Zuckerberg Sues Hawaiian Landowners To Give Them Money

Georgia ReedJan 21, 2017

At the time he sought to create a sanctuary for his family, but almost three years later, Zuckerberg wants to make it more of a secluded place so he's suing his neighbors in an effort to grab up their land rights.

The publication noted that the parcels are surrounded by hundreds of north shore acreage that Zuckerberg bought two years ago for an estimated $100m.

"No one will be forced off the land", he wrote, adding that "it is important to us that we respect Hawaiian history and traditions".

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Zuckerberg's lawsuits, filed by three of his companies, target about 300 hundred people linked to the land. By filing a quiet title action, Zuckerberg does aim to find all land owners, but once they have been notified of their claims, a judge will likely order the land to be sold at public auction. Because the ownership stakes are passed down and divided among family descendants by the state, many people don't realize they have a claim until action is taken against them in court.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said he wanted to clear up "misleading" news articles.

As the drama unfurls, it's believed that Mr. Zuckerberg will pay the family members who are connection to the land in some way, at least the market value. In many instances, the current land owners might not even know what they own.

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Meanwhile, closer to Facebook's headquarters in California, the CEO remains embroiled in another land battle-this one over another private Zuckerberg residence in Palo Alto.

Defendants have 20 days to respond to the suits. On top of doing so, Zuckerberg would also be required to notify the descendant of his intent to purchase the land and offer them the opportunity to participate in the legal proceedings. Andrade, who owns about 14 percent of Rapozo's land, is now contacting as many extended family members as he can to notify them of their rightful share. He found out that numerous owners are not even aware that they officially do not have rights to the lands because they have no official papers to prove it. "Partition by sale, in particular, is highly problematic for the Native Hawaiian community because it severs a family's connection to ancestral land", said a Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law primer. In such lands, ownership often goes undocumented.

Notably, this isn't the first of social network exec's attempts to buy his privacy; Zuckerberg's plan to teardown and rebuild four of his Palo Alto, California homes surrounding his primary residence was denied last September.

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But to neighbors, the wall is daunting and forbidding, closing off a view of the ocean through the property.

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