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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
State Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Geothermal Rights Case
By Robert Thomas @ 9:37 PM :: 5203 Views :: Energy, Land Use

HAWSCT Rejects Cert In Land Court Registration Case

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, November 13, 2013

Today, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected certiorari (remember that under our procedures, you "apply" for cert which is "accepted" or "rejected"), and declined to review the Intermediate Court of Appeals' decision in In re Campbell, No. 30006 (June 13, 2013), the case involving Land Court registration (Torrens title) and mineral and metallic mining rights.

The ICA held than an encumbrance does not exist if it does not appear on a Land Court registered title. In this case, the encumbrance was mineral and metallic mining rights, which the Territory of Hawaii claimed it reserved in a Royal Patent. The ICA concluded that if the Territory did so, its rights were extinguished when in 1938 it appeared in the Land Court to assert its other rights, but failed to raise the mining claims:

We hold that the Original [1938] Decree and the Original Certificate of Title extinguished the express government reservations of mineral or metallic mines set forth in Royal Patent No. 5616, Royal Patent No. 5693, and Grant No. 550 and also extinguished any implicit reservation in the Kamehameha III deed.

Slip op. at 6.

More background on the case and Hawaii's Torrens system here. Disclosure: we filed an amicus brief in the ICA phase of the case in support of Campbell.


Background: State: Geothermal Rights Case 'is no minor land dispute'


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