If you’ve hung around here long, you’ve seen me say a bazillion times that Hawaii did not allow out of state birth registrations until 1982. I’ve been saying this since a lawyer pointed out the “L 1982” at the bottom of the Hawaii Revised Statute § 338-17.8 on Registration of out of state births and explained to me what it meant. This was months before this blog began its operation in December of 2008. Not only I, but Obots unnumbered following my lead (or their own research), have said the same thing.
A comment on the Free Republic forum reads:
Hawaii’s Territorial Law, Chapter 57 – “VITAL STATISTICS, I”, shown beginning pg 23 of 29, (the law in effect in 1961) allowed the parents (or grandparents or other relative) of baby’s [sic] born anywhere in the world to be eligible to apply for a Hawaiian birth certificate. A mailed-in form (without mention of a hospital, doctor, or midwife) signed by one of his grandparents (who forged the parent signature(s)) would have been enough to set up a birth record and a birth certificate at the Dept of Health. The Dept of Health would (presumably) then have automatically sent the names of the parents, their address as given on the mailed-in form , the gender of the child, and the date of birth to the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin.
Vital Statistics Law in 1961
The 1955 Territorial Law as amended is indeed is the law in effect in 1961. Our problem, at least up until now, is that these laws were not on the Internet for public viewing. I’ve had a copy for a year or so, but not one that I had rights to publish. So if the comment from the Free Republic is true, then I am very much to blame for spreading false information that I had good reason to know wasn’t true. Did the Doc screw up?
I said “up until now” because a copy of those laws is now available on the Internet as an attachment to a request for judicial notice in the Hollister v Soetoro appeal, and this is the document linked to by the Free Republic article in support of the above. This is great because we can all get a look at this document for ourselves.
The Free Republic article points to “page 23 of 29”. Page 23 is just the beginning of the Vital Statistics statue in the court filing, and doesn’t point to anything specific, nor is there any text cited in the FR that would help us find the appropriate section. Perhaps the Hollister filing will be more specific.
The Hollister Appeal
Hollister attorney Hemenway titles his section: “THE TERRITORIAL LAW 57 AND ITS SIMILARITY TO THE 1982 LAW OF THE STATE OF HAWAII.” Sounds promising. After wading trough the usual pages of birther Attorney irrelevancy, I did finally find his claim:
Upon locating and being able to review the applicable territorial statute we found that it was not exactly the same as the act set out in the major revision and codification of 1982, although similar. What in fact the territorial statute in effect before the 1982 statute sets out is an even greater latitude enabling and entitling persons to register a child for up to a year after its birth and to do so, if not attended by a locally licensed physician or midwife, for the parents or one of them to fill out the birth certificate or for a “local registrar” to fill out a birth certificate “from anyone having knowledge of the birth.” Thus a child born outside of Hawaii and attended by a non-Hawaii licensed health care provider or born unattended could get a Hawaii birth certificate nonetheless. [Request for Judicial notice Court page numbers 9-10.
Essentially, all this says is that if someone, a doctor, a midwife, parents or others is willing to commit perjury, then fraud is possible. This is really no different than it is anywhere in the United States. What Hemenway fails to do is to cite administrative procedures in place that governed the local registrar’s duties and processes in such a case.
So no, the Doc did not screw up.
Citation of the Statute
Here is the section of the Law under discussion (that I have cited before):
§ 57-8. Compulsory registration of births.
Within the time prescribed by the board, a certificate of every birth shall be filed with the local registrar of the district in which the birth occurred, by the physician, midwife or other. legally authorized person in attendance at the bIrth; or if not so attended, by one of the parents. [R. L. 1945, s. 3100.09; add. L. 1949, c. 327, s. 9.]
§ 57-9. Local registrar to prepare birth certificate.
(a) If neither parent of the newborn child whose birth is unattended as above provided is able to prepare a birth certificate, the local registrar shall secure the necessary information from any person having knowledge of the birth and prepare and file the certificate.
There’s nothing here about mailing in the form, and certainly nothing that made fraudulent filers “eligible” to file on behalf of a foreign-born child. Further the only case in which a person other than the parents or legal attendant could file was if the parents were “unable” which clearly was not the case as both Obamas were alive and well and able to file the document themselves.
Indeed my World War II veteran father’s birth certificate was filed by his mother.
If the Free Republic is going to attack motherhood, can apple pie be far behind?