RETAILER WINS SUIT FOR RIGHT TO HOLD LIEN A civil court in Hawaii ruled in April that a jeweler who sued a customer to gain overdue payment for a large-scale estate appraisal is within the law to hold the jewelry until the bill is paid. Circuit Court Judge Gail Nakatani said the plaintiff, Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry of Honolulu, has the right to "possessory lien" on the jewelry until the defendant, Brian B. Dickinson et al, pays about $22,000. That includes $10,089 for appraisal work, $7,500 in legal fees and $2,334 in other costs. At press time, Charles A. Price, the defendant's attorney, said no decision had been made regarding an appeal. Appraisal experts describe the case as precedent-setting because it involved a retailer suing a customer and affirmed a retailer's right to hold merchandise until a customer pays a bill. The case involves about 800 items the customer l

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