Kalima, et al. v. State of Hawai‘i

Civil No. 99-4771-12, First Circuit Court, State of Hawai'i

Welcome to the informational website for the Kalima v. State of Hawai‘i class action lawsuit. 


This case was filed in 1999 on behalf of the 2,700 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) beneficiaries who filed claims with the Native Hawaiian Claims Panel ("HCO Panel") between 1991 and 1995.  Only those people who filed claims with the HCO 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.

Recent Announcements

  • Hawai`i Supreme Court Hears Argument on August 21, 2019
    On the 60th Anniversary of statehood, when Hawai`i accepted the solemn duty to act as trustee and fiduciary of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, the Hawai`i Supreme Court heard argument on the Beneficiaries and State's cross-appeals.

    In Kalima v. State (Kalima I), 111 Hawaiʻi 84, 137 P.3d 990 (2006), the Court had held that the Beneficiaries were permitted to file a complaint seeking individual damages under Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 674.  After the Court affirmed the Beneficiaries' right to sue it sent the case back to the Circuit Court.  The Circuit Court first found the State liable for various breaches of the trust.  It later adopted a fair market value based damages model to calculate the damages to be awarded to each waiting list beneficiary.  Another trial was held to resolve methodological issues regarding the circuit court’s fair market value model.  In 2008, the circuit court entered a final judgment.

    On appeal, the State contends that the circuit court erred in (1) establishing an overbroad subclass list; (2) finding that the State breached its trust duties by not recovering lands that were “withdrawn from the Trust prior to Statehood[;]” (3) adopting a damages model that is not connected to the breaches of trust that were found by the circuit court; (4) adopting a damages model that fails to limit recovery to “actual damages” as required by statute; (5) applying the Oʻahu fair market rental value model for residential leases to the entire State; (6) incorrectly determining that subclass members had no duty to mitigate damages until 1995; (7) incorrectly providing for temporary suspension of damages when claimants “deferred” from participation in a homestead offering; and (8) shifting the burden of proof to the State on essential elements of Beneficiaries' case.

    On cross-appeal, the Home Lands Beneficiaries argued that the circuit court erred in (1) ruling that beneficiaries must prove out-of-pocket expenditures to recover individual damages; (2) ruling that a waiting list subclass member’s “deferred” status suspends their individual damages; (3) imposing a six-year delay before individual damages accrue; (4) not bringing damages to present value; and (5) adopting the “best fit” curve and reducing individual subclass damages.

    Carl Varady and Thomas Grande argued for the Beneficiaries. The Court was very well informed and the parties arguments and Court's questions lasted for 2 hours. The Court originally had scheduled the argument for only 30 minutes.

    You can click on the link to the argument to the Court here: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/oral-argument-before-the-hawaii-supreme-court-scap-18-0000068

    We are hopeful for a decision by the end of the year.  Please keep checking this site for updates.

    A photo of the hui and lawyers after argument is shown.

    Mahalo nui!


    Posted Aug 23, 2019, 9:29 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • ANNOUNCEMENT
    Reply briefs were filed in the case on December 28, 2018.

    Read Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief by clicking here.

    Read Defendants’ Reply Brief by clicking here.

    Oral argument is set for Wednesday, August 21, 2018
    at the Hawai’i Supreme Court Courtroom, 417 South
    King Street, Honolulu 96813.
    Posted Jun 19, 2019, 6:03 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • ANNOUNCEMENT
    The Hawai’i Supreme Court has scheduled
    oral argument in the appeal:

    Date:   Wednesday August 21, 2019

    Time:   8:45 a.m.

    Place:  Supreme Court Courtroom
                Ali’iolani Hale
                417 South King Street
                 Honolulu, Hawai'i

    UPDATE REGARDING SCHEDULING AND IDEAS FOR PARKING

    Oral argument will be held at the Hawai‘i  Supreme Court located at 417 S King St, Honolulu, HI.  There is limited metered street parking on Richards St., S. King St., Mililani St., I`olani Palace, Punchbowl St. and a few metered stalls adjacent to the court.

    Public parking at a nominal rate ($1/hr) is available in the two State parking structures located at Halekawila and Punchbowl Streets and Pohukaina and South Streets.  There is also metered parking at the Municipal lot located at Beretania and South Streets.

    Parking also is available at commercial rates at the Restaurant Row parking lot on Pohukaina Street (but you may be able to get an hour of validation if you buy something at one of the shops there).

    The attached map found in the pdf file located below this announcement can be downloaded and printed for more detail regarding the location the court and for locations of the parking options noted above.

    The court opens at 8:30 a.m. and argument starts at 8:45 a.m.  Please be on time if you plan to attend.  Call 523-8447 if you have any questions. 

    Mahalo and Aloha Kākou.

    Posted Aug 19, 2019, 1:51 PM by Vivien Akiyama
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