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Ramos v. Estate of Elsenbach

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

October 22, 2015

RONDA L. RAMOS, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
THE ESTATE OF PETER JOSEPH ELSENBACH, ELSENBACH CHILDREN'S TRUST, AND CHRISTOPHER ELSENBACH, Respondents-Appellees

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT. P. NO. 13-1-0182.

Ronda L. Ramos, Pro se, Petitioner-Appellant.

Kenn N. Kojima and Edward J. Bybee separately for Respondents-Appellees.

FOLEY, PRESIDING J. AND LEONARD, J. WITH REIFURTH, J. DISSENTING SEPARATELY.

OPINION

Page 1261

[136 Hawai'i 358] Daniel R. Foley, J.

Petitioner-Appellant pro se Ronda L. Ramos (Ramos) appeals from the " Order Dismissing With Prejudice Claimant's Petition For Relief And Allowance Of Claims Filed October 22, 2013" (Order), entered on May 22, 2014 in the Circuit of the Third Circuit[1] (circuit court).

On appeal, Ramos contends the circuit court erred by

(1) denying " Claimant's Petition for Relief and Allowance of Claims" (Petition) based on a finding that it lacked jurisdiction to grant the Petition;

(2) failing to consider and apply Hawai'i Probate Rules (HPR) 3 and 10 when dismissing Ramos' Petition; and

(3) requiring Ramos to commence a proceeding before the appointment of a personal representation.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 15, April 22, and April 29, 2013, Respondents-Appellees Estate of Peter Joseph Elsenbach, Elsenbach Children's Trust, and Christopher Elsenbach (collectively, Respondents), published " Notice to Creditors of Peter Joseph Elsenbach" in the West Hawaii Today newspaper (Notice to Creditors). The Notice to Creditors stated, in pertinent part, " All creditors of the above-name decedent [Peter Joseph Elsenbach] and/or trust are hereby notified to present their claim . . . within four (4) months from the date of the first publication of this notice, or they will be forever barred."

On August 15, 2013, Ramos prepared and delivered four " Creditor's Claims" to Respondents.

In separate letters dated and mailed on August 21, 2013, Respondents' attorney notified Ramos that all four of her claims dated August 15, 2013 were disallowed (disallowance letters). The disallowance letters indicated that " if [she] wish[ed] to pursue the claim, [she] must petition the probate court or commence a proceeding for allowance of the claim no later than sixty days after the mailing of this letter" and that " [f]ailure to take action within [the] sixty-day period will bar [her] from future action to enforce [her] claim."

On October 22, 2013, Ramos filed her Petition. Ramos' Petition sought to claim the following from Respondents:

A) $500.00 to reimburse money borrowed from a friend to buy back some of my personal property that was being sold at an estate sale by the new owners of my previous marital residence.
B) $360,000.00 for my providing 24 hour per day care giving services for nine (9) years to Decedent that he medically needed, but he refused to hire a nurse to provide at least the nighttime services when he required his air mask to be put back on him every 45 to 60 minutes from 8PM to 7AM on every single night of the week, and I ...

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