Legal Advocacy and Litigation

Hawai‘i Appleseed has filed and litigated the following cases to date:

  • Faith Action for Community Equity v. Okimoto, Civ. No. 13-00450 RLP (D. Haw.) - filed class action lawsuit against State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation for discrimination in the administration of driver's license exams; litigation is ongoing.
  • Kolio v. State of Hawai`i, Civ. No. 11-00266 LEK RLP (D. Haw.) and Kolio v. State of Hawai`i, Civ. No. 11-1-0795-04 GWBC (Haw. Cir. Ct.) - filed two class action lawsuits against the State of Hawai`i on behalf of hundreds of tenants at Mayor Wright Housing alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and tenants’ lease provisions regarding the habitability of the rentals; litigation is ongoing.
  • Bohn v. Koller, Civ. No. 10-00680 DAE-LEK (D. Haw.) – obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of low-income residents of Hawai`i against the State of Hawai`i for its failure to timely process food stamp applications in accordance with federal law.
  • Korab v. Koller, Civ. No. 10-00483 JMS/KSC (D. Haw.) – obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a class of persons residing in Hawai`i under the Compact of Free Association challenging the State of Hawai`i’s cuts to health insurance for immigrants in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the case is currently on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
  • Cruz v. Jack Hall Housing, Civ. No. 09-1-2007-09 SSM (Haw. Cir. Ct.) - filed suit for breach of contract arising out of the federally-subsidized Jack Hall housing project owner’s failure to comply with federal law and regulations regarding utility allowances in subsidized housing; litigation is ongoing.
  • Sound v. Koller, Civ. No. 09-00409 JMS KSC (D. Haw.) and Sound v. Koller, Civ. No. 09-1-2002-08 GWB (Haw. Cir. Ct.) – filed suits in federal and state court to obtain an injunction against the State of Hawai‘i requiring that it cease cuts of life-saving health care to immigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia without first providing adequate notice and an opportunity public comment.
  • Shea v. Kahuku, Civ. No. 09-00480 DAE LEK (D. Haw.) – filed suit for breach of contract arising out of the federally-subsidized Kahuku Elderly Housing project owner’s failure to comply with federal law and regulations regarding utility allowances in subsidized housing resulting in a class settlement reimbursing tenants for rent overcharges.
  • McMillon v. State of Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority, Civ. No 08-00578 JMS LEK (D. Haw.) and Faletogo v. State of Hawai‘i, Civ. No. 08-1-2608-12 ECN (Haw. Cir. Ct.) – filed two class action lawsuits against the State of Hawai‘i on behalf of thousands of tenants at the Kuhio Park Terrace public housing project alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and tenants’ lease provisions regarding the habitability of the rentals; obtained settlement agreements for injunctive relief and damages.
  • Blake v. Nishimua, Civ. No. 08-00281 LEK (D. Haw.) – filed suit for breach of contract arising out of the City and County of Honolulu’s failure to comply with federal law and regulations regarding utility allowances in subsidized housing resulting in a class settlement reimbursing tenants for rent overcharges.
  • Kaleuati v. Tonda, Civ. No. 07-00504 HG LEK (D. Haw.) – obtained a preliminary injunction and class-wide settlement working with co-counsel on behalf of all homeless school aged children in Hawai‘i against the Hawai‘i Department of Education to remedy violations of the federal McKinney-Vento Act and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Waters v. Housing and Community Dev. Corp. of Hawai‘i, Civ. No. 05-1-0815-05 EEH (Haw. Cir. Ct.) – obtained a settlement for damages and injunctive relief in a suit for breach of contract arising out of the State of Hawai‘i’s failure to comply with federal law and regulations regarding utility allowances in federally subsidized housing projects.
  • Amone v. Housing & Community Dev. Corp. of Hawai‘i, Civ. No. 04-508 ACK (D. Haw) – filed suit and obtained a permanent injunction against the State of Hawai‘i to remedy violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fair Housing Act related to utility overcharges assessed against disabled public housing residents.
  • Smith v. Housing & Community Dev. Corp. of Hawai‘i, Civ. No. 04-1-0069K (Haw. Cir. Ct.) and Smith v. Aviero, Civ. No. 04-00309 DAE KSC – filed suits federal and state court on behalf of thousands of public housing residents for the State of Hawai‘i’s violation of federal laws regarding utility allowances in public housing resulting in rent overcharges and breach of the rental agreements between the State and low-income tenants; obtained a $2.3 million settlement and caused the State to update utility allowances in compliance with federal law, a benefit of over $1 million per year for public housing residents.