United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER ON INTERPLEADER
Gillmor United States district Judge.
Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company issued
(“Plaintiff Hartford” or “Hartford”)
a group life insurance policy with an effective date of July
1, 2004. Decedent Erlinda Adviento was insured under the
Policy for accidental death.
October 28, 2007, Decedent Erlinda Adviento was killed by her
husband, Defendant Melchor Adviento.
17, 2009, Defendant Melchor Adviento was convicted of
second-degree murder in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes
February 10, 2014, the Hawaii Supreme Court vacated the
Judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. State v.
Adviento, 319 P.3d 1131 (Haw. 2014).
remand from the decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court,
Defendant Melchor Adviento pled guilty on December 1, 2015,
to manslaughter in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes
Erlinda Adviento did not designate a beneficiary under the
Policy. The Policy provided that when no beneficiary is
named, the proceeds would be payable first to the spouse of
the insured, and if not to the spouse, to the surviving
Erlinda Adviento's children are Defendants Joemelyn
Adviento, Judy Adviento, and Jaymelyn Adviento.
Hartford claims that it does not know and cannot determine
the person or persons legally entitled to the proceeds from
the Policy. Plaintiff Hartford claims that it cannot
determine if Defendant Melchor Adviento is entitled to the
proceeds based on Hawaii Revised Statute § 560:2-803,
which provides that someone who commits a felonious and
intentional killing of the decedent may not receive the
decedent's life insurance proceeds.
Hartford asserts that Defendant Melchor Adviento has refused
to disclaim any entitlement to the Policy's benefits.
Defendant Melchor Adviento sent Plaintiff Hartford a letter
stating that he wants the ability to designate the monetary
benefits as he sees fit by giving the entire amount to his
Hartford requests that the Court make a determination as to
the rightful beneficiaries to the Policy.
Hartford states that it has no interest in the benefits from
the Policy. Plaintiff Hartford requests that the Policy
benefits be deposited with the Court pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 22 for Interpleader.
Hartford requests dismissal from the case and attorneys'
fees and costs.
Hartford's Complaint for Interpleader is GRANTED,
IN PART, and DENIED, IN PART.
Court GRANTS Plaintiff Hartford's
request that the Court make a determination as to the
rightful beneficiaries to the Policy.
Court FINDS that Plaintiff Hartford has no
interest in the benefits of the Policy.
Hartford is DIRECTED to deposit the proceeds
into the Registry of the Court from the life insurance policy
for Decedent Erlinda Adviento. The proceeds total $108,
the proceeds are deposited with the Court, Plaintiff Hartford
Life and Accident Insurance Company is released from
liability arising from the distribution of the $108, 000.00
in life insurance policy proceeds for Decedent Erlinda
its deposit of the proceeds with the Registry of the Court,
Plaintiff Hartford is DISMISSED.
Melchor Adviento, Joemelyn Adviento, Judy Adviento, and
Jaymelyn Adviento are precluded from initiating any actions
against Plaintiff Hartford Life and Accident Insurance
Company relating to the Policy at issue.
Hartford's request for attorneys' fees and costs is
Court FINDS that Defendant Melchor Adviento
is not a beneficiary to the Policy. Defendant Melchor
Adviento is precluded from receiving benefits to Decedent
Erlinda Adviento's life insurance policy pursuant to
Hawaii Revised Statutes § 560:2-803.
Court FINDS that Defendants Joemelyn
Adviento, Judy Adviento, and Jaymelyn Adviento are the
rightful beneficiaries to the Policy's proceeds.
Joemelyn Adviento, Judy Adviento, and Jaymelyn Adviento are
entitled to equal parts of the life insurance policy proceeds
for Decedent Erlinda Adviento.
October 19, 2016, Plaintiff Hartford filed its Complaint.
(ECF No. 1).
February 22, 2017, Plaintiff Hartford filed a REQUEST TO
CLERK FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT as to Defendants Joemelyn, Judy,
and Jaymelyn Adviento. (ECF Nos. 17, 18, 19).
same date, the Clerk filed ENTRY OF DEFAULT as to Defendants
Joemelyn, Judy, and Jaymelyn Adviento. (ECF Nos. 20, 21, 22).
April 10, 2017, Plaintiff Hartford filed a MOTION FOR DEFAULT
JUDGMENT. (ECF No. 26).
14, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT. (ECF No. 29).
14, 2017, the District Court denied the FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATION and requested further briefing from Plaintiff
Hartford. (ECF No. 30).
September 1, 2017, Plaintiff Hartford filed a MEMORANDUM IN
SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT. (ECF No. 31).
Court elects to decide the matter without a hearing pursuant
to District of Hawaii Local Rule 7.2(d).
Life Insurance Policy
Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company issued a group
life insurance policy Number ADD10900 (“Policy”)
effective July 1, 2004, to the Financial Services Association
as the policyholder. (Policy, attached as Ex. A to the
Complaint, ECF No. 1-1). Bank of Hawaii was a participatory
financial organization of the Financial Services Association.
Erlinda Adviento was a certificate holder of the Financial
Services Association's Policy. (Complaint at ¶ 8,
ECF No. 1).
Erlinda Adviento was insured in the amount of $108, 000 in
the event of accidental death. (Id.; Policy, Ex. A,
ECF No. 1-1).
Adviento was married to Defendant Melchor Adviento. They had
three children together: an elder son, Defendant Joemelyn
Adviento; a daughter, Defendant Judy Adviento; and a younger
son, Defendant Jaymelyn Adviento. The three children have
reached the age of majority.
Erlinda Adviento Was Killed By Her Husband, Defendant Melchor
October 28, 2007, Erlinda Adviento was killed by her husband,
Defendant Melchor Adviento. State v. Adviento, 319
P.3d 1131, 1140-41 (Haw. 2014).
November 6, 2007, Defendant Melchor Adviento was indicted
upon a charge of murder in the second degree in violation of
Hawaii Revised Statutes §§ 707-701.5, 706-656.
Id. at 1135.
6, 2009, a jury trial began in the Circuit Court for the
First Circuit, State of Hawaii. Id. At the trial,
Defendant Melchor Adviento testified that in the month prior
to her death, Decedent Erlinda Adviento informed him that she
wanted a divorce. Id. at 1137. Defendant Melchor
Adviento testified that on October 28, 2007, he arrived home
from work around noon. At around 2:30 p.m., a neighbor heard
a female scream. Id. at 1138. The neighbor called
911 and when police arrived, Defendant Melchor Adviento
opened the door “covered in blood.” When asked
what happened he responded, “I killed my wife.”
Id. at 1138-39.
Erlinda Adviento was stabbed sixteen times with a serrated
bread knife. Id. at 1139. Defendant Melchor Adviento
had defensive wounds and lacerations. (Id.)
Defendant Melchor Adviento testified that the Decedent
stabbed him as well and that he struggled with her and
stabbed her multiple times. Id. at 1140.
17, 2009, the jury reached an unanimous verdict. They found
Defendant Melchor Adviento guilty as charged, of murder in
the second degree, in violation of Haw. Rev. Stat.
§§ 707-701.5, 706-656. Id. at 1142. The
Circuit Court entered Judgment on October 21, 2009. Defendant
Melchor Adviento was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment
with the possibility of parole after a minimum of ten years
Melchor Adviento Appealed His Conviction And The Hawaii
Supreme Court Vacated The Judgment And Remanded The Case For
A New Trial
Melchor Adviento appealed the Judgment to the Hawaii
Intermediate Court of Appeals. On July 10, 2012, the
Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict and
the Circuit Court's sentence. State v. Adviento,