HILO, Hawaii – Hearing officer Riki May Amano denied a motion invoking “Quo Warranto” and a demand of jurisdiction brought forward by a participant in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing on August 12.
Kamahana Kealoha filed the motion, explaining:
Quo Warranto is the legal term for a writ (order) used to challenge another’s right to either public or corporate office or challenge the legality of a corporation’s charter. When the authority of an official or corporation to take action is challenged, a Quo Warranto action may be used to demand that the right upon which they base the action be stated.
Kealoha had the chance to speak on his motion during the pre-hearing conference at Hawaii Community College, arguing that since a “detailed land survey of the meets and bounds” of Hawaii’s lands, such as the summit of Mauna Kea “have not been conveyed lawfully… these meetings are moot and invalid and should be terminated immediately.”
Ten minutes into his presentation, judge Amano had a question.
“Mr. Kealoha, you’re saying Mauna Kea is not part of the state of Hawaii?” Amano asked.
“Not just Mauna Kea, but the lands,” Kealoha answered.
“All the land in the State of Hawaii is not part of the State of Hawaii?” Amano asked.
“Yes, because there is no cessation,” said Kealoha, saying that the court must take judicial notice.
Attorneys for the Thiry Meter Telescope filed a motion in opposition, saying Kealoha’s challenge is not properly before the Hearing Officer, and must instead by addressed to a circuit court.
Amano agreed and denied Kealoha’s motion.
Participant Harry Fergerstom agreed Amano did not have the authority to determine if there is an answer to the question of jurisdiction, but also argued:
… it is the duty of this hearing officer to refer this matter back to the BLNR to notice them that a challenge to the entire assertion of Jurisdiction is being made. Further that because this factor of jurisdiction and ownership is pivotal, that a Quo Warranto is appropriate.