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Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. v. Stewart

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

August 30, 2013

CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MIKE J. STEWART, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS OR THE PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE FIFTH CIRCUIT (CIVIL NO. RC10-1-0024)

Mike J. Stewart, Pro se Defendant-Appellant.

Marvin S.C. Dang and Jason M. Oliver, (Law offices of Marvin S.C. Dand LLL) for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Foley, Presiding Judge, Fujise and Reifurth, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Defendant-Appellant Mike J. Stewart ("Stewart") appeals from the January 26, 2011 Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion (1) to Deem Plaintiff's Request for Admissions Directed to Defendant Admitted; and (2) for Summary Judgment Filed on December 14, 2010 ("Order Granting Motion") and the February 14, 2011 Judgment[1]entered in the District Court of the Fifth Circuit ("District Court") .[2]

Plaintiff-Appellee Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. ("Capital One") alleged that Stewart failed to repay the balance owed on his credit card. On December 14, 2010, Capital One filed Plaintiff's Motion (1) to Deem Plaintiff's Request for Admissions Directed to Defendant Admitted; and (2) for Summary Judgment ("Motion"), arguing that the District Court should deem matters contained in Plaintiff's First Request for Admissions and for Answers to Interrogatories Directed to Defendant ("Request for Admissions") admitted, because Stewart failed to reply, and, whether because of those admissions or even without regard to them, that it was entitled to summary judgment. The District Court granted the Motion and entered judgment in favor of Capital One in the amount of $6, 251.86.

On appeal, [3] Stewart argues that (1) Capital One "failed to invoke the jurisdiction of the trial court, " (2) Capital One failed to establish that it had standing, (3) the District Court "lost jurisdiction the instant [Stewart] was deprived of due process, " (4) the District Court "abused its discretion by ignoring [Stewart's] evidence, " (5) the District Court "erred by showing an appearance of prejudice against [Stewart], " and (6) Capital One committed fraud upon the court.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties, and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, we resolve Stewart's appeal as follows:

(1) Stewart generally claims that the District Court lacked jurisdiction without identifying the reason why this is the case. Nevertheless, district courts "have jurisdiction in all civil actions where the debt, amount, damages, or value of the property claimed does not exceed $25, 000 . . . ." Haw. Rev. Stat. § 604-5(a) (Supp. 2012). "Attorney's commissions or fees, including those stipulated in any note or contract sued on, interest, and costs, shall not be included in computing the jurisdictional amount." Id. Capital One claimed that Stewart owed it a debt in the principal amount of $4, 409.46, which is less than $25, 000. Thus, the District Court had jurisdiction.

(2) Stewart argues that Capital One failed to establish standing because it failed to show that it advanced him money or that it was harmed. We hold that Stewart's argument is without merit.

"The crucial inquiry with regard to standing is whether the plaintiff has alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to warrant his or her invocation of the court's jurisdiction and to justify exercise of the court's remedial powers on his or her behalf." Sierra Club v. Hawai'i Tourism Auth. ex rel. Bd. of Dirs., 100 Hawai'i 242, 250, 59 P.3d 877, 885 (2002) (brackets omitted) (quoting Mottl v. Miyahira, 95 Hawai'i 381, 389, 23 P.3d 716, 724 (2001)).

In deciding whether the plaintiff has the requisite interest in the outcome of the litigation, we employ a three-part test: (1) has the plaintiff suffered an actual or threatened injury as a result of the defendant's conduct; (2) is the injury fairly traceable to the defendant's actions; and (3 ...

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