Announcements

Hawai`i Supreme Court Hears Argument on August 21, 2019

posted Aug 23, 2019, 9:15 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Aug 23, 2019, 9:29 PM ]

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an overbroad subclass list; (2) finding that the State breached its trust duties by not recovering lands that were “withdrawn from the Trust prior to Statehood[;]” (3) adopting a damages model that is not connected to the breaches of trust that were found by the circuit court; (4)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!


ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Jun 19, 2019, 6:01 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Jun 19, 2019, 6:03 PM ]

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.

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Jun 19, 2019, 1:25 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Aug 19, 2019, 1:51 PM ]

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.

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Oct 15, 2018, 4:53 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Oct 15, 2018, 4:55 PM ]

Answering briefs in the case were filed on October 4, 2018.
Reply briefs are due on October 29, 2018.

Read Plaintiffs' Answering Brief by clicking here.
Read Defendants' Answering Brief by clicking here.

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Sep 9, 2018, 5:00 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Sep 9, 2018, 5:06 PM ]

Opening briefs in the case were filed on July 25, 2018. Answering briefs are due on October 4, 2018.

Read Plaintiffs' Opening Brief by clicking here.
Read Defendants' Opening Brief by clicking here.

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted May 12, 2018, 7:16 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated May 30, 2018, 1:33 PM ]

Opening briefs in the case will be filed on July 25, 2018. Each party will then file answering briefs and reply briefs.  After briefing, Plaintiffs will request that the case be heard directly by the Hawai'i Supreme Court on an expedited basis.  The Court will then set oral argument for the appeals.

Read Plaintiffs' Statement of Jurisdiction by clicking here.  Read Defendants' Statement of Jurisdiction by clicking here.

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Feb 24, 2018, 6:27 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated May 13, 2018, 1:22 AM ]

Plaintiffs Cross-Appeal Court Judgment 

Plaintiffs have filed a Notice of Cross-Appeal of the Circuit Court’s January 9, 2018 Judgment.  Read Plaintiffs’ Civil Appeal Docketing Statement for more information. 

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Feb 7, 2018, 4:02 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Feb 24, 2018, 6:29 PM ]

State Appeals Court Judgment 

 

The State of Hawai’i has filed a Notice of Appeal of the Circuit Court’s January 9, 2018 Judgment in favor of the Waiting List Subclass.  The State contends that it did not breach its trust obligations to Plaintiffs and should not be liable for damages.  Read the State’s Civil Appeal Docketing Statement for more information on the State’s position. 

 

During the appeal, the Circuit Court has directed Defendants and Plaintiffs to meet and confer to establish the application, award and NHQ for all class members.   

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Feb 7, 2018, 3:58 PM by Vivien Akiyama

Circuit Court Enters Judgment in Favor of Waiting List Subclass 

 

Judge Virginia Lea Crandall entered Final Judgment on January 9, 2018 in favor of the Waiting List Subclass.  Final Judgment means that Plaintiffs have prevailed in the case, subject to any appeal taken by the State of Hawai'i or Plaintiffs. 

ANNOUNCEMENT

posted Feb 7, 2018, 3:55 PM by Vivien Akiyama

Circuit Court Establishes Special Master and Claims Administration Process for All Class Members 

 

Judge Virginia Lea Crandall has granted Plaintiffs’ motions to establish a Special Master and Claims Administration Process for final computation of damages for all Class Members.  The Special Master will compute individual damages for the Waiting List Subclass based upon application and award date.  The Special Master will also oversee a separate process to evaluate all non-Waiting List Subclass claims.  July 26, 2017 Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion to Establish Claims Process to Resolve All Claims.

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