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Sunday, February 22, 2015
Seminar: Your Rights When HART Comes to Take Your Property
By Robert Thomas @ 9:25 PM :: 3594 Views :: Rail, Small Business

Property Owners Invited: Honolulu Rail Project Public Informational Meeting, Thursday, March 5, 2015, Farrington High School

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, February 21, 2015

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, from 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. at the Farrington High School Cafeteria (1564 North King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii), we're inviting property owners, businesses, and residents whose rights may be impacted by the Honolulu rail project to join us for an informational meeting about the rights of property owners when their property is targeted for acquisition for public transit projects, and how to protect those rights.

Here's the invite which we sent out:

Hawaii’s Constitution requires “just compensation” and monetary damages be paid if private property is taken for a public use such as the Honolulu rail project. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit has already begun acquiring privately-owned property it needs for the rail corridor from the airport to Ala Moana, as shown in the video below.

Landowners along the rail route have substantial rights that may be impacted. For background and a FAQ on Honolulu's rail project, see Clearing Up Myths About Hawaii Eminent Domain Law and the Rail. More here: All Aboard? Honolulu Rail is Coming.

HART initially attempts to purchase property and other rights needed for the project by negotiation, but in the event it cannot reach an agreement with an owner about the compensation and damages it owes, HART has the authority to force immediate surrender of property by filing an eminent domain lawsuit against the owner, which allows a jury or a judge to determine the property’s value.

Please join Mark Murakami and Robert Thomas for an informational town hall meeting at which we will discuss the rail project, your rights as a property owner under Hawaii’s eminent domain law, and how you can protect your rights during the acquisition process. Here’s the location, date, and time:

Topics we will cover will include:

  • Can I prevent HART from taking my property?
  • What rights do I have if HART wants to enter my property to survey and drill for soil testing?
  • The valuation process: how is “just compensation” and damages calculated by the courts?
  • HART’s offer does not adequately compensate me – do I have to wait for HART to sue?
  • What are my rights as a landlord, a tenant, or a business owner whose property is taken by HART?
  • I have a mortgage on my property. Does the lender have any claim?
  • What are my rights if HART takes less than 100% of my parcel?
  • What does the law require if my home or my business must be relocated as a result of the project?

We have also invited an appraiser to attend to discuss the appraisal process.

We and our law firm currently represent several landowners whose property is targeted by HART for the rail. We have also represented property owners in eminent domain and similar matters for many years. Mark was Best Lawyers' in America's "Best Lawyer of the Year in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law" for Honolulu in 2013, and Robert shared this designation in 2014. Mark and Robert and their partner Ken Kupchak are listed in Honolulu Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Hawaii" and in Hawaii SuperLawyers in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

While the format of the meeting will not lend itself to individual consultations, there will be a short session after our presentation to respond to general questions. Light refreshments will be provided. We hope you or a representative are able to join us.

To reserve your space, please email your RSVP to me or Mark, or call either of us at (808) 531-8031.

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