Even though Mark Zuckerberg paid $100 million for 700 acres of land in Kauai, Hawaii in 2014, he doesn’t technically own all of it — yet.
The Facebook billionaire has just filed several lawsuits against hundreds of owners of small tracts of land within the estate, with the intent to buy those tracts from them. These people are known as kamaaina families, or owners who have inherited the land or interests in the land, though their ownership is largely undocumented.
The legal action Zuckerberg is bringing against the families is called a “quiet title and partition” action, and involves suing the owners of the land — some of whom are dead — to get them to sell the land to the highest bidder. According to the Honolulu paper the “Star Advertiser,” this type of action is common in Hawaii, though it has led to many native Hawaiians losing ownership of their land.
Bringing such an action is expensive and legally difficult, because it involves tracking down any living descendants who might claim ownership of the land, figuring how much that ownership is and determining a price for it. Once owners are served papers, they have 20 days to respond if they would like to have a say in the proceedings.
According to the “Star,” Zuckerberg, whose net worth is $44.6 billion, is expected to pay a fair price for the land. [Honolulu Star Advertiser]