Establishing and protecting title to land are important aspects of preserving Native Hawaiian property rights. This chapter describes the steps involved in quiet title actions and land court registration, which are the statutorily authorized means of confirming title to real property.
A quiet title action determines the legal ownership of a particular parcel of land. This process sometimes necessitates resolving certain conflicts or complications. Such problems may include boundary disputes, claims of ownership by more than one party, breaks in a chain of title caused by a lost or invalid grant or deed, or the absence of probate of a deceased owner’s estate. This chapter explains the process of initiating and pursuing a quiet title action, and it offers helpful advice regarding various potential difficulties that may arise.
Land court registration is used less frequently than quiet title actions, largely because it is more complex, expensive, and prolonged. However, it provides greater benefits, such as title insurance backed by the state and express statutory protection against claims of adverse possession. This chapter contrasts the two procedures and can serve as a useful source of information for both actual and aspiring owners of real property.
“Judicial Methods for Securing Land Title” is Chapter 7 of Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise, a volume that updates and expands on the seminal work of the 1991 Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook. The publication is a collaborative effort of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law – University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and Kamehameha Publishing.