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Gov. Ige Signs Bill Clarifying Procedures in Initial Criminal Complaints

March 31, 2022, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated March 30, 5:12 PM
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A bill that clarifies the acceptable procedures for initiating criminal complaints has been signed into law.

On Monday, March 28, Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 1541, which became Act 022. Along with clarifying procedures, The act amends a Hawaii Revised Statute to permit a prosecuting attorney to sign a complaint instead of requiring the signature of the victim or the arresting police officer.

The legislation was introduced after the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court handed down a decision in a Hawaiʻi Island family violence case ― state v. Corey Thompson, that ruled the procedures violated the state statute that requires a signed affidavit from the victim.

Hawaiʻi County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen said the act addresses the inconsistent application of the state v. Thompson case and has resulted in the dismissal of criminal cases on technicalities across the state.

“Given the signing of the new law, our Office will be prioritizing assessment and refiling of dismissed cases,” Waltjen said. “We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Hawai‘i State Legislature and Governor Ige for their swift attention and action to this important measure which both clarifies procedural requirements and supports victims of crime. Mahalo to all of the county police departments and prosecutor’s offices, including the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office who proposed the amendment, the Department of the Attorney General, and numerous community stakeholders for their support throughout this legislative session.”

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