Lambert v. WahaAnnotate this Case
This case arose out of a dispute over title to a parcel of land in Oahu. The ownership interests of Lesieli Teisina (Lesieli) and Peni Teisina (Peni), who held estates in common, were challenged by a co-owner of the property, Hovey Lambert, as the statutory period for adverse possession was ending. Lambert named Lesieli and other defendants but failed to name Peni. Lesieli and Peni, who later moved to intervene, asserted adverse possession as an affirmative defense. The circuit court concluded that Peni had no interest in the parcel and that Lesieli had only a minute interest in the parcel, thus implicitly rejecting the Teisinas’ adverse possession defense. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed the circuit court’s denial of the Teisinas’ affirmative defense of adverse possession. The Supreme Court vacated in part, holding that the ICA erred in affirming that portion of the circuit court order that implicitly rejected Peni’s adverse possession defense, as (1) the facts of this case satisfy the evidentiary burden on summary judgment of demonstrating compliance with the good faith requirement required in cases involving adverse possession against cotenants; and (2) the statutory period for adverse possession tolls for a named party to the litigation but continues to accrue for unnamed claimants.