Environmental Law Program

ELP Alumna Kathryn Stanaway assists in BLNR’s Approval of DOFAW’s CRVS Administrative Sanctions Schedule

Earlier this month the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s (DOFAW) Civil Resource Violation System (CRVS) Administrative Sanctions Schedule. ELP alumna and current DOFAW legal fellow, Kathryn Stanaway, played an integral part in getting the Board’s approval. 

During her time at Richardson, Ms. Stanaway gained useful knowledge and experience through the ELP curriculum that she now uses at her job at DOFAW. “The classes I took were very helpful, especially the environmental law clinic where we got to work with a community on Big Island,” Stanaway said. She added that the clinic helped show her the importance of balancing the government’s interests against community interests, an idea that became salient during her work on DOFAW’s CRVS Administration Sanctions Schedule. 

Ms. Stanaway has been working on this project for several years and coordinated with DOFAW staff and several DLNR divisions including the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), Administrative Proceedings Office (APO), and the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).  The purpose of CRVS is to efficiently process violations of departmental regulations where administrative penalties have been authorized by law. Once the system gets up and running it will resemble a traffic violation system, Ms. Stanaway added. It will be similar to traffic citations in the sense that offenders will be fined a small amount as a deterrent to discourage their behavior with repeat offenders bearing steeper fines. DOCARE officers will decide whether to give criminal or administrative citations by using their best judgment. This enforcement model reflects the approach taken by other state’s enforcement agencies and will allow for a more efficient use of government resources. The guidelines provided by DOFAW will give guidance to DOCARE and APO with respect to what violations are punishable and the maximum administrative fines for first time and repeat offenders. The CRVS preserves the option to prosecute violators through the criminal justice system or to pursue board action where appropriate. 

There are several benefits that will soon become apparent now that the Board has approved DOFAW’s CRVS Administrative Sanctions Schedule. Violations can now avoid crowded district court criminal dockets by proceeding via the APO instead. This will lead to quicker dispositions and also require a lesser burden of proof than a criminal trial. Additionally, fines will be standardized and penalties will become more uniform. In short, the CRVS will be a more efficient system to process violations of departmental regulations outlined in DOFAW’s CRVS Administrative Sanctions Schedule. 

The ELP ‘ohana congratulates Ms. Stanaway on getting approval from the Board on the CRVS Administrative Sanctions Schedule and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. 

 

-JB 6/24/21

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