Friday, October 23, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, March 30, 2020
Time For A "Coronavirus Disputes Court?"
By Robert Thomas @ 3:46 AM :: 926 Views :: Judiciary, COVID-19

Time For A "Coronavirus Disputes Court?"

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, March 27, 2020

The materials we were reading yesterday (particularly Steve Silva's "History: Fire and Blood(worth)," got us to thinking. There, Steve wrote about the  September 2, 1666 London fire which destroyed 80% of the city, the government's emergency powers, and compensation. He also brought up a subject we had not know of before: the subsequent legislation -- the Fire of London Disputes Act  1666 (18 & 19 C. II. c.7)* -- which created the "Fire Court."

That court -- comprised of learned judges from existing courts (K.B., Common Pleas, and Exchequer) -- was created to resolve "Differences touching Houses burned or demolished by reason of the late Fire which happened in London" between landlords and tenants. The court began its seating on January 1, 1668. The legislation charged the court with resolving disputes about the required rebuilding, property boundaries, the "Rents as if the same had not been burned," and the like. The legislation noted the goal of spreading the public loss among the entire public, too:

And for that it is just that every one concerned should bear a proportional share of the loss, according to their several Interests, wherein in respect of the multitude of cases varying in their circumstances no certain general rule can be prescribed.

As noted above, the jurisdiction of the court included not only structures actually burned by the fire, but those "pulled down or otherwise demolished, defaced, or otherwise ruined by reason of the said Fire." The vibe of the statute seems to have been to get these disputes resolved in a single forum, and quickly (appeals had to be made in seven days for example).  

There are analogies in American law. For example, after public authorities declared cordon sanitaire and accidentally burned down a large part of downtown Honolulu in 1900 (officials purposely set fires in Chinatown to root out bubonic plague, but winds carried the fire to other parts of town), the Supreme Court of Hawaii effectively served as a Plague Fire Court, resolving a series of cases involving insurance, landlord/tenant, and other disputes.

We're not formally trained in legal history, so we're just spitballing here on the details of the Act and how the Fire Court actually operated. But given the magnitude of the potential claims arising out the present situation, one way to bring the takings, commandeering, landlord-tenant, insurance, and other closely-related issues to a quick(er) resolution than the usual civil litigation slog might be a similar tribunal designed to resolve uncertainties and establish the rights of those affected.

We're guessing that one of the impediments to economic recovery after we're on the other side of this thing will be the uncertainties of litigation if disputes are resolved by the usual process. A "Coronavirus" court might be one way to push through those.    

-------------------

*This was in the days before parliaments and congresses got the "Always Be Closing" fever and simply named laws. Today, the "Fire of London Disputes Act" would probably be labeled the FIRE Act ("Freedom, Indemnity, Relief, and Emergency Act of 1666" or something.  

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT