HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

600

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ACTIONS FOR QUIET TITLE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that defendants in quiet title actions pertaining to certain parcels of land may face undue hardships.

The purpose of this Act is to create a more equitable and timely process to resolve disputes and hardships stemming from quiet title actions filed against owners of kuleana lands.

The intent of the legislature is that nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to diminish or restrict native Hawaiian rights under article XII, section 7 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

SECTION 2. Section 669-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"669-1 Object of action. (a) Action may be brought by any person against another person who claims, or who may claim adversely to the plaintiff, an estate or interest in real property, for the purpose of determining the adverse claim.

(b) Action for the purpose of establishing title to a parcel of real property of five acres or less may be brought by any person who has been in adverse possession of the real property for not less than twenty years. Action for the purpose of establishing title to a parcel of real property of greater than five acres may be brought by any person who had been in adverse possession of the real property for not less than twenty years prior to November 7, 1978, or for not less than earlier applicable time periods of adverse possession. For purposes of this section, any person claiming title by adverse possession shall show that such person acted in good faith. Good faith means that, under all the facts and circumstances, a reasonable person would believe that the person has an interest in title to the lands in question and such belief is based on inheritance, a written instrument of conveyance, or the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) Action brought to claim property of five acres or less on the basis of adverse possession may be asserted in good faith by any person not more than once in twenty years, after November 7, 1978.

(d) Action under subsection (a) or (b) shall be brought in the circuit court of the circuit in which the property is situated.

(e) Action may be brought by any person to quiet title to land by accretion; provided that no action shall be brought by any person other than the State to quiet title to land accreted along the ocean after May 20, 2003, except that a private property owner whose eroded land has been restored by accretion may also bring such an action for the restored portion. The person bringing the action shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the accretion is natural and permanent and that the land accreted before or on May 20, 2003. The person bringing the action shall supply the office of environmental quality control with notice of the action for publication in the office's periodic bulletin in compliance with section 343‑3(c)(4). The quiet title action shall not be decided by the court unless the office of environmental quality control has properly published notice of the action in the office's periodic bulletin.

As used in this section, "permanent" means that the accretion has been in existence for at least twenty years. The accreted portion of land shall be considered within the conservation district. Land accreted after May 20, 2003, shall be public land except as otherwise provided in this section. Prohibited uses are governed by section 183-45.

(f) In any action brought under this section when any portion of the land claimed by the plaintiff is kuleana land as defined in section 669-2(e):

(1) Upon the request of any defendant at the time the action was brought, the court may order the parties to enter into mandatory mediation with a view of resolving the action, including any issues that may need to be preliminarily established through an action commenced under chapter 668A;

(2) Upon the request of defendants in separate actions that are commenced:

(A) By the plaintiff; or

(B) By multiple plaintiffs for the same real party in interest,

for kuleana lands in the same circuit of the circuit court in which the property is situated, the court may consolidate the separate actions into a single action; and

(3) The plaintiff may bear the costs of mediation under paragraph (1) and may only recover costs, expenses, or attorney's fees from the defendant as the court may deem equitable under the circumstances."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 7, 2050.



 

Report Title:

Action for Quiet Title; Kuleana Land

 

Description:

Provides that where quiet title action involves kuleana land, defendants may request mandatory mediation to resolve the dispute. Allows defendants in separate actions to request consolidation into a single action. Specifies that plaintiffs may pay mediation costs as deemed equitable by the court. (HB600 HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.