Navahine v. Hawai‘i Department of Transportation

The following is a timeline of major moments, filings, and rulings in Navahine v. Hawai’i DOT from 2022 through the Settlement Agreement.

June 1, 2022

Case Filed

13 youth in Hawaiʻi filed their constitutional climate lawsuit against their Department of Transportation (HDOT); HDOT Director Jade Butay; Government David Ige; and the State of Hawai‘i.

August 22, 2022

State Filed Motion to Dismiss

The State of Hawai‘i filed a Motion to Dismiss the case.

September 16, 2022

Youth Filed Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

Youth plaintiffs filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the case.

September 28, 2022

State Filed Reply Brief

The State of Hawai‘i filed its Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss.

January 26, 2023

Oral Arguments

Attorneys for the youth plaintiffs appeared before Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree at the Environmental Court of First Circuit in Honolulu to present the youth’s position as to why the case should be permitted to move forward.

Over 100 supporters packed the courtroom and nearby overflow room, while nearly 150 more watched the proceedings online via Zoom. Supporters in Honolulu then joined the youth plaintiffs at a post-hearing press conference on the courthouse plaza, gathering to sing songs and hear the attorneys and young plaintiffs speak.

April 6, 2023

Court Denied State’s Motion to Dismiss

Judge Crabtree ruled in favor of the 13 youth plaintiffs, denying the state’s attempt to prevent their case from proceeding to trial.

May 25, 2023

Oral Arguments

Attorneys for the 13 youth plaintiffs appeared before Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree at the First Circuit, advocating to maintain their September 2023 trial date.

Judge Crabtree granted the State’s motion to continue the trial date, explaining he wants to give the State enough time to prepare their defense to ensure both sides have a fair trial. Judge Crabtree did not reset the trial date, instead opting to meet with attorneys representing both parties on Friday, June 2, to discuss in greater detail.

June 14, 2023

Case Transferred to Judge Tonaki

The Honorable Jeannette H. Castagnetti transferred the case from Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree to Judge John M. Tonaki to set a new trial date.

August 3, 2023

New Trial Dates Announced

During an online Zoom hearing with attorneys for the youth plaintiffs and the defense, new trial dates were set by Judge Tonaki for Monday, June 24, 2024 to Friday, July 12, 2024 at the Environmental Court, First Circuit in Honolulu, HI.

January 26, 2024

Plaintiffs served ten expert reports on defendants

March 11, 2024

Defendants served four expert reports on plaintiffs

April 25, 2024

Plaintiffs served rebuttal expert reports on defendants

May 2, 2024

Mandatory Settlement Conference with the Court

June 20, 2024



Climate Victory!
Historic Settlement Agreement Announced!

Hawai‘i Governor Josh Green and HDOT Director Edwin Sniffen heard youth voices, and responded, backed by the judiciary. In the first-of-its-kind settlement agreement, defendants have agreed to take all actions necessary to achieve Zero Emissions no later than 2045 for ground transportation, sea, and interisland air transportation.


Ensuring a Safe Climate Future in Hawai‘i

In the years to come, youth plaintiffs, legal teams at Our Children’s Trust and Earthjustice, with experts in climate science, decarbonization and transportation, will advise Hawaiʻi on the creation of their plan and path forward, and ensure the terms of the Settlement Agreement are being met.

Youth plaintiffs will have a powerful seat at the table in the years to come, and communities across Hawaiʻi will have critical roles in the work to come. Stay tuned!