Hawaii Court Records
Hawaii’s judiciary offers a network of resources to aid in the search for any legal issue or question a member of the public may have. With access to thousands of volumes online through the Hawaii State Law Library, a historical account of virtually all Hawaii court records are available there. Support from the Hawaii Judiciary History Center encourages the public to self-educate and stay informed on current court rules and decisions in the state.
Most Hawaii court records are accessible online, though they are also maintained in Honolulu at the library’s main location.
History of Hawaii Court Records
The Hawaii Judiciary History Center is located in the Aliiolani Hale, sharing a home with the Supreme Court. They have been located there since 1874. This center was created and is maintained to support the public’s research and access to historical legal documents originating in Hawaii.
Hawaii Court Records Availability
The Hawaii Supreme Court Law Library is located in Honolulu, and offers most of its resources online. This library is at least partially federally funded, and offers access to government information as a Federal Depository Library.
Hawaii’s State Law Library offers access to legal journals and law reviews, as well as Supreme Court opinions and orders. Court rules are also maintained and updated as they change in the library. Other Hawaii court records provided include court forms and records from trial and appellate courts, current statutes and even federal court records. Information regarding other state’s laws and constitutions are also maintained by the Hawaii State Law Library.
Most of these Hawaii court records are accessible online, or may be requested in person.
Main Court Information
Hawaii’s Supreme Court was founded in 1841, and is the state’s highest appellate court. This means that it hears appeals from lower courts, federal courts and writs of certiorari. The Hawaii Supreme Court also exercises exclusive jurisdiction over court rules, elections cases and discipline of judges and attorneys.
Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor, with the assistance of the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission. This commission submits a list of potential justices to the governor to choose a new justice. The state senate then confirms the governor’s choice, and the justices serve 10-year terms. These terms may be renewed as long as approved by the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission, though the justices are required to retire at age 70.
There are currently five justices who sit on Hawaii’s Supreme Court. One chief justice is appointed by the other justices serving the court.
The Supreme Court receives approximately 200 filings per fiscal year. In 2009, there were only 127 filings and 127 dispositions. In 2014, there were 252 filings and 194 dispositions.