(a) Creation. There shall be a commission to be known as the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission (the “Commission”).
(b) Purpose. The purpose of the Commission shall be to substantially increase access to justice in civil legal matters for low- and moderate-income (together “low-income”) residents of Hawai‘i. To accomplish this, the Commission shall, along with such other actions as in its discretion it deems appropriate, endeavor to:
(1) NUMBER OF MEMBERS AND TERMS OF OFFICE. The Commission shall consist of 22 members, with staggered terms. The initial members (other than the chair and the four members appointed under subsection (3)(vii) below) shall draw their terms by lot so that five members shall serve a term ending on December 31 of the year of appointment, six shall serve a term ending on December 31 of the year following the year of appointment, and six shall serve a term ending on December 31 of the second year following the year of appointment. All subsequent appointments of such members (other than appointments to fill vacancies as described in subsection (2)) shall be for terms of three years or until his or her successor is appointed. Such members shall not be appointed to serve more than two successive terms, but an initial term of any member that is less than 30 months shall be disregarded for purposes of this limitation. Governmental representatives appointed under subsection (3)(vii) shall rotate by their terms of office or at the will of the appointing authority. Terms shall run on a calendar year basis, except that a
(2) VACANCIES. A vacancy in the office of a member shall occur upon (i) the written resignation, death or permanent incapacity of such member, (ii) the determination by the applicable appointing authority that there has been a termination of a position held by such member that was the basis of such member’s appointment to the Commission and that the appointing authority wishes to replace such member with a new appointee, or (iii) for such other cause as shall be specified in the bylaws, rules or written procedures of the Commission. Upon the occurrence of a vacancy, the appropriate appointing authority shall appoint a successor member to serve the remainder of the term of the vacating member.
(3) APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS. Members of the Commission shall be appointed as follows:
(4) VACANCIES. COMMUNITY WIDE REPRESENTATION. In making appointments, the appointing authorities shall take into account the effect of their appointments on achieving a Commission composed of members who are residents of different islands in Hawai’i and who reflect the diverse ethnic, economic, urban, and rural communities that exist in the Hawaiian Islands.
(d) Officers. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall designate from among the members of the Commission a chair and a vice chair of the Commission. The chair, who shall be the Chief Justice or the Chief Justice’s designee, shall serve an initial term of one year and thereafter shall be designated at such times as the Chief Justice shall determine. The vice chair shall be designated for a term of two years, provided that such term shall expire at any earlier date on which the term of the vice chair as a member of the Commission shall expire or be terminated. The Commission shall select such other officers as it deems necessary and useful. Terms of all officers shall run on a calendar year basis, except that an officer shall continue in office until his or her successor is duly designated or selected. Designations or selections to fill officer-vacancies shall be for the remainder of the term of the vacating officer.
(e) Bylaws, Rules and Procedures. The Commission may adopt bylaws, rules or operational procedures as it deems necessary for and consistent with Sections (c), (d) and (f) through (j) of this rule.
(f) Committees and Task Forces. The Commission may create such committees and task forces, and appoint such committee and task force members, as it deems necessary or desirable to facilitate the work of the Commission. The Commission shall designate a chair of the committee or task force. The Commission may appoint to the committee or task force persons who are not members of the Commission. The role of committees and task forces shall be advisory, and they shall make such recommendations to the Commission as the members of such committees and task forces deem appropriate. Meetings of committees and task forces shall be at the call of the chair or at the call of at least 20% of the members of the committee or task force. A quorum consisting of not less than one-third of the then-appointed and serving members of a committee or task force shall be necessary at a duly called meeting to adopt a recommendation to the Commission.
(g) Meetings, Quorum, and Voting. The Commission shall meet at least quarterly and shall have additional meetings at the call of either the chair or at least seven members upon at least ten days prior notice. A quorum consisting of not less than one-third of the members of the Commission then in office shall be necessary to transact business and make decisions at a meeting of the Commission. On any votes taken at a meeting of the Commission, the chair shall vote only in the event of a tie.
(h) Staff and Funding Support. It is anticipated that staff and funding support for the Commission will be provided by a combination of private and public sources of financial and in-kind support.
(i) Recommendations. Any recommendations by the Commission shall be made in the name of the Commission only, and not in the name of the individual members or the institutions or entities they represent.
(j) Reports and Review.
(1) ANNUAL REPORTS. The Commission shall file with the Supreme Court an annual report describing its activities during the prior 12-month period and deliver a copy of the report to the Executive Director of the HSBA.
(2) THREE-YEAR REVIEW. Three years after the Commission holds its first meeting, the Supreme Court shall evaluate the progress made by the Commission toward the goal of substantially increasing access to justice in civil legal matters for low-income Hawai’i residents.
(Added April 24, 2008, effective May 1, 2008.)