State v. Ibuos, 16438

CourtSupreme Court of Hawai'i
Citation857 P.2d 576,75 Haw. 118
Docket NumberNo. 16438,16438
PartiesSTATE of Hawaii, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Boyflorence IBUOS, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date17 August 1993

Page 576

857 P.2d 576
75 Haw. 118
STATE of Hawaii, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Boyflorence IBUOS, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 16438.
Supreme Court of Hawai'i.
Aug. 17, 1993.
Syllabus by the Court

1. Either defendant's written waiver or colloquy between the court and the defendant personally is required for the court to presume a waiver of defendant's right to trial by jury; a waiver by defense counsel on defendant's behalf is insufficient.

[75 Haw. 123] Emmett E. Lee Loy and Theodore Y.H. Chinn, Deputy Public Defenders, on the briefs, Honolulu, for defendant-appellant.

James B. Takayesu, Deputy Pros. Atty., County of Maui (assisting him on the brief Adriel C.S. Menor, law clerk), Wailuku, Maui, for plaintiff-appellee.

Before [75 Haw. 118] MOON, C.J., and KLEIN, LEVINSON, NAKAYAMA and RAMIL, JJ.

Page 577

KLEIN, Justice.

After a bench trial, defendant-appellant Boyflorence Ibuos (Ibuos) was convicted of the offense of Abuse of a Family and Household Member in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 709-906 (1985 and Supp.1991). Ibuos's timely appeal asserts that the District Family Court of the Second Circuit improperly accepted his counsel's waiver of his right to a jury trial at the arraignment and plea hearing. The subsequent bench trial and conviction stemming from such an invalid waiver, Ibuos argues, violates his sixth amendment right to trial by jury. [75 Haw. 119] In addition, notwithstanding the alleged constitutional violation, Ibuos argues that insufficient evidence was presented at the bench trial to convict him of the offense, thereby precluding a second trial as a result of the double jeopardy provisions of the Hawaii and United States Constitutions. For the reasons set forth below, we vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for a new trial.

The incident prompting the charge arose out of an altercation between Ibuos and his live-in girlfriend (friend). During the course of the argument, Ibuos unplugged the house telephone in order to prevent the friend's use of the same. The friend attempted to re-plug the telephone line into the wall. In order to reach the phone jack, she apparently needed to crawl underneath a desk. While she was under the desk, Ibuos allegedly shoved the desk, causing it to impact with the friend's cheek. It was this "physical abuse" upon which the court found Ibuos guilty.

Ibuos's June 16, 1992 arraignment and plea hearing proceeded as follows:

THE CLERK: Calling FC-CR 92-0328, State of Hawaii versus Boyflorence Ibuos, arraignment and plea.

[Deputy Public Defender]: Vicky Russell on behalf of Mr. Ibuos, who is present. Record may reflect service of the complaint. He'll waive a formal reading of the charge, enter a plea of not guilty, waive jury trial[,] and request trial and pretrial date.

THE COURT: Okay, just a minute here. I better do this here on my calendar somewhere. How about Thursday, July 23rd at 8:30, courtroom 3A?

[Deputy Public Defender]: Is that Trial?

[75 Haw. 120] THE COURT: Yeah.

[Prosecutor]: July--

THE COURT: 23rd, 3A. And pretrial on that one would be July 14th at 8:30, 3B.

[Deputy Public Defender]: Thank you, your Honor.

Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure (HRPP) Rule 5(b)(1) requires that "the court shall in appropriate cases inform the defendant that he has a right to jury trial in the circuit court or may elect to be tried without a jury in the district court." "Appropriate cases" arise whenever the accused has a constitutional right to a jury trial. See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 88 S.Ct. 1444, 20 L.Ed.2d 491 (1968); State v. Swain, 61 Haw. 173, 175, 599 P.2d 282, 284 (1979); State v. Shak, 51 Haw. 612, 614, 466 P.2d 422, 424, cert. denied, 400 U.S. 930, 91 S.Ct. 191, 27 L.Ed.2d 190 (1970). In Hawaii, a statutory right to a jury trial arises whenever a criminal defendant can be imprisoned for six months or more upon conviction of the...

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    ...v. Kupau, 76 Hawai'i 387, 395-96 n. 13, 879 P.2d 492, 500-01 n. 13 (1994) (right to included offense instructions); State v. Ibuos, 75 Haw. 118, 121, 857 P.2d 576, 578 (1993) (right to trial by jury); State v. Vares, 71 Haw. 617, 622-23, 801 P.2d 555, 558 (1990) (right to counsel); Conner v......
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