United States District Court, D. Hawaii
DANE S. FIELD, bankruptcy trustee of the estate of Winston Mirikitani, Plaintiff,
MARIAN MIRIKITANI, individually and as Trustee under Revocable Declaration of Trust dated March 20, 1982, et al., Defendant.
ORDER ADOPTING THE AMENDED PROPOSED FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON FRAUDULENT TRANSFER AND RELATED
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge
December 19, 2016, the bankruptcy judge issued his Amended
Proposed Findings and Recommended Decision on Fraudulent
Transfer and Related Claims (“Recommended
Decision”). The Recommended Decision was transmitted to
this district court on December 21, 2016. [Dkt. no.
On December 30, 2016, Defendants Marian Mirikitani,
individually and as Trustee under Revocable Declaration of
Trust dated March 20, 1982 (“Marian Mirikitani”);
Eleanor Mirikitani; Irene Mirikitani; and Mirikitani
Investment Corporation (“MIC, ” all collectively
“Defendants”) filed their objections to the
Recommended Decision (“Defendants'
Objections”). [Dkt. no. 11.] On January 3, 2017,
Plaintiff Dane S. Field, bankruptcy trustee of the estate of
Winston Mirikitani (“Plaintiff” or “the
Trustee”), filed his objections to the Recommended
Decision (“Plaintiff's Objections”). [Dkt.
no. 15.] Plaintiff filed his response to Defendants'
Objections (“Plaintiff's Response”) on
January 13, 2017, and Defendants filed their response to
Plaintiff's Objections (“Defendants'
Response”) on January 17, 2017. [Dkt. nos. 22, 24.] The
Court finds these matters suitable for disposition without a
hearing pursuant to Rule LR7.2(d) of the Local Rules of
Practice of the United States District Court for the District
of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”). After careful
consideration of the Recommended Decision, objections,
responses, and the relevant legal authority, Defendants'
Objections and Plaintiff's Objections are HEREBY DENIED,
and the Recommended Decision is HEREBY ADOPTED, for the
reasons set forth below.
November 1992, Winston Mirikitani (“the Debtor”)
executed documents transferring his interests in MIC and
Kozan Company (“Kozan”) to his sisters,
Defendants Marian Mirikitani, Eleanor Mirikitani, and Irene
Mirikitani (“the Mirikitani Sisters”). Kozan was
a Hawai`i limited partnership. MIC was the general partner,
and the Debtor and the Mirikitani Sisters were limited
parties. [Recommended Decision at 2-3.]
2005, the Debtor opened Chapter 7 proceedings in the
bankruptcy court, In re Winston Mirikitani, Case No.
05-03693. He obtained a discharge, and the case closed.
[Recommended Decision at 2.]
the Debtor asserted that the transfer of his interests in MIC
and Kozan were for the purpose of shielding his assets from
his creditors and that the Mirikitani Sisters promised to
return the interests to him at a later date. The Mirikitani
Sisters deny this and they refused to return his interests in
the entities. On March 14, 2014, the Debtor sued the
Mirikitani Sisters in state court, seeking recovery of the
assets, and other relief. The state court dismissed the case,
ruling that the Debtor lacked standing because any claim that
the Debtor had to the assets was still the property of his
bankruptcy estate. On November 23, 2014, the Debtor filed a
motion to reopen the Chapter 7 proceedings. The bankruptcy
court granted the motion and appointed Plaintiff to
administer the estate. [Id. at 2, 4.] On January 13,
2016, Plaintiff filed his Complaint, opening an adversary
proceeding in the bankruptcy court, Field v.
Mirikitani, Adv. Pro. No. 16-90002, to recover the
assets that were allegedly the subject of the fraudulent
Complaint asserts the following claims: a fraudulent transfer
claim pursuant to Haw. Rev. Stat. § 651C-4(a)(1) and 11
U.S.C. § 544(b) against the Mirikitani Sisters
(“Count I”); a fraudulent transfer claim pursuant
to Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 651C-4(a)(2) and 651C-5(a)
and 11 U.S.C. § 544(b) against the Mirikitani Sisters
(“Count II”); a claim that Marian Mirikitani is
liable for the transfers in her individual capacity pursuant
to 11 U.S.C. § 550 (“Count III”); a claim
against the Mirikitani Sisters for breach of oral trust
agreement (“Count IV”); a breach of fiduciary
duty claim against the Mirikitani Sisters (“Count
V”); a breach of fiduciary duty claim against
Defendants (“Count VI”); an unjust enrichment
claim against the Mirikitani Sisters (“Count
VII”); and a civil conspiracy claim against the
Mirikitani Sisters (“Count VIII”).
seeks the following relief:
-as to Counts I and II, judgment against the Mirikitani
Sisters, jointly and severally, avoiding the transfers and
awarding Plaintiff either the transferred property or the
value thereof, as well as prejudgment interest and punitive
damages; -as to Count III, judgment against Marian
Mirikitani, in her individual capacity, for the transfers
avoided in Counts I and/or II;
-as to Counts IV, V, VI,  VII, and VIII, judgment against the
Mirikitani Sisters, jointly and severally, for the
Debtor's actual damages sustained, as well as punitive
-as to all counts, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs,
and any other appropriate relief.
November 4, 2016, Defendants filed two motions for summary
judgment, one seeking summary judgment as to Counts IV
through VIII, and the other seeking summary judgment as to
Counts I through III. [Adv. Pro. No. 16-90002, dkt. nos. 68,
Also on November 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for
summary judgment as to Count I. [Id., dkt. no. 76.]
bankruptcy judge recommended that this Court grant partial
summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff as to the timeliness
of Count I, [Recommended Decision at 14, ] and recommended
that the summary judgment motions be denied in all other
Bankr. P. 9033 governs a bankruptcy court's proposed
findings of fact and ...