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Oral Argument before the Hawaii Supreme Court

No. SCWC-11-0001060, Thursday, January 7, 2016, 10 a.m.

ANTHONY K. SELVAGE, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. LAURA MOIRE, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney for Petitioner:

Samuel P. King, Jr.

Attorneys for Respondent:

Peter Van Name Esser

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 11/10/15.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SSM, RWP, and MDW, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Laura Moire (“Wife”) applied for writ of certiorari from the judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, entered pursuant to its Summary Disposition Order affirming the Family Court of the Third Circuit, South Kohala Division’s November 16, 2011 Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Divorce Decree.

This case arises from divorce proceedings between Wife and Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee Anthony Selvage (“Husband”). The central issue in the family court was the property division of Husband’s inheritance. The family court declined to deviate from the standard partnership model of property division, and awarded Husband approximately $2.8 million in total assets. The family court also held that Husband’s Category 3 credit award would not be reduced after he spent several hundred thousand dollars in arbitration and litigation expenses to obtain the bulk of his inheritance, and that the inheritance did not generate any additional income that should have been divided between Husband and Wife.

Wife appealed to the ICA, arguing that the family court erred when it declined to deviate from the partnership model of property division. The ICA affirmed the family court’s decision. In a concurring and dissenting opinion, Judge Lisa Ginoza concluded that there were sufficient valid and relevant considerations (VARCs) such that the family court should have exercised its discretion and considered whether deviation from the partnership model was warranted.

Wife’s application for writ of certiorari presents three questions:

(1) Did the ICA gravely err in refusing to deduct inheritance-related litigation expenses paid from Category 3 property from [Husband]’s Category 3 credit award?

(2) Did the ICA gravely err in refusing to recognize “trust income” from [Husband]’s mother’s trust as Category 4 property?

(3) Did the ICA gravely err in refusing to remand this case to the family court to make a determination regarding whether there should be a deviation from the partnership model applicable to property division?