CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, a municipal corporation of the State of Hawai`i, Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellee, vs. JAMES M. SHERMAN, aka James Malcolm Sherman and AKIKO S. SHERMAN, aka Akiko Sakiyama Sherman, as Trustee under that certain unrecorded James M. Sherman and Akiko S. Sherman Revocable Trust dated May 2, 1989, et al.,
Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees, and FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, a Hawa`i non-profit corporation, Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant, and JOHN DOE 1-200, et al., Defendants.
Attorneys for Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees:
David A. Nakashima and J. Blaine Rogers of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
Attorneys for Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant:
James K. Mee, Rosemary T. Fazio, and Kevin W. Herring of Ashford & Wriston, LLP
Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellee:
Carrie Okinaga, Corporation Counsel, Winston K.Q. Wong, Deputy Corporation Counsel, and Lex R. Smith of Kobayashi Sugita & Goda
COURT: Nakamura, CJ; Reifurth and Ginoza, JJ.
SPECIAL NOTE: The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i.
[ The audio recording for this oral argument is unavailable due to a technical issue which arose with the recording equipment. ]
Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees James Sherman et al. (Lessees) appeal, and Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant First United Methodist Church (Church) cross-appeals, from the December 11, 2007 Final Judgment entered by the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court).
This condemnation action was initiated by Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellee City and County of Honolulu under its eminent domain powers pursuant to Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH) Chapter 38 (Chapter 38) seeking lease-to-fee conversion of certain units in the Admiral Thomas condominium. Lessees own leasehold interests in units at the Admiral Thomas and the Church owns the fee interest. This is the second appeal in this case.
Lessees argue that, on remand following the first appeal, the Circuit Court erred by: (1) not considering units designated in the Third Amendment to the Original Designation (Third Amendment) when determining the number of qualified units under ROH Chapter 38; (2) concluding that lessees Yamamoto, Lee and the Youngs did not qualify under ROH Chapter 38; and (3) failing to use its equitable powers to consider the Third Amendment and to consider Ernestine Young's medical condition when deciding whether she was eligible under ROH Chapter 38.
On cross-appeal, the Church argues that the Circuit Court erred by: (1) ruling that lessees Reich and Hagin were qualified under ROH Chapter 38; and (2) denying the Church's request for attorneys' fees incurred in the first appeal, made pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 101-27.