Ancestral Lands case awaits court date - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ancestral Lands case awaits court date

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - A class action lawsuit against the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission remains undecided. The plaintiffs - a group of original land owners - are suing GovGuam, claiming a bill signed into law during the Camacho Administration authorizing land at FAA and Marbo Cave be issued to Tiyan landowner is unjust.

Attorney Curtis Van De Veld filed the suit last September in an attempt to block the commission from distributing the land. The Attorney General's Office then moved to have the cased dismissed. The law office of Phillips and Bordallo has since become involved petitioning to intervention on behalf of the Tiyan landowners.

Benny Crawford, spokesperson for the Tiyan landowners, says many of the original landowners have passed away over the last few months while the class action law suit holds up the issuance of the deeds. "So that's kind of sad for me, that's the sad part but you know, the court has to they have their day in court. We are just waiting for our day in court to have that restraining order removed so we can move forward and get our deeds to the property that we have been given by law."

Attorney Darleen Hiton, of Phillips and Bordallo, recently petitioned the court for an agreement of a hearing date claiming Van De Veld will not agree to a date on oral arguments. Van De Veld tells KUAM News he disagrees with the action saying the firm has not followed proper procedures on setting a date. He has since filed an objection to the agreement of the hearing date petition.

In the meantime Tiyan landowners continue their wait for the land awarded to them under public law. Land, which the military has expressed an interest in for use as a location for Marine housing.

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