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In re Real Estate Broker's License of Travis

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai'i

December 17, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE REAL ESTATE BROKER'S LICENSE OF BRUCE R. TRAVIS, Respondent-Appellant

As Corrected December 18, 2014. As Amended January 6, 2015.

Editorial Note:

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

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT. (CIVIL NO. 11-1-1090).

On the briefs:

Brian Custer, for Respondent-Appellant.

Patrick K. Kelly, Regulated Industries, Complaints Office, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, for Petitioner-Appellee.

Foley, Presiding Judge, Fujise and Ginoza, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

In this secondary appeal, Respondent-Appellant Bruce R. Travis (Travis) appeals from the December 15, 2011 Judgment[1] of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court) in favor of Petitioner-Appellee Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), through its Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO).[2] The Judgment affirmed the Real Estate Commission's (Commission) April 29, 2011 Final Order, adopting the Hearings Officer's[3] December 28, 2010 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the January 6, 2011 Amended Recommended Order granting RICO's motion for summary judgment, thereby revoking Travis's real estate broker's license (license).

On appeal before this court, Travis maintains that the Circuit Court erred in affirming the Commission's Final Order because the Commission: (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction and (2) wrongfully revoked his license by concluding that his conduct violated Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § § 436B-19(12) (2013), 467-14(8) (2013), and 467-14(20) (2013).

After reviewing the record on appeal, the points raised, the parties' arguments and the applicable legal authority, we resolve Travis's points as follows and affirm.

1. The Commission had jurisdiction to revoke Travis's license. " The existence of jurisdiction is a question of law that we review de novo under the right/wrong standard. Questions regarding subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of a cause of action." Lingle v. Hawaii Gov't Emos. Ass'n. AFSCME, Local 152, AFL-CIO, 107 Hawai'i 178, 182, 111 P.3d 587, 591 (2005) (citation omitted); see also, HRS § 91-14(g)(2) (2012) (providing for judicial review of an agency's decision in a contested case for jurisdictional defects). The Commission had jurisdiction over Travis's real estate license pursuant to HRS § § 26-9(b) (2009), 92-17(b) (2012), 467-4 (2013), and 467-14 (2013). Travis's arguments regarding HRS § 831-3.1(b) (Supp. 2013) do not deprive the jurisdiction of the Commission to revoke a real estate broker's license.

2. The Commission did not err in its conclusion that Travis's conduct violated the statutes governing his real estate license.

If the legislature has granted the agency discretion over a particular matter, then we review the agency's action pursuant to the deferential abuse of discretion standard (bearing in mind the ...

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