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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–No. SCAP-22-0000335

(3rd Amended 05-03-23)

No. SCAP-22-0000335, Thursday, June 29, 2023, 2 p.m.
(Consolidated with SCAP-22-0000336, SCAP-22-0000337, SCAP-22-0000338, SCAP-22-0000340, SCAP-22-0000341, SCAP-22-0000343, SCAP-22-0000344, SCAP-22-0000345, and SCAP-22-0000352)

CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, acting by and through the HONOLULU AUTHORITY FOR RAPID TRANSPORTATION, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. VICTORIA WARD, LIMITED, a Delaware Corporation; 988 HALEKAUWILA, LLC; 1001 QUEEN, LLC; 1118 ALA MOANA, LLC; 1108 AUAHI LLC; 1100 ALA MOANA, LLC; 1240 ALA MOANA LLC, THE HOWARD HUGHES CORPORATION; VICTORIA WARD ENTERTAINMENT CENTER, LLC; ASSOCIATION OF UNIT OWNERS OF 1001 QUEEN; ASSOCIATION OF UNIT OWNERS OF AALII; ASSOCIATION OF UNIT OWNERS OF 988 HALEKAUWILA; WARD VILLAGE OWNERS ASSOCIATION; AND AALII, LLC, Defendants-Appellants.

The above-captioned case(s) has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

The oral argument will also be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and on ʻŌlelo Community Media.

Attorneys for Appellants Victoria Ward, Limited, et al.:

Mark M. Murakami, Gregory W. Kugle, Nicholas K. Ernst and Clint K. Hamada of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

Attorneys for Appellee City and County of Honolulu, acting by and through the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation: 

Terence J. O’Toole, Sharon V. Lovejoy, and Lindsay E. Orman, of Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher; Paul S. Aoki, and Rozelle A. Agag, Deputies Corporation Counsel

NOTE: Order Granting Application for Transfer, filed 10/13/22.

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Associate Justice Paula A. Nakayama, filed 4/19/23.

NOTE: Order assigning R. Mark Browning, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, in place of Nakayama, J., recused, and James S. Kawashima, Judge of the First Circuit Court, due to a vacancy, filed 4/19/23.

NOTE: Order granting motion for postponement of oral argument to 6/22/23 at 10:00 a.m., filed 04/28/23.

NOTE: Order rescheduling oral argument from 6/22/23 at 10:00 a.m. to 6/29/23 at 2:00 p.m., filed 5/3/23.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, and Eddins, JJ., and Chief Circuit Judge Browning, in place of Nakayama, J., recused, and Circuit Judge Kawashima assigned by reason of vacancy

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

These interlocutory appeals arise out of a condemnation action filed in 2018 by HART against Victoria Ward to take several acres of Victoria Ward’s mixed-use development community located in the Kakaʻako neighborhood of Honolulu (Ward Village). The purpose of HART’s taking was to construct a segment of railway and the Kakaʻako Station within Ward Village.

A number of the appeals at issue concern Victoria Ward’s claims for severance damages. The Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority (HCDA) issued Victoria Ward a Master Plan Permit in 2009. The Master Plan Permit states, in part: “a more detailed transit route and station location shall be addressed and incorporated.” The parties disagree as to whether this language in the Master Plan Permit, together with Victoria Ward’s conduct, preclude Victoria Ward from recovering severance damages for impacts to non-taken property.

The circuit court issued a number of summary judgment orders precluding Victoria Ward from seeking severance damages. The circuit court also ruled on several related matters, specifying that “blight of summons” interest accrual would be paused during the pendency of the interlocutory appeals, and that Victoria Ward may not recover for loss of a luxury tower that allegedly could have been built on the site of the Kakaʻako station, for relocation of units from that tower to less valuable locations, for severance damages to property stipulated to be distinct from those where condemnations took place, or for replacing lost parking if replacement costs exceed loss in value. HART appeals from other circuit court rulings, including those specifying that some of Victoria Ward’s damages may not be offset by certain alleged “special benefits” flowing from the rail project.

We granted transfer and consolidated HART and Victoria Ward’s appeals for all purposes including oral argument and disposition.