LIHUE — Default was granted in a quiet title case filed by Robinson Family Partners to all parties listed in a legal notice, with the exception of one person, Aletha Kaohi, who was present at Thursday’s proceedings.
The complaint was filed in Fifth Circuit Court to establish the plaintiff’s fee-simple title to parcel 49A of Kamehameha IV Deed to Lee Ban.
“We’re not going to grant default against Ms. Kaohi,” said Fifth Circuit Court Judge Randal Valenciano, who instead gave her a deadline to file an answer.
Attorney for the plaintiff’s Michael Gibson, of Ashford and Wriston LLC of Oahu, disagreed with Valenciano’s decision to grant Kaohi time to write an answer, because he said default already took place.
“Default was entered on Aug. 4 against everybody in the case. Nobody appeared on the return day on the notice filed by publication, nobody filed an answer, nobody filed a memorandum of opposition to put in motion for summary judgment, so today we’re here not to deal with default, but to deal with summary judgment,” Gibson said.
Gibson suggested the court enter summary judgment.
“We’re not going to do that,” Valenciano said.
Advising Kaohi not to say anything more, Valenciano said, “I’m going to give you, (Kaohi), time to file an answer. That’s what we’re going to do.”
Gibson argued, saying there already was a default order against everyone listed in the case.
“My request today when I came here was a motion for summary judgment so I think perhaps the court could continue the hearing on the motion for summary judgment,” Gibson said.
Valenciano told Gibson the order of default and a summary judgment were not the same documents.
“The only difference between a motion for people of judgment and the motion of summary judgment is nobody is opposing because they were all in default,” Gibson said.
Valenciano said he was not going to change his position.
“I’m not going to default against Ms. Kaohi or grant summary judgment against Ms. Kaohi if she’s standing right there,” he said.
Gibson apologized to Valenciano about debating in court.
“What I’m trying to figure out is what how do you incorporate what you’ve done into an order,” he said.
The order of default was granted, Valenciano said, to all those who didn’t appear. “As for Ms. Kaohi, I’m going to deny that motion and I’m going to give her till Feb. 23, Ms. Kaohi, to file your answer.”
Gibson agreed with Valenciano, stating he thought that was a good way of dealing with the matter.
A legal notice was published in regards to this case by Ashford & Wriston on June 12, June 19, June 26 and July 3 on both Kauai and Oahu. The legal notice states all parties listed had to appear in court or respond with an answer to the other pleading by July 27, 2017.
The parcels in question are royal patents 6861, 7925 and land commission awards 6307, 8020 and 10222.