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.


HISTORY OF THE CASE


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.


Trial


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

  • Updates on the case
    File Review Project
    We are currently reviewing the application and award files for each class member to confirm their application and/or award date. The State has transferred 1,000+ digital files to us so far and will continue to do so until we have all application and award files for review.  

    Status Conferences
    Attorneys for Plaintiffs and Defendants continue to meet with Judge Crandall for a status conference about every two weeks.  The purpose of these status conferences is to ensure that the case is moving forward and, if possible, to resolve issues in an expedited manner.  Status conferences are not open to the public.  However, the status conference memos have been uploaded to the Important Documents page for you information.

    Minute Order filed on November 17, 2014
    Judge Crandall ruled that all class members are members of the waiting list subclass.  Defendants filed a motion on August 22, 2014 asking the court to find that damages for out of pocket loss may only be made to those who submitted timely claims for waiting to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Individual Claims Review Panel.  Judge Crandall denied Defendants’ motion on November 17, 2014.

    Trial Order filed on October 7, 2014
    The trial to determine the annual fair market rental value to be used to calculate damages for claimants who applied for Oahu residential leases was from September 30, 2013 through October 2, 2013.  The court ruled that the “Best Fit” model will be used to determine the fee simple values to calculate annual fair market rental values.  This model comprises (1) annual rental values based on four percent of the fee simple value of the land area of a 5,000 square foot lot in Maili for any given year, (2) rents adjusted annually, and (3) a “best fit” model derived from actual fee simple Maili valuations from 1959 through July 8, 2013; and (4) no increases for the consumer price index (CPI) or present value adjustment.  More information about the Best Fit model can be found in Defendants’ post-trial memo, click here. 

    Hearing on September 9, 2014
    Motion filed by Plaintiffs and Defendants to clarify certain deferral orders came before the court during this hearing. Judge Crandall ruled that the previous orders reflect the Court’s ruling and declined to clarify the orders.  Plaintiffs plan to file motions for summary judgement to resolve undisputed issues.  

    Plaintiffs’ Motion to Adopt Damages Trial Plan for Resolution of Oahu Waiting List Subclass Damages Claims and for Appointment of Discovery Master and Special Master also came before the court in the September 9 hearing.  Judge Crandall granted Plaintiffs’ request that Defendants pay fees and costs of the special master at this time in the process.  The special master will decide disputed factual issues after the court considers our motion for summary judgment.  The Court denied Plaintiffs’ request that Defendants pay for the expenses of a discovery master at this time. 
    Posted by Vivien Akiyama
  • Article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser
    Today’s issue of the Honolulu Star Advertiser has a front-page article about our case, “Slow Wheels of Justice.”  We appreciate reporter Rob Perez for writing another informative story about this case.
    Posted Jul 23, 2014, 6:17 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • !! Hearing RESCHEDULED to September 9, 2014 !!
    The hearing that was scheduled for August 13, 2014 have been RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, September 9, at 8:30.

    This hearing will be to decide Plaintiffs’ Motion to Adopt Damages Trial Plan for Resolution of Oahu Waiting List Subclass Damages Claims and for Appointment of Discovery Master and Special Master filed on July 7, 2014.  A copy of the motion is located on the Important Documents page or you can click here.

    We appreciate your support and ask that you attend the hearing if you are able to. 

    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 Jul 22, 2014, 2:13 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Hearing on August 13, 2014, 9:30 am
    Next Hearing Date:  August 13, 2014, 9:30 am

        Courtroom 11
        4th Floor
        First Circuit Court
        777 Punchbowl Street
        Honolulu, Hawaii    96813

    This hearing will be to decide Plaintiffs’ Motion to Adopt Damages Trial Plan for Resolution of Oahu Waiting List Subclass Damages Claims and for Appointment of Discovery Master and Special Master filed on July 7, 2014.  A copy of the motion is located on the Important Documents page or you can click here.

    We appreciate your support and ask that you attend the hearing if you are able to. 

    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 Jul 16, 2014, 3:00 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Mediation Sessions and Court Decision on Damages Trial
    Mediation Sessions
     
             Class Counsel and the State’s attorneys have been participating in  several mediation sessions to attempt to reach a settlement in the case.  The mediation sessions have been held periodically for the last several months.  The next mediation session is in early July.
     
    Court Decision on Damages Trial
     
             Judge Crandall issued her decision on the damage calculation model to be used for Oahu residential claims.  The Judge ruled that the “Best Fit” model proposed by Defendants’ expert would be used and that the “annual increase” method of calculation proposed by Plaintiffs’ expert would be used.  The Judge’s ruling represents a compromise between the positions offered by Plaintiffs and Defendants.
     
             The next step in the process is determining how to proceed on individual damage calculations for Oahu residential claims.  Plaintiffs and Defendants are attempting to reach agreement on how best to decide individual damage issues and will hopefully reach agreement before the Court’s next monthly status conference to be held on June 2.  Status conferences are attended by the attorneys in the case; it is not open to the public. 
    Posted Jun 3, 2014, 2:22 PM by Vivien Akiyama
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