Currently, owners of the lands - which have been in their families for generations - have the rights to travel across Zuckerberg's property to get to their own lands. He explained that in the mid-1800s, small parcels were granted to families, which after generations might now be split among hundreds of descendants.
Documents filed on December 30 in the Hawaii State circuit court - and reported in the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper - show that three Zuckerberg companies filed the lawsuits under what is known as "quiet title and partition".
"A handful of Facebook employees manage communications just for him, helping write his posts and speeches, while an additional dozen or so delete harassing comments and spam on his page", sources told Bloomberg.
A contested case could potentially cost landowners more than $200,000, though Zuckerberg attorney Keoni Shultz has said the Facebook CEO has no intention of contesting any co-owner who can prove their interest in any of the land parcels.
"Whether or not it's moral, everything Zuckerberg is doing now is legal". Through the Kuleana Act of 1850, the real estate was acquired by Hawaii citizens. He thinks as many as 80 percent of these people may be unaware of their claim and fears the county will take control of the land if someone doesn't come forward to oversee the sale. In many instances, the current land owners might not even know what they own.
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"We are working with a professor of native Hawaiian studies and long time member of this community, who is participating in this quiet title process with us", Zuckerberg wrote in a Thursday Facebook post, saying that he wanted to ensure all partial owners are paid for their share.
Responding to criticism, Zuckerberg said media reports had been "misleading" and said he and his wife Priscilla want to be "good members of the community and preserve the environment".
The 14 parcels in question total just over eight acres of the 700 acre plot Zuckerberg owns. Some of these people, who inherited or owned interest in the land, are dead. 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. In response, three companies controlled by Zuckerberg filed eight so-called "quiet title" lawsuits to extinguish those claims.
The defendants have 20 days to respond to the legal complaint once they are served with it. He found out that numerous owners are not even aware that they officially do not have rights to the lands because they have no official papers to prove it. It would apply to Zuckerberg's cases if they are still ongoing.