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

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS

    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. 

    Posted Feb 24, 2018, 6:28 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • ANNOUNCEMENT

    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.   

    Posted Feb 24, 2018, 6:29 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • ANNOUNCEMENT

    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. 

    Posted Feb 7, 2018, 3:58 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • ANNOUNCEMENT

    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.

    Posted Feb 7, 2018, 3:55 PM by Vivien Akiyama
  • Update
    Aloha - We have been updating our website to include our recent court filings.  Please go to Important Documents to view the filings we have made this year.

    Please join us at the next court hearing.  There are a number of important issues that will be decided and we need your support!

     Next Court Date: Friday, October 7, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
         Courtroom 11
         4th Floor
         First Circuit Court
         777 Punchbowl Street
         Honolulu, Hawaii    96813
    Posted Sep 26, 2016, 10:50 PM by Vivien Akiyama
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