Saturday, October 2, 1999

Judge’s decision
shuts down Hanalei Bay
tour companies

By Debra Barayuga


Two tour companies operating in Kauai's Hanalei Bay ceased operations last night after their request for a preliminary injunction against the state was denied.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway's decision late yesterday dissolved a temporary restraining order she had ordered that had blocked the state from taking any enforcement action against Hanalei Sport Fishing & Tours and Na Pali Catamarans.

The tour companies' permits to operate in Hanalei Bay expired Sept. 23.

The companies argued the state violated its administrative procedures act when it banned all motorized tour boat operations in Hanalei Bay and refused to renew their permits.

They argue that the ban amounted to rule-making and was therefore subject to public hearings, as required by law.

Mollway yesterday said constitutionally, federal judges can't issue injunctions against state officials for violations of state law and suggested the plaintiffs seek remedy in the state courts.

Dennis Niles, attorney for the boating companies, said his clients share his disappointment in the court's decision and expects them to decide shortly whether to file for an injunction in Kauai Circuit Court or appeal the court's decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the judge did appear to share their concerns over the state's apparent failure to comply with its administrative rules act, "the court was unwilling to accept our independent argument that what the state did in this case violated my clients' constitutional rights," he said.

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