Toll-free Number

E-mail Mailing List

Next Court Date:

Kalima, et al. v. State of Hawai‘i, et al.

Civil No. 99-4771-12

Welcome to the informational website for the  Kalima v. State of Hawai‘i class action lawsuit.  This website was created as a central site for the claimants and the public to get updates on the case, documents, and obtain information. We will update this website as the case progresses and we receive new information.  

This case was filed on behalf of the 2,700 people who filed claims with the Native Hawaiian Claims Panel ("Panel") between 1991 and 1995.  Only those people who filed claims with the Panel between 1991 and 1995 are a part of this lawsuit.  More information can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have a potential lawsuit involving other Native Hawaiian issues, 

please call the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation at (808) 521-2302.


Governor's Task Force

In 1988, Governor John Waihee adopted task force recommendations to resolve breach of trust claims by Native Hawaiians against the State of Hawai‘i in the administration of the Hawaiian Homelands program.  This process resulted in the establishment of a Hawaiian Claims Office Individual Claims Panel (“Panel”) in 1991 pursuant to the requirements of Hawaii Revised Statues Chapter 674.  See a copy of HRS Chapter 674 on the Important Documents page.

Under Chapter 674, Native Hawaiians who alleged a breach of trust in the management and disposition of trust resources between 1959 and 1988 were entitled to pursue their claims for breach of trust administratively and judicially.  Because the Panel did not complete its work by 1999, the Legislature extended its existence for one year.  However, that bill was vetoed by the governor.

The termination of the Panel operations left the beneficiaries in a classic “Catch-22.”  In order to file a claim in Circuit Court, the claimants had to reject Legislative action taken on their claims.  However, the Legislature had taken action on only one of the 4,000 plus claims filed by the 2,721 claimants.

Lawsuit Filed in 1999

A lawsuit brought by beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust was filed in Circuit Court on December 29, 1999.  Under Chapter 674, the lawsuit could only be filed on behalf of beneficiaries who filed claims with the Panel by August 31, 1995.  The case was titled Kalima v. State of Hawai‘i.  In June 2000, Judge Victoria Marks certified Count I of the Complaint as a class action and ruled in Plaintiffs’ favor that they had a right to sue for breaches of trust in circuit court.  See Judge Marks' Order on the Important Documents page. The State filed their notice of appeal on December 20, 2001.


Hawai‘i Supreme Court Ruling

On June 30, 2006, six years after Judge Marks certified Count I of the Complaint, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled that claimants have the right to sue for monetary damages in Circuit Court for breaches of trust that occurred between 1959 and 1998.  See Hawaii Supreme Court Ruling on the Important Documents page.

Subclass Certification

After the Supreme Court ruling in 2006, the Plaintiffs amended their complaint to pursue the claims on a subclass wide basis.  See Second Amended Complaint on Important Documents page.

Plaintiffs then moved to certify five subclasses to make the case more manageable. Judge Marks certified five subclasses: Waiting List, Ultra Vires, Uninhabitable Awards, Lost Application, and Successor Rights.  Subclass 1, Waiting List, is by far the largest of the subclasses, including almost all of the class members.  See Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification on Liability for Subclass 1 Through 4 and 6 Filed March 20, 2007 on the Important Documents page.


The trial for the liability portion of Subclass 1, Waiting List, started on August 4, 2009.  The trial ended on September 11, 2009.  Approximately three weeks later, on November 3, 2009, Judge Eden Hifo rendered her written decision and ruled that the State of Hawaii breached its trust obligations and was liable for the delays in receiving homesteads by the beneficiaries.  See Decision Regarding Liability and Legal Causation Following Trial on the Important Documents page.

Judge Hifo retired at the end of 2009 and the Honorable Judge Virginia Crandall has been assigned to the case. 


The damages portion of the case will go to trial on September 30 and October 1, 2013.

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Toll-free number:  (888) 901-4564

For more information, please go to the Contact Us page and submit a request for more information.

Recent Announcements

  • Notes from the Nov. 25 hearing
    Judge Crandall heard closing arguments from both sides during the Nov. 25, 2013 hearing.  She did not render her decision at the hearing and will decide on the damages trial on a later date.  We will post her decision on this website as soon as we receive it.

    We thank you for your patience.
    Posted Dec 6, 2013, 1:07 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Damages trial
    The trial for the damages portion of this case began on September 30, 2013 ended on Thursday, October 3, 2013. During the trial, both sides presented expert testimony regarding the damage calculation models that they believe should be used to calculate the fair market rental value of residential leasehold lots during the period from 1960 to the present.  The court heard expert testimony from both sides and took the matter under advisement for a decision after final briefs are filed.
    Written closing arguments will be submitted to the court in writing on November 18.  The hearing for the closing arguments will be on November 25 at 9:00. 
    We will post the Judge's decision on the website as soon as we receive it.
    We would like to thank everyone who attended the trial.  Your support at court means a lot to us and it is important that the Judge see the faces of the claimants.  Your attendance at the trial and hearings is very important.  Thank you for your support.
    Your support at the November 25 hearing will be appreciated if you are able to attend.
    Thank you again for your patience and kōkua.
    Posted Oct 7, 2013, 7:52 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • CHANGE OF TRIAL DATES!! Trial dates: October 1 and 2, 2013
    The trial has been pushed back one day.  The first trial date will be on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

    We apologize if this has caused any inconvenience for you.  If you plan to attend the trial, please check this website often to confirm the trial dates.  The trial dates can change at any time, including the morning of October 1.

    Thank you for your patience and kokua. 
    Posted Sep 24, 2013, 12:36 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Trial on Sept 30 and Oct 1, 2013
    The damages portion of the case will go to trial for two days on September 30, 2013 and October 1, 2013. 

    We would appreciate your support and ask that you attend the trial if you are able to.  The trial will be held at:

            4th Floor
            First Circuit Court
            777 Punchbowl Street
            Honolulu, Hawaii    96813

    Parking is available at the Courthouse or at the Department of Transportation Building at the corner of Punchbowl and Halekauwila.

    Please understand that the above date is what has been scheduled at this time and is subject to change at anytime.  We ask for your patience and understanding if the above date is changed.  We will try to inform you via this website and the toll-free number of any changes to the schedule as soon as we can.
    Posted Sep 4, 2013, 12:29 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Honolulu Star-Advertiser article to run on Sunday, July 14
    On Sunday, July 14 the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is going to run a story about our case, Kalima vs. State of Hawaii.  Rob Perez, the reporter who wrote the story, has been researching the case and interviewing people for over a month. 

    We would like to thank the people who allowed the Star-Advertiser to photograph them for the article.

    Posted Jul 12, 2013, 3:50 PM by Vivien Akiyama
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 32. View more »