430 P.3d 891 (Hawai’i App. 2018), CAAP-15-0000538, Blake v. Alexander & Baldwin, LLC

Docket Nº:CAAP-15-0000538
Citation:430 P.3d 891, 143 Hawai‘i 330
Party Name:Theodore K. BLAKE, Stacy Moniz, Dexter Gomes, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, LLC., Defendant-Appellee, and John Does 1-50, Jane Does 1-50, Doe Partnerships 1-50, Doe Corporations 1-50, Doe Governmental Entities 1-50 and Doe Entities 1-50, Defendants
Attorney:Stacy Moniz, Plaintiff-Appellant pro se. George Van Buren, (Van Buren & Shimizu), for Defendant-Appellee.
Judge Panel:By: Ginoza, Chief Judge, Fujise and Reifurth, JJ.
Case Date:November 28, 2018
Court:Court of Appeals of Hawai'i, Intermediate
 
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Page 891

430 P.3d 891 (Hawai’i App. 2018)

143 Hawai‘i 330

Theodore K. BLAKE, Stacy Moniz, Dexter Gomes, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, LLC., Defendant-Appellee, and John Does 1-50, Jane Does 1-50, Doe Partnerships 1-50, Doe Corporations 1-50, Doe Governmental Entities 1-50 and Doe Entities 1-50, Defendants

No. CAAP-15-0000538

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai‘i

November 28, 2018

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Unpublished disposition." in the Pacific Reporter. See HI R RAP RULE 35

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIFTH CIRCUIT (CIVIL NO. 14-1-0149 (JKW) ).

On the briefs:

Stacy Moniz, Plaintiff-Appellant pro se.

George Van Buren, (Van Buren & Shimizu), for Defendant-Appellee.

By: Ginoza, Chief Judge, Fujise and Reifurth, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiffs-Appellants Theodore K. Blake (Blake), Stacy Moniz (Moniz), and Dexter Gomes (Gomes) (collectively Plaintiffs) appeal from a Judgment entered in favor of Defendant-Appellee Alexander & Baldwin, LLC (A& B) filed on June 19, 2015, in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit (circuit court).1 Plaintiffs challenge the circuit court’s order granting A& B’s summary judgment motion.

On appeal, Plaintiffs contend that the circuit court erred by: (1) finding no genuine issue of material fact and granting summary judgment for A& B; and (2) denying Plaintiffs’ request under Hawai‘i Rules of Civil Procedure (HRCP) Rule 56(f).

For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.

I. Background

This matter involves a 1991 License Agreement between A&B and Blake, as Vice-President of Kawahinehelelani, Inc. dba Na Pohaku (KI). Plaintiffs initiated this action by filing a "Complaint for Preliminary and Permanent Injunction and for Damages" (Complaint) on July 22, 2014, alleging nine counts stemming from allegations going back to "sometime in 1992 or early 1993[.]"2 The Complaint alleges in relevant part: 7. On or about August 1, 1991, Defendant A& B entered into a license agreement with Plaintiffs predecessor in interest, "Kawahinehelelani Inc." (KI) and Blake to allow KI and Blake to rent a portion of real property at Kukui‘ula (the yard) and for the purpose of propagation of moss and lichen on Pahoehoe rock and to conduct harvesting of rock upon Defendant A& B’s property located at Kukui‘ula. In return, KI and Blake would pay an agreed upon rent price and supply Defendant A& B with a portion of the rock they harvested.

8. The license agreement was signed on December 11, 1991 with an effective date of August 1, 1991. The License Agreement was drafted by Defendant A& B.

9. Sometime in 1992 or early 1993, KI and Blake were effectively locked out of their yard by Defendant A& B’s general contractor at Kukui‘ula, Kiewit Corporation . Upon information and belief, this was done, in part, to exclude Blake and KI workers from witnessing the intentional and/or negligent destruction of at least one Hawaiian archaeological site by Defendant A& B’s general contractor, Kiewit Construction Company ("Kiewit") and to allow Defendant A& B to take possession of all of the harvested rock.

10. Upon information and belief, by this time KI and Blake had harvested approximately twenty-four thousand (24,000) cubic yards of rock, which was stored at their yard at Kukui‘ula pursuant to the license agreement. Plaintiffs work product, the rocks, was subsequently wrongfully seized by Defendant A& B and Plaintiffs were denied access to retrieve the rock and denied the opportunity to continue their business by Defendant A& B .

11. Plaintiffs predecessor KI, and Blake, and later joined by Moniz, attempted on several occasions to attempt to retrieve their property but were denied by Defendant A& B. Defendant A& B claimed that Plaintiffs had "abandoned" the rock and the yard. Plaintiffs denied this, yet A& B continued to maintain its position of "abandonment." Blake and Moniz have filed a police report (Report # 2014-03467) with the Kauai Police Department alleging the wrongful taking of their property of Defendant A& B.

(Emphasis added).

The Complaint further alleges that A& B continued to send Blake and KI invoices pursuant to the License Agreement up to December 2013, and that Moniz made a payment by check in the amount of $100, to be applied to the back rent, which A& B cashed in or around December 2013.

On April 2, 2015, A& B filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that all of Plaintiffs’ claims were barred by applicable statutes of limitations,3 the doctrine of laches barred Plaintiffs claims, and the License Agreement was abandoned...

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