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Hawaii Court Records

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Where To Find Family Court Records In Hawaii?

In the Hawaii Judiciary, domestic matters and disputes are decided by the Family Courts. These courts have jurisdiction over cases involving children, domestic relations, domestic violence, adult abuse cases, and guardianship of adults. The courts also release records to the public in line with the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Because of this, anyone can request family court records from the courts provided the requested record is non-confidential and not redacted or sealed by law, rule, or court order.

The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records contain information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care in order to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.

What Is Family Law In Hawaii?

Family law is covered under Title 31 of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. This title regulates how the family courts handle domestic relations and juvenile matters in the state. It is split into chapters, sections, and acts and the Hawaii Family Court Rules. The law is as follows:

Chapter 571: Family Courts

Chapter 572: Marriage

Chapter 572B: Civil Unions

Chapter 572C: Reciprocal Beneficiaries

Chapter 572D: Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

Chapter 574: Names

Chapter 575: Uniform Desertion and Nonsupport Act

Chapter 576: Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support

Chapter 576B: Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Chapter 576D: Child Support Enforcement

Chapter 576E: Administrative Process for Child Support Enforcement

Chapter 577: Children

Chapter 577A: Legal Capacity of Minor Regarding Medical Care

Chapter 577D: Primary Medical Care for Minors Without Support

Chapter 577E: Commission on Fatherhood

Chapter 578: Adoption

Chapter 580: Annulment, Divorce, and Separation

Chapter 582: Interstate Compact on Juveniles

Chapter 582D: Interstate Compact for Juveniles

Chapter 583A: Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Chapter 584: Uniform Parentage Act

Chapter 586: Domestic Abuse Protective Orders

Chapter 587A: Child Protective Act

Chapter 587D: Safe Place for Newborns

Chapter 588: Children’s Justice Program

What Are Family Court Cases And Records In Hawaii?

In Hawaii, family court cases include all domestic relations, domestic violence, and juvenile cases filed in the family courts. Recordings and documents (including pleadings. motions, dockets, orders, opinions, transcripts, judgments, and indexes) that are prepared or filed in the course of resolving these cases are called family court records. A list of the cases handled by the Hawaii family courts include:

  • Status offenses, i.e., crimes committed by children that are not necessarily prohibited for adults
  • Abuse and neglect (both child and adult)
  • Detention of children
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Adoption
  • Guardianships
  • Child support
  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Paternity
  • Domestic violence: restraining orders abuse, felony charges against family members
  • Civil commitment
  • Adult guardianship cases

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

Are Family Court Cases Public Records In Hawaii?

Yes, records created from court cases heard in the family courts are public records according to the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), except otherwise provided by federal/state law, court order, or rule. In the state, records are sealed, redacted, or made confidential in order not to endanger the lives or safety of parties involved in family cases. These records may include juvenile, adoption, child protection, paternity, and minors as well as personal information. Juvenile records, financial account numbers, social security numbers, and other unique identification numbers are also excluded from public records. Members of the public may contact the relevant courts in the O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i circuits to obtain family court records.

How Do I Find Family Court Records In Hawaii

Individuals who want to purchase family court records in Hawaii are provided with physical and online services as a means of retrieving these records. The 4 circuits (O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i) provide court request forms and instructions for this purpose and have uniform fees for record requests. Generally, records can be obtained in person, by mail/fax/email, or online. Paper copies requested in person require the party to visit the relevant courts where the complaint or petition was filed. The Contact Information webpage has the physical locations, contact numbers, and mail/fax/email addresses of the courts. In-person orders can be made in the Clerk’s office with the following information:

  • Case type
  • Case number
  • Names of the parties in the case
  • Title/description of the record
  • The number of copies requested (including whether the request is for certified or uncertified copies)

Parties who do not have this information may use the eCourt Kokua or Hoohiki platforms, public access computers in the courthouses, or computers in public libraries to get it. If the case number is unknown, the Clerk assesses a $5 per-name search to provide the number. Additional fees may be assessed for multiple documents, microfilms, and records that are stored off-site.

To make mail/fax/email requests, the requester is required to provide the same record information, as in making in-person requests. However, an application form is available from the family courts on the forms page. It is essential to use the specific form provided in the applicable circuit. The completed form may be forwarded using mail, fax, or email to the Custodian of Records in the appropriate family court. The requesting party is also required to provide valid identification, an email address, telephone number, mailing address, and the full records fee in advance.

Divorce and marriage records may be available through government sources and organizations, though their availability cannot be guaranteed. This is also true of their availability through third-party websites and companies, as these organizations are not government-sponsored and record availability may vary further. Finally, marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information they contain and are often sealed. Bearing these factors in mind, record availability for these types of records cannot be guaranteed.

How Do I Find Family Court Records Online?

Online access to Hawaii family court records is provided via eCourt Kokua or Hoohiki. Both platforms contain basic court case information, not the complete or actual court record which is available in the courthouses. Individuals using the Kokua platform have access to view and, sometimes, download criminal case information. From the family courts. To download, it costs $3 per document or $0.10 per page. Parties may also decide to subscribe to plans to access unlimited downloads: $125 per quarter and $500 per year. Family civil case information may be accessed with Hoohiki. However, records availability may differ as the four circuits did not begin data entry simultaneously. Confidential records are not available on either of the platforms.

What Is Hawaii Custody Law?

Hawaii enacted the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to protect the children’s rights after divorce, separation, or annulment. This act assigns the responsibilities of parents and legal guardians, including their visitation rights, and guides the courts’ procedures in the resolution of the cases. Custody orders can either be for legal or physical custody. Physical custody refers to a parent’s legal control over where the child lives, and legal custody gives a parent the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, including choice of religion, education, health care, and social activities. In both cases, the court can rule in favor of joint, sole, or split custody. Sole and joint custody entails giving either or both parents physical or legal custody and rights. These decisions can also be reached by mutual agreement. Split custody may occur when there are two or more children, and the law divides who has custody over a particular child. However, split custody orders happen infrequently.

How To Find Family Court Lawyers In Hawaii?

Through the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) offered by the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA), Hawaiians can find legal representation for family cases. Individuals may access this service in three ways: email, phone (808) 537–9140, or online. The email and phone services are available from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Online requests may be submitted using a Request for Lawyer Referral and Info Service Form. There is no cost assessed for referrals.

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