Guam Supreme Court Decision: Dismissal of Sun Young Choi v. Shinya Kawashima Upheld


Guam – The Supreme Court of  Guam Monday ruled that the Superior Court did not “abuse its discretion” in dismissing a complaint filed by Sun Young Choi Park against Shinya Kawashima.

Park had filed suit against Kawashima for non-payment on a promissory note because of Park’s failure to prosecute under Rule 41(b) of the Guam Rules of Civil Procedure and prior Civil Rule 7(D) of the Local Rules of the Superior Court.

In an opinion authored by Chief Justice Robert J. Torres and concurred by Justice F. Philip Carbullido and Justice Katherine A. Maraman, the court held that the Superior court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the case 41 months after the complaint was filed for failure to prosecute.

Among the factors considered by the Superior Court were the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation, the court’s need to manage its docket and the fact that the case exceeded the time standard established by the Supreme Court of Guam that all civil matters be completed and closed within eighteen (18) months of filing.

The Supreme Court stated however, in considering the motion to dismiss, the Superior Court used the prior rules of court without a finding that application of the current Local Rules of the Superior Court would not be feasible or would work injustice.

Nevertheless, the court concluded that whether the prior rule or current local rules should have applied did not affect the propriety of dismissal under Rule 41(b).

Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed.