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1.6.11 - NEW

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Victim of Statutory Rape and Verbal Threats/Abuse Achieves Divorce

Client was only 13 when husband, who was 24 at the time, got her pregnant with their first child. Client was 14 when husband got her pregnant again. She sought a divorce from husband, who had repeatedly made verbal threats, and was verbally abusive of her and their 3 children throughout their marriage. Husband often told client that he would kill her and the other man if she ever fooled around. He also told their children not to call his “f-ing phone,” which was devastating to them. Client’s children were acting out by cutting out of school and using drugs. Legal Aid represented client at both the Motion to Set and Child Custody hearings, which were contested. Husband hired a private attorney to represent him. The divorce was finally achieved with a reasonable settlement of the contested issues, including division of Husband’s Navy retirement account from his civil service job. Client was very grateful to be able to move on and have a fresh start for her and her children.



Legal Aid successfully defended Darren Awong from being evicted from a Hawaiian Homestead rent to own project. The case was seen as a big victory for the Hawaiian community, many of whom joined Awong on his trial day. Legal Aid attorneys involved include Ravi Nagi, Gavin Thornton, and Maile Shimabukuro.


A Kid’s 100 case

Hawaiian/Portuguese/Filipino woman has been repeatedly physically abused by her husband, often in front of their children. Her husband punched her in the head, leaving her with a black eye; pushed her into a car and hit her numerous times; hit her from the back; and repeatedly became violent when he drank. Husband was convicted of several DUI’s, and assault of a police officer. Krystal’s children attend Hawaiian immersion school. Krystal was assisted by Legal Aid’s Waianae office on numerous occasions. In late 2006 we executed a Temporary Power of Attorney authorizing her parents to take her two older children to the doctor if she is unable. In July 2007 we assisted her with a paternity action for her youngest child. We have also started divorce actions for her on several occasions. Krystal has finally gathered the strength to leave her abuser, and we are currently helping her with a divorce.


SSDI Approval for Struggling Hawaiian Family in Nanakuli

Moses Kolii is a Native Hawaiian man who worked as a security guard at Wackenhut. He has a 4-year-old daughter that he sees every other week. Unfortunately, he had to stop working and go on TDI due to heart failure, cellulitis, high blood pressure, and obesity. He applied for SSDI and SSI in January 2007 but was denied because the Social Security Administration (SSA) believed his condition was not severe enough to keep him from working. He appealed his SSDI denial, but missed the deadline for SSI because an SSA worker told him that he would be “automatically denied.” Legal Aid assisted Mr. Kolii with requesting a waiver of the 60 day SSI appeal deadline, and subsequent appeals of both claims. Legal Aid also obtained Mr. Kolii’s records from Kaiser Permanente and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Finally, in May 2008, almost a year and a half after he applied, SSA approved Mr. Kolii for SSDI based on his medical records.




SSDI Approval for Struggling Hawaiian Family in Makaha

Sunday is a part-Hawaiian client who has two minor children and was struggling due to her loss of Social Security and her husband's loss of work. She had been terminated from SSI a few years ago due to her husband's income and was also denied SSDI because she was unable to prove she was disabled as of her date last insured. Sunday suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, a tumor, and various other ailments and had been physically abused by her previous husband. Legal Aid assisted by helping her complete and submit the necessary appeal paperwork to the Social Security Administration. Legal Aid also gathered medical records from Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, HI Medical Center - West, and Hale Naau Pono. Fortunately, Sunday was approved for SSDI via an "on the record" decision by an administrative law judge. She was finally able to make ends meet, and very grateful for Legal Aid's assistance to her family.