Date: September 23, 2013 Last Edit: October 14, 2016

County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund  – Regulatory

U.S. Supreme Court

The NFIB Legal Center filed an amicus brief in this case emphasizing that the Clean Water Act should be interpreted narrowly to protect federalism. The brief argued that a permit is not required for the discharge of pollutants if there is no surface connection to navigable waters.


Leone v. Maui County, Hawaii  – Regulatory

U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Certiorari

The question presented in the petition is whether holding undeveloped property as an “investment” or using it as a “park” in its natural state constitutes economically beneficial or productive use of land under Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council (1992). The Legal Center filed in support of the property owners.


BCI Coca-Cola of Los Angeles v. Josue  – Employment Law
Hawaii First Circuit Court

NFIB filed an amicus brief explaining the practical difficulties that would be imposed on employers if the courts should accept the Department of Labor’s interpretation of a statute so as to require employers to return an employee to the same position he or she held before an injury without regard to how long the employee has been out of commission. NFIB Legal Center argued that the employer should only be required to make reasonable accomodations.



County of Kauai v. Hanalei River Holdings – Property Rights

Hawaii Supreme Court

 A recurring issue in eminent domain law is the question as to when a landowner should be compensated for the devaluation of an adjoining or nearby property that suffers a depreciation in value as a result of the taking of another parcel. Since it is common for small business owners to use separate properties as part of an integrated commercial operation, NFIB Legal Center argues that full and fair compensation for a taking of one parcel must necessarily cover resulting depreciation in the other parcel. Accordingly, the Legal Center urged the Hawaii Supreme Court to take this case because the lower court of appeal had pronounced an unfounded rule that properties must physically touch in order to claim devaluation. As argued in our brief, this rule is inconsistent with the rule employed in the vast majority of state courts—all of which recognize that compensation may be owed for devaluation in another property, regardless of whether they are physically adjoining parcels. The Court has now agreed to hear arguments in the case, and we await a decision. 


Status: PENDING. Amicus brief filed 7/24/16.


If you have a case that impacts small business, please contact us at 1-800-552-NFIB as we are actively looking for opportunities to weigh in on important issues in this state. NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in many cases that impact this state and others; to see our complete list of Supreme Court cases click on Washington, DC on the interactive map.

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