Real Estate News

Title issues complicate Mark Zuckerberg's Hawaii land purchase

Published: 07 Feb 2017

In a high-profile title dispute case, famed Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with the complexities of local title law in Hawaii. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the famous tech figure is taking part in quiet title actions as he fights for ownership rights to a section of land technically co-owned by existing residents.

Zuckerberg's legal representation in the matter includes Cades Schutte partner Keoni Shultz, who explained the process behind this kind of procedure.

"Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share," Shultz said.

The source said that Zuckerberg is trying to compel the legacy landowners to sell their share on the Kauai land he previously purchased. Several lawsuits reportedly address hundreds of individuals and concern land previously passed to owners through a local government order decreed in the 19th century. This gives them the name "kuleana lands," and the current legal situation has reportedly led to other similar cases in the past.

All in all, Zuckerberg reportedly purchased 700 acres of land. In a statement on Facebook, he said that part of the confusion stems from the fragmented nature of title grants and ownership for descendants within the state. He also said that the legal action is intended to grant the proper results to each claimant. The quiet title approach is also meant to avoid more contentious action and resolve longstanding issues.

The Zuckerberg property is on the island of Kauai, and he claims that the ensuing action will address the needs of both small owners and the majority. The land would function as both a chance to support the local ecosystem as well as a home.