Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — SCWC-16-0000784
No. SCWC-16-0000784, Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8:45 a.m.
BRIAN E. BENNETT and DEBRA S. BENNETT, Respondents/Plaintiffs-Appellees-Cross-Appellants, vs. SAMUEL JONG HOON CHUNG and LINDA HYUNKONG CHUNG, Petitioners/Defendants-Appellants-Cross-Appellees.
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 Petitioners:
Carl H. Osaki
Attorney for Respondents:
Robert E. Badger
COURT: MER, C.J.; PAN, SSM, RWP, and MDW, JJ.
At issue in this case is whether the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) erred in dismissing Petitioners Samuel Jong Hoon Chung and Linda Hyunkong Chung’s (the Chungs) appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. The Chungs and Respondents Brian E. Bennett and Debra S. Bennett (the Bennetts) attempted to resolve a property dispute through arbitration. The arbitrator issued a final award in favor of the Bennetts. The Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court) confirmed the Bennetts’ award pursuant to Hawai i Revised Statutes (HRS) § 658A-22, but did so before the ninety-day period in which the Chungs could file a motion to vacate the award pursuant to HRS § 658A-23 expired. The Chungs later filed a motion to vacate the award within the ninety-day period, which the circuit court denied. The Chungs appealed the denial to the ICA, but did not file an opening brief, and therefore the ICA dismissed their appeal.
Subsequently in the circuit court, the Chungs explained that they did not think the circuit court’s previous order denying their motion to vacate the award was an appealable order pursuant to HRS § 658A-28, and sought an amended order to allow them to appeal. The circuit court amended its order to allow the Chungs to do so, and the Chungs accordingly filed a second appeal. The ICA dismissed their appeal.
The Chungs present one question on certiorari: whether the ICA erred by ruling that the ninety-day period in which to move to vacate an arbitration award does not actually provide ninety days. In response, the Bennetts do not argue that the Chungs did not have ninety days to file a motion to vacate an award. Instead, the Bennetts argue that the Chungs “destroyed their appellate jurisdiction” by pursuing an amended order after failing to file an opening brief in their first appeal.