703-309  Use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline, or safety of others.  The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable under the following circumstances:

Terms Used In Hawaii Revised Statutes 703-309

  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.

     (1)  The actor is the parent, guardian, or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of a minor, or a person acting at the request of the parent, guardian, or other responsible person, and:

          (a)  The force is employed with due regard for the age and size of the minor and is reasonably related to the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the minor, including the prevention or punishment of the minor’s misconduct; provided that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the following types of force are not justifiable for purposes of this [paragraph]:  throwing, kicking, burning, biting, cutting, striking with a closed fist, shaking a minor under three years of age, interfering with breathing, or threatening with a deadly weapon; and

          (b)  The force used does not intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently create a risk of causing substantial bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or mental distress, or neurological damage.

     (2)  The actor is a principal, the principal’s agent, a teacher, or a person otherwise entrusted with the care or supervision for a special purpose of a minor, and:

          (a)  The actor believes that the force used is necessary to further that special purpose, including maintenance of reasonable discipline in a school, class, other group, or at activities supervised by the department of education held on or off school property and that the use of force is consistent with the welfare of the minor; and

          (b)  The degree of force, if it had been used by the parent or guardian of the minor, would not be unjustifiable under paragraph (1).

     (3)  The actor is the guardian or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of an incompetent person, and:

          (a)  The force is employed with due regard for the age and size of the incompetent person and is reasonably related to the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the incompetent person, including the prevention of the incompetent person’s misconduct, or, when such incompetent person is in a hospital or other institution for the incompetent person’s care and custody, for the maintenance of reasonable discipline in the institution; and

          (b)  The force used is not designed to cause or known to create a risk of causing substantial bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or mental distress, or neurological damage.

     (4)  The actor is a doctor or other therapist or a person assisting the doctor or therapist at the doctor’s or therapist’s direction, and:

          (a)  The force is used for the purpose of administering a recognized form of treatment which the actor believes to be adapted to promoting the physical or mental health of the patient; and

          (b)  The treatment is administered with the consent of the patient, or, if the patient is a minor or an incompetent person, with the consent of the minor’s or incompetent person’s parent or guardian or other person legally competent to consent in the minor’s or incompetent person’s behalf, or the treatment is administered in an emergency when the actor believes that no one competent to consent can be consulted and that a reasonable person, wishing to safeguard the welfare of the patient, would consent.

     (5)  The actor is a warden or other authorized official of a correctional institution, and:

          (a)  The actor believes that the force used is necessary for the purpose of enforcing the lawful rules or procedures of the institution;

          (b)  The nature or degree of force used is not forbidden by other provisions of the law governing the conduct of correctional institutions; and

          (c)  If deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this chapter.

     (6)  The actor is a person responsible for the safety of a vessel or an aircraft or a person acting at the direction of the person responsible for the safety of a vessel or an aircraft, and:

          (a)  The actor believes that the force used is necessary to prevent interference with the operation of the vessel or aircraft or obstruction of the execution of a lawful order, unless the actor’s belief in the lawfulness of the order is erroneous and the actor’s error is due to ignorance or mistake as to the law defining authority; and

          (b)  If deadly force is used, its use is otherwise justifiable under this chapter.

     (7)  The actor is a person who is authorized or required by law to maintain order or decorum in a vehicle, train, or other carrier, or in a place where others are assembled, and:

          (a)  The actor believes that the force used is necessary for that purpose; and

          (b)  The force used is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, bodily injury or extreme mental distress.