Mother convicted for failing to break up son’s 21st birthday beach party

Appeals court affirms conviction. Michelle Lindstedt’s appeal has been denied. The Kaua’i mother sought to overturn a Fifth Circuit Court conviction for failing to disperse a 21st birthday beach party near the Wailua Course in January 2000.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals of the State of Hawai’i affirmed the conviction this week of its decision filed on January 31, 2003.

On September 5, 2000 Lindstedt’s was found guilty, in a bench trial in Fifth Circuit Court, for failing to disperse. Her charge stemmed from a beach party in the early morning hours of Jan. 23, 2000.

The party was held makai of the Wailua Golf Course, according to a report from the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, and about 500 people were celebrating the 21st birthday party of Lindstedt’s son.

A prepared statement from County Prosecutor Mike Soong said people were drinking alcoholic beverages, including those who appeared to be under 21 years of age, amplified music was being played and 4-wheel drive vehicles were being driven on the beach, plus there was indiscriminate public urination and fights were breaking out.

Soong’s statement said: “Police officers arrived at the party and ordered those in attendance to disperse to avoid more serious consequences. Beer bottles were thrown at the officers, striking and injuring two of them. Police advised Lindstedt to leave the area or be arrested. Lindstedt was a bystander in the immediate vicinity of the disorderly event. She refused to leave without her son and was arrested.”

Lindstedt appealed her conviction contending that Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 711-1102, the failure to disperse law, infringed on her constitutional rights of privacy and freedom of association.

Justice Daniel R. Foley upheld the conviction. In his decision, he wrote, “To prevent the substantial harm of serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to the public it is reasonably necessary for law enforcement to order those participating in the disorderly conduct and those in the immediate vicinity to disperse until the disorderly conduct comes to an end.”

Attorney Warren Perry represented Lindstedt. Former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tracy Murakami represented the State of Hawai’i. Lindstedt was sentenced to pay a $200 fine and $50 to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

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