As a judge on the Intermediate Court of Appeals since Jan. 30, 2008, Katherine Leonard wrote more than 155 opinions on behalf of three-member panels. She also was on the panel that decided an additional 240 other cases. She wrote 24 published opinions, which are considered binding on Hawaii lower courts. Some of the published opinions:
Stop Rail Now v. the city, Oct. 2, 2008
Denied a request to place on the 2008 general election ballot the initiative question of whether Honolulu should have a mass rail transit system. Stop Rail Now purportedly had more than 49,000 signatures of registered voters calling for the initiative. The court ruled that the harm of placing the question on the ballot and disrupting the election procedures outweighed the harm to the group, especially since a similar measure was already on the ballot.
David Garner v. state, Oct. 30, 2009
Ruled that thousands of public school substitute teachers were entitled to a higher rate of pay from 2000 to 2005, but not for a longer period as they claimed and they were not entitled to prejudgment interest.
State v. Randal Strong Jr., Nov. 25, 2009
Set aside trial judge ruling and held that Strong waived his rights to remain silent on theft and robbery cases, even though his consent form was for only one incident. State showed Strong was advised of his rights during later questioning. The court ruling meant Strong’s statements could be used at trial.
In the Matter of the Tax Appeal of Reel Hooker Sportfishing Inc. v. state, May 28, 2010
Ruled that state general excise tax on charter fishing is not negated by federal law limiting nonfederal taxes on vessels or its passengers in U.S. navigable waters. The court ruled the general excise tax is assessed for the privilege of doing business in Hawaii and is not a tax on the vessels or passengers.
State v. Marco Rodrigues, Jan. 28, 2010
Held that a search by police without a warrant at a beach park of turning pockets of a defendant’s shorts inside out was unconstitutional. The search produced a clear plastic bag containing methamphetamine. But the court ruled the drugs could still be admissible if the prosecution can show the meth inevitably would be discovered during a search of the defendant before he was placed in the Kauai police cellblock.
Charmaine Tavares Campaign v. Campaign Spending Commission, June 25, 2009
Ruled that a $2,000 campaign contribution by a limited liability company to Charmaine Tavares’ campaign during the 2006 mayoral race on Maui did not violate the state campaign spending law.
Frank Loher v. state, July 14, 2008
Held that earlier court rulings requiring a jury to determine enhanced sentencing does not apply to the defendant, who received enhanced extended terms for his attempted sexual assault conviction, but the court sent the case back to determine whether his lawyer effectively assisted him.
State v. Fredy Domingo, Sept. 11, 2009
Reversed a trial judge’s ruling that defendant had to pay restitution of $13,225 to the family of a man killed when his car swiped the defendant’s car on the H-1 freeway. The defendant received probation for not remaining at the scene of a fatal accident and rendering aid. Although the prosecution said the decedent was drunk and caused the crash, the judge ordered the restitution. The court held that when the defendant’s criminal act doesn’t cause the victim’s losses, restitution cannot be imposed.