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Thursday, July 12, 2001



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OHA challenge
dismissed

But the judge leaves the
door open for similar
lawsuits by others


By Pat Omandam
pomandam@starbulletin.com

A federal court judge this afternoon dismissed a complaint from a Moiliili resident who had challenged government programs that help native Hawaiians, ruling that the plaintiff lacked standing.

But U.S. Chief Judge David Alan Ezra left open the possibility others could challenge the constitutionality of these programs.

"I believe my ruling is correct," Ezra said. "If it isn't, I'm sure the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will tell me so."

In his ruling this afternoon on three procedural motions, Ezra said plaintiff Patrick Barrett lacked standing to file a complaint against the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Program because Barrett, who is listed as 100 percent disabled by the Social Security Administration, did not show he was ready and able to start his printing business if he had received the loan.

Ezra also ruled Barrett's complaint against the Hawaiian Homes Commission asking, as a non-Hawaiian, he be treated fairly when it comes to homestead awards could not be resolved by the federal court because the complaint did not include the United States as a defendant.

Finally, Ezra ruled Barrett lacked standing in his complaint to have equal access to native gathering as do Hawaiians because he only has an intention to gather, and has not done so in the past.



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