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VIDEO: Case to Block Halloween to Reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 27

Posted October 27, 2011, 01:04 PM HST Updated October 27, 2011, 08:05 PM HST
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By Wendy Osher

***An update to this story including the Judge’s ruling is now posted at the following LINK.

Judge Rhonda Loo ordered that an injunction hearing involving Halloween festivities in Lahaina be continued until this afternoon to allow attorneys more time to review legal documents.

The court proceedings are set to resume at 1:30 p.m. (today, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011) in 2nd Circuit Court on Maui.

Richard Dancil, Lahaina resident and named plaintiff along with Na Makua O Maui seeking a TRO against the organizers of Halloween festivities on Front Street. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The plaintiffs in the case–Na Makua O Maui and Richard Dancil–are seeking a temporary restraining order against Mayor Alan Arakawa and organizers of the Halloween in Lahaina event, claiming the event will result in irreparable injury, loss, and damage to sacred sites if it is allowed to proceed.

In a letter to the mayor earlier this month, the group claimed the greatest offense was past incidents in which the sacred site of Moku’ula was allegedly used as a “convenient urination site.”

The group also claims violations of civil rights of Native Hawaiians through alleged lewd and lascivious behavior.

Supporters of the event have worked in the past to mitigate concerns over safety and behavior and claim the festivities are good for the economy and businesses in Lahaina Town.

Maui 2nd Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Loo. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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During the morning court proceedings, plaintiff attorney Keoni K. Agard said, “There are a number of assertions being made and legal arguments being made that require more than 15 minutes of my time to rebut.”  Among the claims was failure to exhaust administrative remedies before before the Planning Department.

Agard said he received the arguments just moments before the hearing and asked for time to make some telephone calls to verify and investigate the claims.

Jane Lovell, Deputy Corporation Counsel representing the county defendants, apologized for the late notice but stated for the record that her office received the TRO papers at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.  Meantime, the attorneys representing the Lahaina Town Action Committee said their clients received the TRO application yesterday morning.

Jane Lovell, Deputy Corporation Counsel. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“We got the papers into the court and to opposing counsel at the earliest possible time,” said Lovell, who agreed to a brief continuance.

“In terms of the truth of the matters asserted therein, they are supported by declarations, which are sworn,” said Lovell who said some of those who wrote declarations are available to testify live today if necessary.

Before breaking for the continuance, Judge Loo said, “I have informed counsels that we need to be ready to go at 1:30 this afternoon.”

***An update to this story including the Judge’s ruling is now posted at the following LINK.

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