Law

CRM 321

Substantive Criminal Law

Case Brief Format/Sample Case Brief

Richard BRETON, Margaret Mary Breton, Plaintiffs,

v.

CENTRAL PACIFIC SUPPLY CORPORATION, Defendant.

Hawaii Supreme Court (1986)

Parties: [Parties to the case]

Breton’s (Plaintiff) v. Central Pacific Supply Corporation (CPS) (Defendant)

Facts: [Briefly state the relevant facts of the case that the court relied upon to reach their decision –

normally 1-2 paragraphs]

The Bretons are sought to cancel the Agreement of Sale of a leasehold interest and for damages. The

Bretons alleged that CPS had breached the Agreement by defaulting on the payment due thereon and

by vacating the premises.

Prior Proceedings: [Briefly describe the circumstances that have occurred in the case to this point]

This case was originally brought before the Land Court of the City and County of Honolulu, State of

Hawaii. The land court, after the trial, found in favor of the Bretons against CPS. Thereafter, CPS filed a

motion to set aside the findings of fact, conclusions of law and judgment, and to set the matter for a jury

trial. The land court denied the motion.

Issues Presented or Questions of Law: [What was the legal issue presented to the court?]

Does the land court have jurisdiction over the subject matter?

Arguments or Objectives of the Parties: [What were the arguments or objections presented to the

court?]

In answer to the Breton’s petition to cancel Agreement of Sale, one of CPS’s defenses was that the land

court lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter. Therefore any judgment rendered is invalid.

Holding/Rule of Law: [What was the legal rule(s) or principle(s) the court applied to the case?]

“The land court is a court of limited jurisdiction, created for a special purpose, that of carrying into effect

what is known as the Torrens title scheme, derives all of its power from the statutes relating to it, and

can exercise no power not found within those statutes.” The Bretons’ petition and CPS’s counterclaim

both are breach of contract actions over which the land court does not have jurisdiction.

Saint Leo Core Values Displayed: [Discuss the Saint Leo Core Value(s) that were displayed or violated

by the key players in this case] The law enforcement officers violated the Saint Leo Core Values of

Integrity and Respect when they violated the rights of the suspect by using excessive physical force at

the time of the arrest.

Rationale: [Explain the court’s reasoning in deciding the case]

“The lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be waived by the parties.” If the parties do not

raise the issue, a court will, …”

Conclusion: [What was the final outcome/ruling in the case?]

The judgment of the land court is void for lack of jurisdiction. The appeal is dismissed.

Note from instructor:

Most case briefs will be about 1-2 pages in length. For the purposes of your creating case briefs, this

document will guide you to what information you will need to provide.

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