University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Holbron v. Espinda PC-HI-0008
Docket / Court 1CC16-1-000692 ( State Court )
State/Territory Hawaii
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
The lawsuit was filed in the First Circuit Court in Honolulu in April 2016, and listed the Director of Public Safety, the Warden for Halawa Correctional Facility, and 25 unnamed Halawa officials as defendants.

The allegations made by the plaintiff are similar to those asserted in an ... read more >
The lawsuit was filed in the First Circuit Court in Honolulu in April 2016, and listed the Director of Public Safety, the Warden for Halawa Correctional Facility, and 25 unnamed Halawa officials as defendants.

The allegations made by the plaintiff are similar to those asserted in an ongoing federal class-action lawsuit, Davis v. Abercrombie, 2017 WL 2234175, filed by a group of Native Hawaiian prisoners housed at the Saguaro Correctional Center or Red Rock Correctional Center, both Arizona prisons. The plaintiff in the present case is represented by Sharla Ann Manley of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, the lead attorney in Davis v. Abercrombie.


According to this lawsuit, the plaintiff was not allowed to gather with other Native Hawaiian religious practitioners to "dance, chant, or pray" together or to observe the annual season of Makahiki, a four-month period dedicated to the Hawaiian god Lono. The plaintiff also alleged that he was denied access to sacred items — such as native garments, a tree stump drum, woven floor mats, and an outdoor altar — necessary for practicing his religion.

The docket is available on the Hawai'i State Judiciary's website, but the court documents are not publicly accessible so there is limited information about the case.

On Dec. 1, 2017, the plaintiff moved for class-action certification. As of January 2018, the case is ongoing.

Elizabeth Greiter - 01/13/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Conditions of confinement
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Defendant(s) Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Plaintiff Description A Native Hawaiian inmate at the Halawa Correctional Facility alleging violation of his rights to practice his religion.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1CC16-1-000692 (State Trial Court)
PC-HI-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/04/2018
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection

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