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Ocean Resort Villas v. County of Maui — The Documents

In this case, two sizeable timeshare projects sued the County of Maui in circuit court on Maui, seeking invalidation of the “Time Share” real property tax classification in the Maui ordinances.  The County retaliated by back assessing the taxpayers for more than $10 million, and giving them only 30 days to come up with the money!  The circuit court essentially threw the book at the counties for doing that, and then invalidated the classification for good measure.

This case has been the subject for our series, “The County Strikes Back!”  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The Foundation’s proposed amicus brief adopts the position of neither party.  The three main issues presented are (1) whether the case is in the right court, (2) whether the retaliatory back assessment was legal, and (3) whether the Time Share classification is invalid.

Because of technical issues, the Notice of Appeal doesn’t include the lower court opinions.  We have extracted them from the Record on Appeal.  We have filed our motion before Maui County filed its opening brief.  Only some of the documents in the appellate case file are included here.

The Supreme Court’s decision, filed on June 19, 2020, concluded that the Circuit Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case in the first instance because the case was a tax appeal and should have gone to the Board of Review and/or the Tax Appeal Court.  The court also held that the claim for damages for deprivation of constitutional rights depended on the other claims in the case and could not stand on its own as a basis for jurisdiction.

Documents in the Intermediate Court of Appeals

Documents in the Supreme Court of Hawaii

[On May 22, 2019, the case was sent to the Appellate Mediation Program.  No further activity in the court system is expected for a year or so.]

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