Oahu Publ’ns, Inc. v. Hon. Karen AhnAnnotate this Case
During the trial of State v. Deedy and on the fifth day of jury deliberations, the circuit court conducted five separate court proceedings that were not open to the public. The transcripts from the court sessions were subsequently sealed, and a mistrial was declared as a result of a deadlocked jury. Petitioners, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, filed petitions for writs of prohibition and mandamus seeking to prohibit the circuit court from sealing any portion of the trial transcript and to prohibit the court from closing the courtroom in a similar manner in a re-trial of State v. Deedy and in any other criminal proceeding. On remand, the circuit court unsealed the transcript. The Supreme Court (1) dismissed the writ of prohibition as moot because the circuit court already unsealed the transcript of the closed proceedings; (2) denied the writ of mandamus as unnecessary in light of the directive of this opinion; and (3) adopted procedures that a court is required to follow before denying public access to a transcript of a closed proceeding.