There are certain situations when some or all of the legal owners of a real property cannot be immediately identified. There are other situations when two or more parties own a real property, and yet the parties cannot agree on how to control and share the property.
In the first situation, the law considers the title to the property to be broken or clouded, and a lawsuit called a quiet title action is needed to clear or quiet the title to the property to determine the owners. In the second situation, a field of practice called partition law has developed to enable co-owners of a property to decide how to use and control a property, or else to sell it or divide it up if large enough.
Cades Schutte’s Quiet Title/Partition Group provides expert advice and extensive litigation experience in these two unique and specialized fields of Hawai‘i real estate law, sometimes resolving title and co-ownership problems created over a hundred-fifty years ago.
We have represented landowners both large and small on all of the major Hawaiian Islands in navigating Hawai‘i’s laws relating to issues concerning real property’s ownership and broken title. We also have extensive experience in negotiating and, when necessary, litigating disputes among owners of real property in real estate partition actions brought under Chapters 668 and 668A, of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes.
With decades of experience in Hawai‘i’s courts and with Hawai‘i’s title insurers, our Quiet Title/Partition attorneys are committed to achieving practical, timely, and cost-effective solutions. Our firm’s full-service capabilities allow us to coordinate with the title companies, genealogists, Hawaiian language translators, appraisers, and real estate brokers to assemble the most effective team to meet our clients’ needs. Let us join you in solving your title and partition problems.
What We Do
- Title Analysis
- Coordination with Title Companies
- Negotiations with Co-owners
- Litigation of Quiet Title and Partition Actions
Drawing upon years of experience in the intricate laws of Hawai‘i relating to title, inheritance, and adverse possession, our title attorneys have assisted clients in numerous reviews of title reports and provided detailed research, deed analysis, and recommendations for the clients’ options in clearing broken or clouded title. No title problem is too complicated for our attorneys, and we have extensive experience in creating innovative solutions for our clients in addressing differing title issues.
Coordination with Title Companies
With extensive experience in negotiating with the major title insurers, our attorneys can ask the right questions and provide the right answers, so that a client’s title issues may be, if not completely solved without litigation, at least limited to the issues that affect the client’s title.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Quiet title litigants in Hawai‘i confront a host of unique laws involving the confluence of western laws of inheritance with further development of the laws by modern Hawai‘i courts and legislation. Our attorneys have represented landowners and title claimants in every type of quiet title case, ranging from those with only one or two defendants to those involving hundreds of claimants. Drawing upon deep resources and the understanding of what has proved successful, our attorneys assist our clients in quieting the title to their properties, sometimes despite fierce opposition from other co-tenants and claimants, including appeals to higher courts.
Similarly, our partition clients have found our attorneys’ ability to represent them in disputes with their co-owners to be second to none in terms of creativity and delivering positive results. Further, while the first goal in a partition action is usually to reach an amicable agreement among all the co-tenants, that is often not attainable, especially if owners are deceased or otherwise missing or uncooperative. In those situations, our attorneys confirm our clients’ rights in an equitable partition of the subject property. In instances where a property is susceptible to physical division to satisfy owners, we have the experience dealing with surveyors and government agencies to seek subdivision approval.
- Brought lawsuits that cleared the title for over twenty properties with broken title in just the last five years alone.
- Litigated successfully through appeal, a Hawai‘i landowner’s title claims to various kuleana lots owned by a landowner.
- Researched and clarified with the title company, a landowner’s chain of title to a property resulting in the title company agreeing to issue title insurance for the property without litigation.
- Negotiated settlement of title claims brought by various owners to resolve a broken title lawsuit as to lands owned by a family for over a century.
- Resolved title issues that arose from differing locations of a property’s boundaries as set forth in different deeds conveying a property over the decades.
Ellen R. Ashford
Dennis W. Chong Kee
John P. Duchemin
Sachi E. Hiatt
Philip J. Leas
William K. Morrison
W. Keoni Shultz
Emily K. Tanaka
Mauna Kea Trask
Lori K. Wilke