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In the Matter of the Arbitration Between v. Dorianne Demattos

August 31, 2011

IN THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATION BETWEEN TRUSTEES OF THE DON HO REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST,
CLAIMANTS-APPELLEES,
v.
DORIANNE DEMATTOS, ELIZABETH GUEVARA AND DONALEI HO, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (S.P. NO. 10-1-0345)

FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

NAKAMURA, C.J., FOLEY and GINOZA, JJ.

ORDER DENYING CLAIMANTS-APPELLEES' MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION

Claimants-Appellees the Trustees of the Don Ho

Revocable Living Trust (Appellee Trustees) filed a Motion to Dismiss For Lack of Jurisdiction (Motion to Dismiss) seeking dismissal of this appeal on grounds that Respondents-Appellants Dorianne Demattos, aka Dorianne Ho, Elizabeth Guevara, and Donalei Ho (collectively Appellants) failed to timely appeal. Appellants, who are proceeding pro se, did not file an opposition to the Motion to Dismiss.

Appellee Trustees contend that an order confirming an arbitration award also constitutes entry of final judgment, and that Appellants were therefore required to file an appeal within thirty days from the confirmation order. Because Appellants did not file their appeal in that time period, Appellee Trustees contend the appeal was untimely and this court lacks jurisdiction.

Under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 658,

Appellee Trustees would be correct. However, because HRS Chapter 658 was repealed and replaced by HRS Chapter 658A, we apply the statutory authority applicable to appeals under HRS Chapter 658A.*fn1 In this case, Appellants filed a notice of appeal that was not timely with respect to the confirmation order, but which was timely with respect to a final judgment filed subsequent to the confirmation order. As explained below, under HRS § 658A-28 (Supp. 2010) and § 658A-25 (Supp. 2010), we hold that Appellants were authorized to appeal from the final judgment in this case.

I. Procedural History

On November 12, 2010, Appellee Trustees initiated the proceedings in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court) *fn2 by filing a motion to confirm an arbitration award (motion to confirm). Appellee Trustees asserted that an arbitration proceeding had been held pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement and that an arbitration award had been issued in their favor on October 22, 2010. Appellee Trustees requested that the Circuit Court confirm the arbitration award, enter final judgment, and enter a writ of possession related to certain real property that was a subject of the arbitration award.

On December 7, 2010, Appellants filed a motion to vacate the arbitration award (motion to vacate).

On January 14, 2011, after having held a consolidated hearing on the motions, the Circuit Court issued an order granting Appellee Trustees' motion to confirm and denying Appellants' motion to vacate (January 14, 2011 order). On January 27, 2011, pursuant to the order confirming the arbitration award, the Circuit Court entered final judgment in favor of the Appellee Trustees and against the Appellants. On the same date, the Circuit Court entered a writ of possession in favor of Appellee Trustees related to the real property at issue. On February 28, 2011, Appellants filed a notice of appeal from the final judgment.

II. Discussion

A. Current Provisions Under HRS ...


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