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Results of August 31, 2012 Hearing

posted Sep 2, 2012, 6:31 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Sep 2, 2012, 6:31 PM ]
Judge Crandall heard four hours of oral argument on motions by the State to limit damages for Waiting List Class members and by us on our motions and oppositions to the State’s positions.

The court ruled on two motions by plaintiffs and twenty-one proposals by defendants.  As a whole, the court’s rulings are favorable to our positions.  Among other things, the court ruled that a beneficiary’s financial qualification for a homestead award does not limit the beneficiary’s ability to receive an award of damages.  The court also ruled that the period of damages stops in the case where a class member refused the offer of a homestead award.  An interest letter or notice of offering will not cut off damages.  In addition, the court ruled that the State has the burden to prove that any class member failed to take steps to minimize their damages.

The court did not rule on the method of computing damages.  The court took under advisement whether damages will be measured by our method, which is the fair market rental value of an improved lot, or the by the State’s method, which asks the court to limit the claims to money actually spent by class members on alternative land.  The court will decide which method will be used without further argument.

The next step is for the court to approve a written order describing the rulings she made on August 31, 2012.  We will be meeting with Judge Crandall in late September to address the issues still be to decided on the damages formula.  We will keep you informed of the next developments.  Overall, we feel that the rulings yesterday were positive.
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