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Lambert v. Teisina

Supreme Court of Hawai'i

January 10, 2014

HOVEY B. LAMBERT, TRUSTEE UNDER THAT HOVEY B. LAMBERT TRUST, an unrecorded Revocable Living Trust Agreement dated April 5, 2002, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LESIELI TEISINA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant And PENISIMANI TEISINA, Petitioner/Intervenor-Appellant, and WAHA (K), et al., Defendants-Appellees

CERTIORARI TO THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS. CAAP-12-0001024; CIV. NO. 09-1-2529.

R. Steven Geshell for petitioners.

Philip J. Leas, W. Keoni Schultz and Lori K. Amano for respondent.

NAKAYAMA, ACTING C.J., ACOBA, McKENNA, AND POLLACK, JJ., AND CIRCUIT JUDGE LEE, IN PLACE OF RECKTENWALD, C.J., RECUSED.

OPINION

Page 377

[131 Hawai'i 458] PER CURIUM

Petitioners/defendants-appellants Lesieli Teisina and Penisimani Teisina (collectively, " the Teisinas" ) apply for certiorari review of the Intermediate Court of Appeals' (" ICA" ) dismissal of their appeal from the " Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion to Allow Overbidding, to Confirm Sale, to Account for and Direct Reimbursement of Expenses and Attorneys' Fees and to Disburse Net Proceeds" (" Confirmation Order" ) for lack of jurisdiction. The Teisinas contend that the ICA has jurisdiction over the appeal because the Confirmation Order qualifies as a final, appealable order in the absence of a final judgment under the exception announced in Forgay v. Conrad, 47 U.S. 201, 12 L.Ed. 404 (1848). Respondent/plaintiff-appellee Hovey B. Lambert, Trustee Under the Hovey B. Lambert Trust (" Trustee Lambert" ) argues that the ICA correctly dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because no final judgment has been entered in the case, and the Confirmation Order does not satisfy any of the exceptions to the final judgment requirement for appeals.

We conclude that the Confirmation Order qualifies as a final, appealable order under the Forgay doctrine, and may be immediately reviewed on appeal in the absence of a final judgment. Accordingly, we vacate the dismissal order and remand the matter to the ICA for disposition of the appeal on the merits.

I. Background

A. Brief Factual History

The Lambert family owned a substantial portion of two parcels of land located in Laie, Hawai'i -- Parcel 33 [1] and the Kuleana parcel.[2] Peter K. Lua (" Lua" ) owned a small portion of Parcel 33.

In 1991, Lua sold 10,000 square feet of Parcel 33 to the Teisinas and the Teisinas built what is now a 5,800 square feet, three-story home valued at approximately $393,200.00. The Teisinas have always lived in their home and at some point rented out some of the rooms. The Teisinas later conveyed a small portion of their interest in Parcel 33 to the Fa family.[3]

Page 378

[131 Hawai'i 459] B. Brief ...


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