Zuckerberg defends lawsuits filed over Hawaii land
00:39, Jan 21, 2017
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Zuckerberg has filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian family, in what is being seen as an effort to force the Hawaiians to sell their waterfront properties so that he and his family can have more privacy.
"I feel that each succeeding generation will become owners of smaller and smaller interests, each having less and less percentage of the lands and less and less capability to make sure everyone gets their fair share of [his great-grandfather's] investment in the future of his family", wrote Dr. Andrade in a letter quoted by the Star Advertiser.
Land parcels acquired through the Kuleana Act - property laws introduced in 1850 - are sometimes passed on from heir to heir.
Zuckerberg asserts that he wants to create a home on the island and "help preserve the wildlife and natural beauty".
'In Hawaii, this is where it gets more complicated. She also happens to not have a surname due to an old Hawaiian tradition - this makes proving her claim to the land that much harder.
Under the legal process, Zuckerberg will pay compensation to the people he is suing-providing an unexpected windfall to many of them who may not even be aware they have the land rights in the first place.
"For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had", he said.
A Native Hawaiian Law primer published with the assistance of the University of Hawaii has stated the use of quiet title laws to force land sales has reduced Native Hawaiian landownership.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported on Wednesday that the billionaire, "through companies he controls, filed eight "quiet title" lawsuits on December 30 in Circuit Court, seeking to force owners of 14 small properties to sell their stakes in their land at public auction". Some are unaware they own the parcels.
"Partition by sale in particular is highly problematic for the Native Hawaiian community because it severs a family's connection to ancestral land", it added.
The 14 parcels total just 8.04 of the 700 acres Zuckerberg owns, but the law now gives any direct family member of a parcel's original owner the right to enter the otherwise private compound. Mark Zuckerberg has plans to build his own personal sanctuary for his family in the 700-acre land which would is now not possible because of the land owners who own small areas of the land. Legally documenting who in his family owns what share in the property is too expensive for him, he told the newspaper.
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