Friends of Mukai won its case in the state Court of Appeals. On December 23rd the three-judge panel issued its decision, agreeing with the Friends of Mukai that Superior Court Judge Monica Benton was mistaken when, in November of 2012, she ruled in favor of the Matthews Board and dismissed the case against them.
The lawsuit was originally filed in June of 2012 when the Matthews Board refused to accept the will of over 70 islanders who convened a special meeting and voted in a new board for the non-profit, Island Landmarks. Judge Benton had sided with the old board on their claim that Bylaw 2.7 had been violated in the process of calling the meeting. The Appeals Court determined Judge Benton’s interpretation was incorrect, and stated of the arguments made by the Matthews Board, “none were persuasive” and at least one was “strained and wholly unreasonable”.
The case has been referred back to Superior Court, where Friends of Mukai will finally have the opportunity to prove its claim that an island-based community group should be in charge of Island Landmarks, and island members participate in the goal of reclaiming the Mukai house and garden for the benefit and enjoyment of all.