Oahu Publications, Inc. v. TakaseAnnotate this Case
The State filed an application for judicial determination of probable cause for the warrantless arrest and extended restraint of Ethan Ferguson (the Ferguson Probable Cause Application, or FPCA). The FPCA, a publicly accessible document, contained personal information in contravention of Rule 9 of the Hawaii Court Records Rules. The State subsequently requested that the court seal the FPCA to protect the wrongly included personal information. Judge Takase granted the motion. One week later, the State filed a redacted version of the FPCA, which omitted the personal information at issue. Oahu Publications Inc. subsequently filed a petition seeking a writ of prohibition prohibiting Judge Takase from enforcing her order sealing the FPCA and a writ of mandamus ordering the judge to make public the sealed FPCA. This case required the Supreme Court to consider the procedures that courts should follow when a personal information has been included in a publicly accessible document that was filed in violation of Rule 9. The Supreme Court held (1) the “capable of repetition, yet evading review” exception to the mootness doctrine applied in this case; and (2) because the relief Oahu Publications requested had either already been provided or was unnecessary, the requested relief was not warranted.