Hawaii Supreme Court rules backs state in Thirty Meter Telescope sublease case

By Marian Johns | Aug 16, 2018

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state's Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR), saying it was not required to hold a contested case hearing prior to subleasing by the University of Hawaii (UH) to TMT International Observatory for the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. 

“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the actions of UH and BLNR in the first of the TMT-related appeals,” Hawaii Attorney General Russell Suzuki said in a statement. 

According to the Attorney General's Office, a Hilo circuit court vacated BLNR's consent to sublease due to there being no contested case, which had been requested by E. Kalani Flores. The university and BLNR appealed the decision to the Hawaii Supreme Court, which overturned the lower court's decision. 

In its decision, the Supreme Court stated "We agree with BLNR and the university that BLNR was not required to hold a contested case hearing prior to consenting to the sublease because such a hearing was not required by statute, administrative rule or due process under the circumstances of this case."

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