Articles Posted in Hawaii Supreme Court

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Plaintiffs filed this action against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) trustees, claiming that the OHA trustees breached their fiduciary duties by improperly expending trust funds on Hawaiians, as opposed to native Hawaiians, in violation of Hawaii law and the Hawaii Constitution. The circuit court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff's complaint because it failed to state a claim; and (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint. View "Kealoha v. Machado" on Justia Law

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In dispute in this case was whether Plaintiffs were entitled to attorneys' fees and costs in litigating the underlying case. In the underlying case, Plaintiffs sued the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the State, arguing that the State violated its constitutional duty to sufficiently fund DHHS in order to rehabilitate native Hawaiian beneficiaries and that the DHHL breached its obligations to the beneficiaries of trust lands for several reasons. The first issue in the instant case was the extent to which Plaintiffs "prevailed" in the underlying case. The Supreme Court denied Plaintiffs' request for attorneys' fees and costs, holding (1) Plaintiffs prevailed on appeal; (2) Plaintiffs arguably established an entitlement to attorneys' fees under the private attorney general doctrine; but (3) Plaintiffs' request for appellate attorneys' fees was barred by the State's sovereign immunity. View "Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Comm'n" on Justia Law

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The instant action arose from an ejectment proceeding involving a dispute as to whether Respondent Wayne Peelua alleged a cognizable claim to the title of certain real property. Petitioner Deutsche Bank filed a complaint alleging that it was entitled to possession of the property. Respondent moved to dismiss the complaint, alleging that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The court held for Petitioner. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacated the district court order and remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA and affirmed the district court, holding that Respondent's affidavit did not meet the requirements of Dist. Ct. R. Civ. P. 12.1, and therefore, the district court had jurisdiction over Petitioner's ejectment action.