Mark Zuckerberg has stated he is actively ‘reconsidering’ his earlier decision to sue several families in Hawaii whose ancestral properties fall within his huge 700-acre estate in the island.
It has been just a few days back that Zuckerberg was found to have filed quiet title lawsuits to force a few hundred families that still retain the right to land parcels, inherited from their ancestors. Those amount to not more than about 8-acres within Zuckerberg’s 700-acre estate though the owners enjoy unhindered access to those areas, something that is least desirable for Zuckerberg who is already known to be a privacy freak.
However, the move does not seem to have gone down well with the locals who believe it is grossly against the Hawaiian traditions. A Hawaii State Representative, Kaniela Ing too has lambasted Zuckerberg’s move claiming it is not the best way to initiate a dialogue with the locals.
“Let’s remind Zuckerberg that, in Hawaii, we approach each other with aloha and talk story first,” said Kaniela Ing. “We don’t initiate the conversation by suing our neighbors.”
Zuckerberg’s legal team had filed 8 quiet title lawsuits in the local courts to force several families that own 14 parcels of land via the Kuleana Act. Enacted way back in 1850, the act entitled the successor of the original owners of specific tracts of land to retain their ownership even if they do not possess specific land deeds or other legal documents.
Zuckerberg has earlier defended his move claiming it will help find the owners and get paid for something that rightfully belonged to them. Many not even are aware they have a share were liable to be paid. For instance, a single owner of a 2-acre plot now has 300 recipients though efforts are on to identify if there are more such recipients.
The quiet title lawsuit has often been criticized to favor more to the cash-rich as the original owners often are too ignorant to claim their ownership within the stipulated 20-day time limit or don’t have the financial means to fight their cause in courts.