Information for Relatives of a Deceased Class Member

This information is for relatives of deceased Class Members in the Kalima v. State lawsuit. Class Members are “All persons who filed claims with the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Individual Claims Review Panel on or before August 31, 1995.”


On June 6, 2022, the First Circuit Court granted preliminary approval for a class action settlement in the Kalima v. State lawsuit. If your relative is a Class Member, please fill out the Information Request Form and identify yourself or another family member as the representative to receive written information regarding the claim. You may fill out an Information Request Form online here or download a copy of the form here so that we have your contact and other information.

Payment will be computed by a Claims Administrator under the direction of a Settlement Special Master and will be presented to the Court for approval.

Class Members who do not opt out and pursue their own lawsuit will receive a formal notice of settlement payment and can accept the payment or file objections with the Judge.

Do I have to do anything right now?

You are not required to take any action now, but you have the choice of retaining private counsel to assist you with a probate proceeding for your deceased relative at your own cost.

If you wish to retain your own probate attorney and need assistance finding an attorney, please contact the Hawaii State Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service. Please tell them you are a Kalima Class Member.

Hawaii State Bar Association
Lawyer Referral and Information Service
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 1-808-537-9140

You may also contact community legal service providers that may (but also may not) be able to provide free or low-cost legal services, depending on their availability and other factors. These service providers include the following:

Volunteer Legal Services of Hawai'i: 1-808-528-7046
Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i: 1-808-696-6322
University of Hawai'i Elder Law Program: 1-808-956-6544

Please note that this is not an endorsement of any services or attorneys.

A “probate proceeding” is a court process in which a court will appoint someone to act on behalf of the deceased Class Member’s estate (generally referred to as a “Legal Representative”), as well as determine the correct people who are entitled to share in the proceeds of the estate. Being appointed as a Legal Representative does not entitle the appointed person to receive any settlement proceeds that are awarded to the deceased person’s estate. The Legal Representative is responsible for ensuring that the settlement proceeds are distributed according to the Court’s orders.

If you do not file a probate proceeding, the Probate Special Master is developing a process to help administer the claims of the deceased claimants. This process is referred to as the “Probate Special Administration process.” To assist with this process, please provide the Claims Administrator with information about the deceased Class Member, including whether they had a will or trust and the names of their spouse(s) and children. You may provide that information by filling out the Information Request Form online here or download a copy of the form here and return it to the Claims Administrator.

Is my relative being represented in the claims process?

Class Counsel represents all deceased Class Members in the settlement process. Each claim will be presented based upon the written claim form, DHHL and Hawaiian Claims Office files, and other evidence that was submitted to the Panel. If more information is needed, someone will contact you.

What communications can I expect to receive regarding the Kalima Lawsuit?

If you are a representative, you (or your lawyer in any private probate proceeding) may receive official mail from the Claims Administrator. All letters will reference the Kalima lawsuit or Kalima Settlement Administration in the return address.

If you are asked to submit information on your deceased family member’s claim, please do so promptly.

You will not be asked for personal financial information, such as information about your bank account or assets.

How do I find out about the status of my relative’s claim?

Notice will be sent to you once your relative’s claim has been referred to the Claims Administrator and validated.

If my relative is awarded a payment, who will receive it?

Payment to deceased Class Members will be made to the Legal Representative of their estates or pursuant to a further court order. The Legal Representative will be responsible for ensuring that the money awarded to a deceased person is distributed to the parties named in an appropriate will or trust, or to certain family members if there is no will or trust. This process will take several months or more after the Final Approval.

The Probate Court will have to approve the distribution of any settlement payment to the deceased Class Member’s successors. The Claims Administrator will be providing more information in the future about the steps that must be taken to distribute the settlement payment.

How do I contact you?

Contact information for the Claims Administrator is available by clicking here. Contact information for Class Counsel is available in FAQ 30.