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Sherrill v. Estate of Pico

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai'i

December 5, 2014

BARBARA ELLEN SHERRILL, Petitioner-Appellant
v.
ESTATE OF THOMAS MICHAEL PICO, JR., also known as, THOMAS M. PICO, JR., Respondent-Appellee

As corrected February 11, 2015.

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the Hawai'i reporter

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT. P. NO. 10-1-0254 (Formal).

Barbara E. Sherrill, Petitioner-Appellant, Pro se.

Randall M.L. Yee, Law Office of Randall M.L. Yee, for Respondent-Appellee.

Nakamura, Chief Judge, and Leonard and Ginoza, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Petitioner-Appellant Barbara Ellen Sherrill (Sherrill), appearing pro se, appeals from the " Order Denying Request for Hearing Re: Petitioner's Claims, Daughter's as Beneficiary's, Objection to Filing of Will, and Notification of an Interest in Decedent's Mother's Current Estate" (Order Denying Request for Hearing) issued by the Circuit Court of the First Circuit sitting in Probate (Probate Court)[1] on September 21, 2011.

As explained in greater detail below, our review of Sherrill's appeal is limited to addressing appealable issues arising out of the Order Denying Request for Hearing that Sherrill has standing to raise as a creditor of the estate. We conclude that the only portion of the Order Denying Request for Hearing that is appealable is the portion that denied Sherrill's request for relief from the probate judgment. We affirm that portion of the Order Denying Request for Hearing.

BACKGROUND FACTS

I. Intestacy Proceedings

Thomas Michael Pico, Jr. (Decedent), died on May 19, 2009. He was survived by six children, three adult daughters and three sons. Sherrill is the mother of Decedent's three adult daughters, and Appellee Personal Representative Mary K. Zanakis-Pico (Zanakis-Pico) is the surviving spouse of Decedent. Sherrill and Decedent were never married.

On May 19, 2010, Sherrill filed a " Request to be Appointed Special Administrator" in the Probate Court, requesting her appointment as special administrator in order to protect the interests of her daughters as well as her own interests. Sherrill subsequently sent a letter to the Probate Court requesting a telephonic hearing, which was denied.

On August 17, 2010, Zanakis-Pico filed a " Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and Appointment of Personal Representative" (Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy), seeking a formal determination of intestacy and to be appointed as personal representative of Decedent's estate.

On August 30, 2010, Zanakis-Pico filed an objection to Sherrill's request to be appointed special administrator. On September 1, 2010, Sherrill filed an objection to Zanakis-Pico's request to be appointed personal representative. On that same date, Sherrill also filed a " Request for Change of Judge," asserting that she was " told by the Supreme Court that there are judges who will allow a telephonic hearing."

A hearing on Zanakis-Pico's Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and Sherrill's Request to be Appointed Special Administrator was held on November 4, 2010. Sherrill, a resident of the State of Arizona, was not present at the hearing. At the hearing, the Probate Court orally granted Zanakis-Pico1s Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and appointed Zanakis-Pico as personal representative of the estate. The Probate Court also orally denied Sherrill's Request to be Appointed Special Administrator, concluding that Sherrill " is not an interested person of the estate and has not established a basis for appointment of a special administrator."

On November 29, 2010, the Probate Court entered an order denying Sherrill's Request to be Appointed Special Administrator. On November 30, 2010, the Probate Court entered an order granting Zanakis-Pico's Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy, as well as a " Judgment Pursuant to Order Granting Petition for Adjudication of Intestacy and Appointment of Personal Representative" (Intestacy Judgment). The Intestacy Judgment, among other things, entered judgment: (1) determining that Decedent died intestate; (2) determining that Decedent's heirs were Zanakis-Pico and Decedent's six children; and (3) appointing Zanakis-Pico as personal representative of Decedent's estate.

On December 29, 2010, Sherrill filed a motion, pursuant to Hawaii Probate Rules (HPR) Rule 36(b)(6) (2006), requesting relief from the order denying her request to be appointed special administrator and seeking a new hearing. The Probate Court filed the motion pursuant to its " no bounce rule," but did not assign a hearing date because Sherrill did not submit an order setting date, time, and place of hearing in ...


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