State v. Roman

199 P.3d 57 (2008)

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State v. Roman

Hawaii Supreme Court
199 P.3d 57 (2008)

Facts

A 17-year-old boy lived with his mother and her boyfriend, Alfred Roman (defendant). Roman told the boy to shred some lettuce and cheese while Roman ran an errand. When Roman got home, either the boy had not prepared the lettuce and cheese or the preparation was not to Roman’s liking. Roman confronted the boy, who was lying on the floor, listening to his Walkman, ignoring Roman. Roman kicked the boy on his rear end. The boy defiantly stood up with a raised fist and glared at Roman. Roman felt that the boy was being disobedient and challenged the boy to hit him. Roman slapped and kicked the boy, and when the boy’s mother intervened, Roman hit her. Roman called the police to report that he had hit the boy and his mother, and he was charged with abuse of a family or household member. At trial, one of the responding officers testified that the slaps and kicks caused the boy’s cheek to swell and his back to be sore but that the boy did not need medical attention. Roman argued that the parental-discipline defense (PDD) justified his use of force. The trial court found that Roman’s behavior was a reaction to the child’s defiance but that the PDD did not apply and found Roman guilty. Roman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moon, C.J.)

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