Mark Zuckerberg is ‘reconsidering’ suing Hawaiians to get their land

Posted by at 27 January, at 14 : 25 PM Print

Mark Zuckerberg is ‘reconsidering’ suing Hawaiians to get their land

On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg told Business Insider that he is “reconsidering” to sue Hawaiians and force them to sell their stakes in the land spread across his Kauai estate.

After it was revealed that Zuckerberg filed lawsuits secretly against a couple of hundred Hawaiians having ancestral ownership on some portions of land on his 700-acre estate, the Facebook CEO was castigated widely.

“We are reconsidering to halt the process and discuss on how to move forward based on the feedback we received from the local community,” the statement from Zuckerberg reads, which was reported first by BuzzFeed News. “We are willing to protect the interests of the local property owners, respect native Hawaiians’ tradition, and also protect the environment.”

On December 30, Zuckerberg filed eight lawsuits – against families jointly inheriting 14 parcels of land – in the local court. The native owned the land through the Kuleana Act. According to Kuleana Act, the natives have the ownership of the land they are living on. This Hawaiian law was established in 1850, it gave the native land ownership for the first time.

In Zuckerberg’s 700 acres property, the 14 parcels sum just about 8.04 percent. However, the law gives rights to enter into the billionaire’s private estate to any family member of the parcel’s rightful owner. According to the law, the ownerships are divided among the family descendants as it passed down. Interestingly, many people don’t know that they own the land until the case reaches the courtroom.

According to Zuckerberg the lawsuits are directed at finding the entire partial owners in order to give them their fair share.  “Most owners will receive money for something they did not know they owned,” he said.

Zuckerberg’s decision to go for expensive litigation against the natives has not gone well with Hawaii State Representative Kaniela Ing and numerous locals.

A facebook post from Ing reads: We cannot allow billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg to use money to influence Hawaii’s justice system.

“Let us remind Zuckerberg, in Hawaii, we don’t begin conversation by suing our neighbors,” Ing wrote on his facebook recently.                     

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