Hawaii’s justice system is comprised of the Supreme Court, the Intermediate Court of Appeals, the Circuit Courts, District Courts, Family Courts, Land and Tax Courts, and a single-entity Environmental Court. Their mission as stated on their website is: “as an independent branch of government, is to administer justice in an impartial, efficient and accessible manner in accordance with the law.”
Hawaii also has The Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts that manages day-to-day operations for the judicial branch and provides support services for all staff and judges. Hawaii uses a unified justice system that is overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Hawaii State Judiciary uses technology to advance their services that include a mobile app, allowing visitors to complete many court-related actions, e-filing and electronic access to court cases. Their website is well organized and helpful with lots of information for the public to use to navigate the court system with ease.
The state of Hawaii offers a lot of pro-bono legal aid services to low-income families and individuals. During the past year, they served 23,213 free legal consultations. Self-help centers are located in many of their courthouses.
Hawaii’s judicial branch website offers the general public easy access to a lot of court records. However, criminal information is no longer available, nor are any court records for confidential cases, expunged or sealed records and juvenile records if they have been requested to be removed. Only files that have been removed by court order will not show up. Additionally, federal law dictates that sensitive or personal information cannot be included in court documents such as children’s names, bank account numbers, corporate trade secrets, tax IDs and other identifiers. If any of these things are included, they must first be redacted before the files are made public.
Hawaii’s State Judiciary website has a whole section devoted to self-help where users can download forms they need to file evidence or motions, information on courthouse locations to file in person and detailed instructions for divorce, small claims, landlord/tenant disputes, how to handle traffic issues, obtaining protective orders along with general information on rules of the court and other helpful tips. Hawaii also allows attorneys and self-represented individuals to register for e-filing that can be used for appellate cases, criminal cases and also family legal issues. They call their e-filing system the Judiciary Electronic Filing and Service System (JEFS).
Did you know you can use Infotracer to lookup Hawaii court records within minutes? Using a simple Hawaii state court records name search, you can access thousands of court cases in Hawaii, including Honolulu County, Hawaii County, and Maui County. Thanks to the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act Haw. Rev. Stat. §91-1 et seq., private citizens have access to Hawaii criminal court records, family court records, bankruptcy cases, and more!
Anyone may perform a court records search without any reason or permission. Except in cases where files are court-ordered or kept confidential by law, most Hawaii court records will be online and available for lookups.
Infotracer’s comprehensive database allows the public to access Hawaii court records on demand. Try Infotracer today for free, instant access to court cases in Hawaii circuit courts, district courts, family courts, land and tax courts, and even environmental court!
In 2012, the Hawaii courts received 498,842 filings. In 2016, the number of filings increased by 1.4% and counted 506,040 filings and had 548,577 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Hawaii at year end of 2016 has decreased by 16.1% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 15,953 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Hawaii courts counts to 73,077, with 5,408 felony cases and 67,669 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
Hawaii’s Circuit Courts are the general jurisdiction trial courts for the state for both civil and criminal cases. These courts also possess exclusive jurisdiction for guardianship, probate and criminal felony cases along with civil cases for situations where the amount is over $40,000. The state’s Circuit Courts share concurrent jurisdiction with the state District Courts in non-jury civil matters where the amounts are between $10,000 and $40,000. These courts also hear cases regarding mechanics’ liens, and some misdemeanors referred by the District Courts for jury trials. The Circuit Courts also have special programs for adult probation, jury pools, court reporters and records management.
The District Courts in Hawaii are limited jurisdiction courts with a specific focus in the areas of small claims, traffic violations, landlord/tenant issues, and other civil cases. These courts handle violations of state or county ordinances, criminal cases where the penalty is less than one year in prison, civil cases of less than $40,000, and restraining orders and harassment. District Courts also take appeals from administrative denials from the DMV. The Division of Driver’s Education for the state of Hawaii is funded by the fees paid on every traffic violation in District Court. These courts also have a District Court Probation program as well.
Hawaii’s Family Courts were created in 1965. Their mission is to “provide a fair, speedy, economical, and accessible forum for the resolution of matters involving families and children.” They work towards this mission through three areas of focus: children, domestic relations and domestic violence. Family Courts aim to help families in crisis and strengthen relationships. They also work on guardianship cases for impaired or older adults and the mistreatment of such people. The types of cases they resolve are delinquency, child abuse and neglect, adoption, divorce, child support, paternity, domestic violence, custody, and other related matters.
Hawaii also has two courts of singular focus and jurisdiction, Land and Tax Courts. Land Court has exclusive jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the ownership of land and property including easements or registration of title. Land Court has a dedicated Registar who holds all papers and documents filed in the Land Court Registration. Per the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Administrative Judge of the First Circuit Court assigns tax appeal matters to the Tax Appeal Court. This court hears appeals regarding real property taxes and assessments. These are non-jury proceedings, and all decisions are law.