Genealogy inside Court Room: State of Hawai’i v. Kuhia

This particular particular lawsuit involves a problem which I encounter regularly however in This particular case the issues have been carried to an extreme. Genealogists occasionally get “carried away” in pursuing an unobtainable objective. These objectives sometimes involve “proving” lineage to a specific ancestor in order to inherit property, join a lineage society or obtain affiliation or membership in a Native American reservation. Here is actually a summary of This particular case through the court ruling entitled as, State of Hawai’i, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Glenn Kealoha Kuhia, Defendant-Appellant.

Kuhia began actively pursing his Hawaiian genealogy after he learned about a quiet title action permitting the heirs of Mahu to claim an interest in land on Maui. In order to prove his right to intervene in which action, Kuhia embarked on a diligent search to document in addition to prove his Hawaiian roots. Based on his research, Kuhia believed which he was not only an heir of Mahu, however also an heir of Queen Lili`uokalani. For reasons which are not clear, Kuhia’s search for his genealogy also led him to believe which his father, whose death in 1960 had been classified as a suicide, had in fact been murdered. 

Kuhia’s efforts to prove his Hawaiian genealogy in addition to to assert his rights as a Native Hawaiian brought him into contact with State agencies established to assist Native Hawaiians, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs 593*593 (OHA) in addition to the Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC). This particular was Kuhia’s confrontations with persons employed by or working under contract for these agencies which led to the charges in This particular case.

At the present time, we have a similar, however less dramatic, situation in our own family lines where erstwhile researchers become convinced of the accuracy of their conclusions despite a complete lack of documentary support. No amount of reasoning or request for further documentation avails in convincing the researchers which their conclusions are unsupported in addition to inaccurate. This particular seems easy to dismiss these false in addition to unverified claims as the product of some mental aberration, however unfortunately, different uninformed researchers often side with the claimant due to the persistence of the researcher in asserting the false claims.

In This particular particular case, the claimant, Kuhia, was both violent in addition to threatening.

On February 2, 1999, Kuhia went to OHA’s offices. Kuhia became very angry after reading Kippen’s letter, in addition to threw the letter back at Kippen. Kuhia demanded which Kippen return original genealogical documents which Kuhia claimed to have given to OHA staff on previous occasions. Kippen knew This particular was OHA’s policy to make a copy of any original document submitted in addition to to return the original. He also checked with OHA staff members, who all stated which any original documents submitted by Kuhia had been copied in addition to returned to him.

Kuhia was “very upset” in addition to “very angry” when Kippen did not satisfy Kuhia’s demand for the original documents. Kuhia yelled, swore, in addition to directed racial epithets at an OHA staff member. Kippen walked away because he could not satisfy Kuhia’s demand, in addition to Kuhia called the police. The officers arrived in addition to tried to convince Kuhia which the dispute over the records was a civil matter. However, when Kuhia refused to leave without the records, the police arrested Kuhia for trespassing. After the February 2, 1999 incident, OHA obtained a restraining order against Kuhia.[3]

In many of the similar situations I have encountered during my years of helping patrons in Mesa in addition to Provo, the researcher/claimant alters the presentation of their claim in response to its rejection. The same researcher will attempt to convince someone else inside library which they are correct by presenting the “facts” in a way to attempt to overcome the rejection. In some instances, these people became generally known by all of the support staff in addition to the researchers might watch until he or she spotted a “completely new” staff member to make the arguments again. Although, I have not had my life threatened, I have had patrons become indignant in addition to angry with me because I did not immediately accept their unsupported conclusions.

The rest of the Kuhia case involves a long discussion of various legal issues regarding the appeal. However, the maintenance of false or unsupported genealogical claims is actually a real in addition to continuing issue. In fact, as I have recently pointed out, almost every family line which I presently show inside FamilySearch.org Family Tree ends up with unsupported in addition to fictitious ancestors.

Genealogy inside Court Room: State of Hawai’i v. Kuhia

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