Newcomb v. McPeekAnnotate this Case
William Newcomb and Stephen McPeek had lived together in a committed relationship for two years when they decided to adopt and raise a child. Only McPeek legally adopted the child, but the parties co-parented the child and shared physical custody of her, even after their separation. Newcomb later filed a petition for joint custody, alleging that he had de facto joint custody of the child. The family court denied Newcomb’s petition for joint custody. The Supreme Court vacated the family court’s decision, holding (1) the court misinterpreted and misapplied Hawaii’s statutory de facto custody provision; and (2) McPeek failed to establish that the application of the de facto custody provision to this case would infringe on his fundamental liberty interests or otherwise violate his constitutional right to privacy. Remanded.