Supreme Court of Hawaii Decisions

The Hawaii Supreme Court has existed since 1841. Most of the cases that it reviews consist of appeals from decisions in lower state courts or federal courts. These may reach the Supreme Court as reserved or certified questions, or as writs of certiorari. The Court oversees the legal profession in the state and holds exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to the discipline of attorneys and judges. It also holds the exclusive authority to set rules that control procedures in lower state courts, and it has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving elections.

Five justices serve on the Hawaii Supreme Court. Rather than electing justices, the state uses an assisted appointment method. This means that the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission compiles a list of candidates for the review of the Governor. Once the Governor chooses a candidate from the list, the Hawaii State Senate must confirm the candidate before they can take their seat on the Court. The Chief Justice may be chosen from current members of the Court, but they also must be selected by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Each justice serves for a 10-year term, after which the Judicial Selection Commission will decide whether to renew the term. Any candidate to serve on the Court must be a resident of Hawaii who has been licensed to practice law for at least 10 years before their appointment. Justices may not hold any other political office or actively practice law while they serve. They must be under 70 years old when they are appointed, and current justices must retire at 70.

A justice may be removed from the Hawaii Supreme Court only if the Judicial Selection Commission decides not to renew their term or if the Commission on Judicial Conduct in the Hawaii State Judiciary recommends their removal. The Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates allegations of misconduct or unfitness. The Supreme Court will make the final decision on whether to remove a justice if the Commission recommends their removal.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Hawaii

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Hawaii
State v. Tangonan
Date: October 26, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000749
Field v. Ochiai
Date: October 23, 2020
Docket Number: SCPW-20-0000584
State v. Kelly
Date: October 23, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000054
In re: Ryan
Date: October 20, 2020
Docket Number: SCPR-20-0000608
State v. Decker
Date: October 20, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000603
McCoy v. Eddins
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: SCPW-20-0000560
State v. Oki
Date: October 16, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000501
Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Henschel
Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: SCAD-20-0000611
Kaaialii v. To'oto'o
Date: October 15, 2020
Docket Number: SCPW-20-0000580
Abordo v. Crabtree
Date: October 13, 2020
Docket Number: SCPW-20-0000582
State v. Shaw
Date: October 13, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000599
State v. Beaty
Date: October 13, 2020
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000082
Evans v. Kahele
Date: October 9, 2020
Docket Number: SCEC-20-0000507
Famera-Rosenzweig v. Kahele
Date: October 9, 2020
Docket Number: SCEC-20-0000508
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.