The County’s Lawsuit Against UniDev is Returned to State Court

From the Desk of Lincoln Ashida:

On December 24, 2009, the United States Federal District Court for the District of Hawai‘i entered an order recommending the County of Hawai‘i’s lawsuit filed against the developer of the Waikoloa Housing Project be returned (remanded) to the state court.  The County had made this request of the federal court after the developer, UniDev, had removed (transferred) the case to federal court.  Defendants in lawsuits often try to “remove” the case from state to federal court, since they attempt to avoid the jurisdiction and rules of the state court, which they generally believe are not favorable to them.

Earlier this year on July 1, 2009, the County filed this lawsuit against UniDev, alleging UniDev made false claims for payment against the County, intentionally made numerous false representations and provided false documentation that induced the County to provide funding for the workforce housing, and failed to obtain prior approval before entering into various consultant contracts.

The federal court also recommended the County’s request for attorney’s fees and costs in bringing this action to remand also be granted, finding that UniDev’s arguments for removal were “objectively unreasonable.”

The County of Hawai‘i is being represented by Assistant Corporation Counsel Katherine A. Garson and Deputy Corporation Counsel Laureen Martin.  Both attorneys are experienced litigators and members of our Fraud Division.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the above, please contact me at Lashida@co.hawaii.hi.us, or via telephone at (808) 961-8304, extension 118.  This message was posted on December 24, 2009, at 1:30 p.m.

P.S. I missed this while I went away somehow!

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