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Thursday, October 29, 2009
Hawaii Supreme Court Rules in State's Favor in Ceded Land Litigation
By Selected News Articles @ 8:12 PM :: 6468 Views :: Energy, Environment

Hawaii Supreme Court Rules in State's Favor in Ceded Land Litigation

News Release from Attorney General's office

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Supreme Court today ordered the dismissal of the claims of the one remaining plaintiff (Jonathan Osorio) in the ceded lands litigation decided earlier this year in the State's favor by the United States Supreme Court.

The dismissal of the claims will be without prejudice, which is the precise relief requested by the State in its motion to dismiss filed in the Hawaii Supreme Court.

As all other plaintiffs, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, had already agreed to the dismissal of their appeal and dismissal of their claims, also without prejudice, this ruling will shortly result in the final termination by the Hawaii circuit court of this fifteen-year-old case.

"I am pleased that the Hawaii Supreme Court granted the State's motion to order the dismissal of the claims of the one remaining plaintiff in this case, and thus terminate this lawsuit,” Attorney General Mark Bennett said. “I believe this procedural ruling of the Hawaii Supreme Court is appropriate, given the substantive ruling by the United States Supreme Court earlier this year, and given the Legislature's adoption of Act 176 of 2009, relating to Hawaii's public lands."

---30---

REACTION:

Osorio dismissed: Hawaii Supreme Court Rules in State's Favor in Ceded Lands Case (OHA, Osorio could still act to block State from building affordable housing)

KHON: Tuesday the Hawaii Supreme Court dismissed the claims of the last remaining plaintiff, Jonathan Osorio, in the ceded lands litigation decided earlier this year in the State's favor by the United State's Supreme Court....This ruling will shortly result in the final termination by the Hawaii Circuit Court of this 15-year-old case.

InverseCondemnation: However, the court concluded that while the holdout plaintiff has standing, his claims were not yet ripe. "[J]udicial review at this time would be premature and, additionally, would constitute a violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine," slip op. at 32, because the state legislature must first approve of any transfer of ceded lands, which it has not done here.

Charlie Foster: "This would appear to leave the door open for Professor Osorio to bring a claim once there is state action under Act 176 to sell or otherwise transfer ceded lands."

US Supreme Court Ruling: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1372.pdf (9-0, rejects OHA's arguments & slaps down the unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court)

The key fact here: In order to expand OHA Trustees' power over State land use decisions, OHA is working to block something badly needed by Native Hawaiians and everybody else--affordable housing.

RELATED: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii , It's September--Do you know where your Akaka Bill is?

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