The Hawaii Uniform Land Sales Practices Act

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Our office was recently granted partial summary judgment by the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (Hawaii Federal Court) in a case involving the Hawaii Uniform Land Sales Practices Act.

Specifically, the Hawaii Land Sales Practices Act provides that “no person may offer or dispose of any interest in subdivided lands located in this State, or offer or dispose in this State of any interest in subdivided lands located without this State before a preliminary or final order registering the subdivided land is entered in accordance with the chapter.” H.R.S. 484-4. The registration requirements are very detailed and comprehensive to ensure that Hawaii buyers are provided with thorough information regarding the property. Further, Hawaii courts have jurisdiction over claims and causes of action under this chapter if “any offer or disposition of subdivided lands is made in this State, whether or not the offeror or offeree is then present in this State, if the offer originates within this State or is directed by the offeror to a person or place in this State and received by the person or at the place to which it is directed.” H.R.S. 484-17. Meaning that the law applies to outside sellers who target Hawaii residents.

In our recent decision, the Court found, as a matter of law, that the mainland sellers violated H.R.S 484 by failing to register a mainland development project with the State of Hawaii before offering the undeveloped lots to Hawaii residents.