SAMUEL L. KEALOHA, JR.; VIRGIL E. DAY; JOSIAH L. HOOHULI; and PATRICK L. KAHAWAIOLAA, Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, vs. COLETTE Y. PI`IPI`I MACHADO, individually and in her official capacity as Chairperson and Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; S. HAUNANI APOLIONA, ROWENA AKANA, DONALD CATALUNA, BOYD P. MOSSMAN, OSWARD STENDER, PETER APO, ROBERT K. LINDSEY, JR., and JOHN D. WAIHE`E IV, individually and in their official capacity as Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; and DANTE CARPENTER and WALTER HEEN, individually, Respondents/Defendants-Appellees.
The above-captioned case had been set for argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street Honolulu, HI 96813
Attorney for Petitioners:
Walter R. Schoettle
Attorneys for Respondents:
Robert G. Klein and Lisa W. Cataldo of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP
NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 09/24/12.
NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, filed 12/12/12.
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Glenn J. Kim in place of Pollack, J., recused, filed 12/17/12.
COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SRA, & SSM, JJ; Circuit Court Judge Kim in place of Pollack, J., recused.
In brief summary, this case involves a challenge by Appellants to the expenditure of public land trust funds by the trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). Appellants filed a civil complaint alleging that the OHA trustees expended trust funds without regard to the native Hawaiian blood quantum as set forth in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Appellants further alleged that the OHA trustees had a duty to expend trust funds “in the sole interest” of native Hawaiians. The Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court) granted the OHA trustees’ motion to dismiss the complaint, finding that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and denied Appellants’ motion to file an amended complaint.
Appellants raise two points of error in their appeal: (1) whether the circuit court erred in dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim; and (2) whether, in light of certain federal court decisions involving the same parties, principles of res judicata or collateral estoppel bar their claims in state court.