[ 480-13.3]  Class actions by private persons.  (a)  A class action for claims for a violation of this chapter other than claims for unfair or deceptive acts or practices may be filed, and may be prosecuted on behalf of indirect purchasers by a person other than the attorney general as follows:

Terms Used In Hawaii Revised Statutes 480-13.3

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Class action: includes the definition as provided in rule 23 of the Hawaii rules of civil procedure. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 480-1
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • persons: includes individuals, corporations, firms, trusts, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and incorporated or unincorporated associations, existing under or authorized by the laws of this State, or any other state, or any foreign country. See Hawaii Revised Statutes 480-1
  • Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.

     (1)  A filed copy of the complaint and all relevant supporting and exculpatory materials in possession of the proposed class representative or its counsel shall be served on the attorney general not later than seven days after filing of the complaint.  The complaint shall be filed in camera, and shall not be served on the defendant until the court so orders.  The complaint shall remain under seal for at least sixty days after service upon the attorney general of the complaint and all relevant supporting and exculpatory materials in possession of the proposed class representative or its counsel.  The defendant named in the complaint shall not be required to respond to the complaint until twenty days after the complaint has been unsealed and served upon the defendant in accordance with the Hawaii rules of civil procedure;

     (2)  After service upon the attorney general of both the complaint and the relevant supporting and exculpatory materials in possession of the proposed class representative or its counsel, the attorney general may request the proposed class representative or its counsel to provide other materials deemed necessary by the attorney general;

     (3)  The attorney general may move the court for extensions of the sixty-day period, which request shall be granted for good cause shown.  The motion may be supported by affidavits or other submissions in camera;

     (4)  The attorney general shall have the sole discretion to determine whether the State will proceed with the action or file its own action involving the same or similar claim or claims set forth in the complaint filed by the proposed class representative, which determination shall not be subject to review or appeal; and

     (5)  On or before the expiration of the sixty-day period or any extensions obtained, the attorney general shall notify the court of its decision on whether the State  will proceed with the action or file its own action  involving the same or similar claim or claims set forth in the complaint filed by the proposed class representative:

          (A)  If the State proceeds with the action, the action shall be conducted by the attorney general and the seal shall be lifted;

          (B)  If the State files its own action involving the same or similar claim or claims set forth in the complaint filed by the proposed class representative, then the complaint filed by the proposed class representative shall be dismissed; and

          (C)  If the State declines or fails to timely elect to proceed with the action, or declines to file its own action involving the same or similar claim or claims set forth in the complaint filed by the proposed class representative, the proposed class representative shall have the right to conduct the action, and the complaint shall be unsealed and served upon the defendant by order of court. If the attorney general so requests, the State shall be served with copies of all pleadings filed in the action, and shall be supplied with copies of all deposition transcripts at the State’s expense.  When the proposed class representative proceeds with the action, the court without limiting the status and rights of such person may nevertheless permit the State to intervene at a later date upon showing of good cause, and upon such terms and conditions that the court deems just.

     (b)  This section shall not limit the rights of consumers to bring class actions against any person based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by section 480-2.