Man goes to court to fight for more than traffic citation

By Paula Akana
Published On: Mar 22 2013 07:24:29 PM HST

Lopaka Brown says he's a Hawaiian national and an American by choice. He appeared in court today to fight a charge he ran a red light. He's not saying he didn't run the light, but that the court has no jurisdiction over him.

HONOLULU -

Lopaka Brown says he's a Hawaiian national and an American by choice.  He appeared in court Friday to fight a charge that he ran a red light.

Brown is not saying he didn't run a red light, but he is saying that the court has no jurisdiction over him.

It was 27 years ago last month in Waimea Valley on Oahu that sheriff's deputies carried Brown, wearing part of his Marine Corps uniform, and his father Francis from their family home at the entrance to the valley.

The eviction ended a 3-year court battle between the Brown family and the then-owner of Waimea Falls Park who owned the property the Brown home sat on.

Brown's court appearance on Friday is part of a larger picture.  Brown's attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges he ran a red light because of a lack of jurisdiction based on two executive agreement signed in 1893 between Queen Liliuokalani and President Grover Cleveland.

Brown and his attorney maintain there is no Treaty of Annexation, thus nullifying annexation, territorial status, statehood and the courts.

"The legal position we're taking is essentially that this court is unlawfully constituted and so doesn't have jurisdiction to issue any order concerning the traffic violation," said attorney Dexter Kaiama.

Could this lead Brown back to Waimea?

"If something was wrong now, it was wrong then so I'm basically looking at it if they had no jurisdiction today, the judge had no jurisdiction to give me an eviction notice," said Brown.

On the issue of the traffic citation, the judge delayed.

"And that's OK because by their opposition I think it just further makes the record for our case," said Kaiama.  "We don't believe they can provide any definition to the legal argument we've made."

Brown says 27 years ago, frustration and emotions led to anger.  Today, it's all about education.

"If it leads me back home, that will be fine.  But my ultimate goal is to restore our country," said Brown.

You can find Brown Wednesday afternoons playing music at the Farmers Market in Waimea Valley.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs now holds the title to the valley.

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