1 Haw. 54 (Haw.Super. 1851), Kukiiahu v. Gill

Citation:1 Haw. 54
Opinion Judge:LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE
Party Name:KUKIIAHU v. WILLIAM GILL.
Attorney:Mr. Harris for plaintiff. Mr. Burbank for defendant.
Judge Panel:LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE
Case Date:July 01, 1851
Court:Superior Court of Hawai'i
 
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Page 54

1 Haw. 54 (Haw.Super. 1851)

KUKIIAHU

v.

WILLIAM GILL.

Superior Court of Hawai'i.

July 1, 1851

Syllabus by the Court

Land Commission kuleana award, held good against a Royal Patent of anterior date, which reserved the rights of native tenants. The Court refused to go behind the award and receive evidence of its having been obtained by fraud.

Mr. Harris for plaintiff.

Mr. Burbank for defendant.

LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE

This was an action brought to recover damages for a trespass on a piece of land in Ewa.

The plaintiff claimed under a Royal Patent, dated in 1850, which was based upon an award of the Land Commission.

The defendant admitted that he had possession of the land in dispute, but sought to justify the same by showing a Royal Patent dated in 1849, conveying the land to him, subject, however, to the rights of tenants. He likewise offered in evidence a deed from one Kalua, who claimed the land in dispute, which deed bore date anterior to that of Gill's Royal Patent. He offered to show that the plaintiff had no just claim to the land, and that the evidence before the Land Commission was deceptive and false. He further said he had never had any notice of the plaintiff's claim before the Commission.

The introduction of this evidence was objected to, and the objection was sustained by the Court.

LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE in delivering the opinion of the Court, said: The defendant bought this land subject to the rights of natives, and hence the fact that this patent bears date anterior to that of the plaintiff's is entitled to no weight. Kukiihau had his claim entered at the Land Commission long before the land was sold to Gill, and the king in his patent has made a special reservation for the benefit of this and all other claimants. The King did not convey Kukiiahu's rights to Gill; and if he had done so, his grant would have been a nullity. But it is answered that Kukiiahu had no rights, and practiced a fraud upon the Land Commission in obtaining his award; and on this ground, it is proposed to go behind the award, and offer evidence to show the invalidity of Kukiiahu's claim as entered at the Board of...

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