Kula resident Richard Dancil has asked a Hawaii appeals court to halt the organized Halloween activities planned by Maui County and the LahainaTown Action Committee next week pending the outcome of his appeal of a case he and a group filed last year against planned Halloween activities in Lahaina.
Dancil, who is representing himself in the case, filed a motion with the Intermediate Court of Appeals on Wednesday to stay the activities in Lahaina town next week. He said the event would "irreparably harm" him and "is in contravention to public policy regarding Native Hawaiian cultural and historic protection, preservation and development and Native Hawaiian rights in the State of Hawaii," among other issues.
Dancil is not seeking a stay of the annual keiki costume parade organized by several community groups on Halloween afternoon along Front Street.
The lawsuit filed last year by Dancil and Na Makua O'Maui, a Native Hawaiian organization, said that staging a large, drunken street party in Lahaina, a culturally sacred and historic site, constituted a violation of Native Hawaiian rights.
It was unclear Thursday afternoon what would happen to Dancil's motion.
State Judiciary spokeswoman Marsha Kitagawa, commenting generally on what happens at the Intermediate Court of Appeals, said usually the defendants have five business days to respond before the court reviews the case.
Since Dancil filed his motion Wednesday, the defendants, which include Mayor Alan Arakawa, several of his departments and the LahainaTown Action Committee, would have until Wednesday - Halloween - to file their response.
Kitagawa added that the court could rule on a motion if it qualifies as an emergency.
County spokesman Rod Antone said Thursday that county attorneys have been informed of the motion.
LahainaTown Action Committee officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Last year, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo dismissed a temporary restraining order stopping the event. She ruled that Native Hawaiian group Na Makua O'Maui and Dancil did not have legal standing to file a lawsuit.
In his Wednesday motion, Dancil also alleges that the county deliberately circumvented review by the Cultural Resources Commission, which had previously denied permits for road closures on Front Street for Halloween because of numerous serious unresolved issues significantly impacting Native Hawaiians and the residential community of Lahaina town.
The Arakawa administration last year and, again this year, was able to bypass the Cultural Resources Commission review by planning activities that would not require commission approval.
The administration touts the events as family friendly.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.