Facebook's Zuckerberg Sues Hundreds to Get Title for 700-Acre Compound

Facebook's Zuckerberg Sues Hundreds to Get Title for 700-Acre Compound

Mark Zuckerberg, a part-time Kilauea resident and owner of Facebook, posted on his Facebook page on Thursday that he and his wife Priscilla bought land on Kauai "to create a home on the island, and help preserve the wildlife and beauty".

Zuckberberg-controlled companies filed eight so-called "quiet" title lawsuits in a Kauai court on December 30 requesting the forced sales at public auction to the highest bidder, which would allow him to make his secluded beach-front land on the island's north shore even more private, according the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper.

"We may come from different backgrounds, but we all want to find goal and authenticity in something bigger than ourselves", Zuckerberg wrote in a recent Facebook post after a trip to Texas. Other defendants said they didn't even know they owned land in the area until the lawsuits dropped.

The legal bid comes as Zuckerberg's neighbours are reportedly angry at a six foot stone wall being built around the huge estate because it blocks the view. As the Honolulu Star Advertiser explains, the Kuleana Act of 1850 granted land ownership rights to native Hawaiians-rights that can descend to subsequent generations without the formal transfer of deeds or titles. He is a retired university professor and is helping Zuckerberg as a co-plaintiff to avoid having the land taken over by the county, which can happen if no one in the extended clan assumes responsibility for paying property taxes.

Zuckerberg called some recent reports about his plans "misleading" and in his response today said, "For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had".

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"It is important to us that we respect Hawaiian history and traditions", Zuckerberg wrote. But the billionaire is believed to have filed lawsuits against a few hundred people in the hope that they will sell their parcels at a public auction.

Zuckerberg's lawsuits, filed by three of his companies, target about 300 hundred people linked to the land.

Zuckerberg's lawyer Keoni Shultz also notes how common title lawsuits are in order to put a name on titled lands with no claimants.

The quiet title law allows property owners to establish legal title on the land. Some of them hold only a small ownership in the parcels and in some cases are several generations removed from the original owners over the years.

Zuckerberg said he filed the quiet title action to find all the partial owners and pay them their fair share. It would apply to Zuckerberg's cases if they are still ongoing.