Judge dismisses Hokulia property suit
HILO » U.S. District Judge David Ezra dismissed a lawsuit brought by Hokulia house lot buyers against the state and Hawaii County on Monday, bringing to a close another chapter in the story of the controversial Kona project.
In 2000, four individuals and the Protect Keopuka Ohana sued Hokulia developer 1250 Oceanside Partners to stop the $1 billion, 1,550-acre project. State Judge Ronald Ibarra eventually did so, saying the project was an illegal use of agricultural land. A settlement earlier this year allowed the project to resume.
However, in the meantime, about 150 buyers of one-acre lots in the project filed suits in federal and state courts against Judge Ibarra and Hawaii County for allegedly depriving them of their property rights. They sought damages over $200 million.
Yesterday's dismissal in federal court was done at the request of the 150 buyers, although the ruling leaves open possible further claims against the state and county.
Meanwhile, a similar motion for dismissal by the 150 lot buyers is pending in state court. A hearing is set for Aug. 14.