Aug 05 2009

Hawaiians Wait Years for Justice in the Courts Posted by Lana Ululani Robbins

Hawaiians Wait Years for Justice in the Courts Posted by Lana Ululani Robbins

On September 30, 1999, the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation submitted the statutorily required notice of rejection of legislative action on behalf of some plaintiffs.

In 2006 the First Circuit Court decided in favor of Leona Kalima, Dianne Boner, Raynette Nalami Ah Chong, et al:

“plaintiffs are entitled to pursue their claims under HRS chapter 674; (2) reverse the circuit court’s determination that Act 14 is a settlement agreement and that the plaintiffs have a right to sue under HRS chapter 661; and (3) remand this case to the circuit court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. With respect to the circuit court’s order denying the State defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, we neither affirm nor vacate the order because, as discussed in section III.D. above, we are unable to definitively render a decision with respect to the remaining counts or claims represented by such counts.”

Recently on August 4, 2009 beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Act of 1920 began their case against the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in state Circuit Court.

On August 5, 2009 two of these beneficiaries who said they had been treated unfairly by the agency testified.

The class-action suit brought by Leona Kalima, Dianne Boner and Raynette Ah Chong on behalf of more than 2,700 DHHL beneficiaries accuses the state of failing to meet its trust obligations to Native Hawaiians by not offering homestead properties for lease to them in an efficient and prompt manner.

Problematic are

1. The local press in Hawai’i seem to collude with the “state” of Hawai’i to try to make it seem as though Hawaiians are somehow “wrong” to fight for their property rights. There is nothing wrong with fighting for one’s property.

2. Unfortunately some people do not understand title so they mistakenly accuses Hawaiians of being “leeches who want freebies.” However that is not true. Though some people want to try to make it seem as though Hawaiians do not have property rights, Hawaiians and their legal heirs never consented and never signed to transfer their title to anyone or to any entity. However some people do not understand that which results in some of the comments that we read and/or see.

Fortunately judges like Chief Justice Moon seem to be fair and unbiased despite some people try to slander and/or libel Hawaiians. It amazes me how some things come out in political issues… such as land issues. It brings out the best and the worst in people.

Ironically Chief Justice Moon was appointed to the Hawaii State Judiciary as a circuit court judge by former Governor George Ariyoshi. Former Governor John Waihee then promoted him to the office of Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court in 1990. In 1993, he was once again promoted to become chief justice.

IMHO he is one of the best things about Hawai’i. It would be easier to buckle under pressure from politicians some of whom want to separate Hawaiians and their legal heirs from their title so that their investment portfolio can increase. Fortunately Chief Justice Moon seems fair and unbiased which is rare in Hawai’i.

IMHO we need more people like him in this world 🙂

Lana Ululani Robbins