting and ratification of self-governance documents. Separately, another group of Hawaii residents appeals the district court’s denial of their motion to intervene in plaintiffs’ lawsuit. Before the district court, plaintiffs focused their injunction request on the delegation election. That election, however, has been cancelled, and plaintiffs do not argue that similar elections will occur in the future. The court affirmed the dismissal of the interlocutory appeal as moot, concluding that there is no reasonable expectation that plaintiffs will be subject to the same injury again, given the disavowal of any election. Further, the district court retains jurisdiction over the underlying lawsuit, and dismissing the preliminary injunction appeal will not, by itself, insulate defendants’ practices from judicial scrutiny. The court also affirmed the district court's order denying intervention as of right where the court agreed with the district court that the prospective intervenors’ interests would not, as a practical matter, be impaired or impeded as a result of plaintiffs’ litigation. The district court properly reasoned that the prospective intervenors’ claims would raise entirely different issues from those raised by plaintiffs, and that the proposed intervenors could adequately protect their interests in separate litigation.