Kailua Kitesurfer Appears in Court

Don Farley, Kailua kitesurfer given a ticket for launching and landing kites

Remember Don Farley? The kitesurfer that received a criminal citation for helping others… 

Don wrote to us in February to let us know that an undercover Police sting operation had led to him and two other kiters getting ticketed for helping other kitesurfers on Kailua beach – where commercial activity is banned. If you missed that news item, he explained that they were simply launching and landing and offering some simple advice and helping out fellow riders, as we all do at the beach.

Read the previous news post about the incident here.

Don made it onto the local news that day: 

Don Farley, Kailua kitesurfer given a ticket for launching and landing kites

On the 21st April Don appeared in court, and sent us this update, which he calls ‘Citations for Aloha’ .

Today, those of us that were cited for commercial activity on 25th February 2015 had our day in court. 
Below is the synopsis from my incident report provided by the ‘discovery process’ (it cost me $1.00 to obtain) and is the essence of my arrest.

‘Due to numerous complaints from Kailua residents regarding commercial activity (kayak and kitesurfing instruction) within Kailua Beach Park, D-4 H.E.A.T. conducted a plain clothes operation to address alleged complaints. That Officer J.XXXXXX observed above suspect (Farley) instructing, teaching, and explaining safety tips to another individual about kitesurfing. That officer J.XXXXXXX identified Farley to this officer and informed me about the violation. That Farley was subsequently cited for park rules/regulations (Commercial Activity) under cit#xxxxxxxxx court date set 3-22-15/Kaneohe Crt. Farley related that he isn’t employed by any business, but comes down to the beach to help people on his own to provide free safety tips. DISPOSITION: Referred to Prosecutors Office.’

Just prior to start of the court proceedings (about 90 minutes late) the prosecuting attorney came out and stated they were going to dismiss all charges without prejudice. The two defense attorneys representing us went to the judge and requested the disposition be changed to “dismissed with prejudice”.
 In the formal legal world a court case that is dismissed with prejudice means that it is dismissed permanently. A case dismissed with prejudice is over and done with, once and for all, and can’t be brought back to court. A case dismissed without prejudice means the opposite: it’s not dismissed forever. The person whose case it is can try again. After a brief question and answer session between the Judge and the attorneys he agreed.

At first I was thinking yes! Victory! Beers for all! Then I realised again what a sad, sad way to be treated at a public park in Kailua. Even if you are law abiding, there is nothing to prevent a kiter from receiving a citation and being dragged into the legal system, forced to spend an unreasonable amount of time and money to explain why they liked to help people.

Draw your own conclusions but for me it created new friendships and reminded me of what a most excellent beach community we have. 
Be positive, don’t judge people and kite, kite, kite….

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