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
Wong v. Association of Apartment Owners of Harbor Square  
Date: February 29, 2024
Docket Number: SCAP-22-0000552

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii addressed the calculation of damages in cases where a condominium association wrongfully forecloses on a unit owner. Stephen Wong, the plaintiff, had bought a condo in the Harbor…

State v. Fay
Date: February 23, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-22-0000056
State v. Browder
Date: February 22, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-22-0000267
In Re: Hoff
Date: February 15, 2024
Docket Number: SCPR-24-0000057
Cole v. City and County of Honolulu  
Date: February 12, 2024
Docket Number: SCAP-23-0000011

Justia Opinion Summary: In a case regarding the timing of appeals, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii has clarified the interpretation of Hawaii Rules of Appellate Procedure (HRAP) Rule 4(a)(3). The case arose from a tax dispute between…

Gonsalves v. Holma
Date: February 12, 2024
Docket Number: SCPW-23-0000672
Rivera v. Dick Pacific Construction Company
Date: February 12, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000884
State v. Oki
Date: February 8, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-22-0000129
State v. Wilson  
Date: February 7, 2024
Docket Number: SCAP-22-0000561

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher Wilson was charged with offenses related to carrying a firearm and ammunition in public without the appropriate license in Hawaii. In response, Wilson challenged the constitutionality of the relevant Hawaii…

State v. Aquino
Date: February 7, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-22-0000499
Park v. City and County of Honolulu  
Date: February 5, 2024
Docket Number: SCRQ-22-0000716

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i, the issue was whether a subrogee insurance company, which timely intervened pursuant to HRS § 386-8(b), has an independent right to continue to pursue claims…

Guity v. State
Date: February 2, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-21-0000531
US Bank National Association v. Greenberg
Date: January 31, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000065
State v. Yuen
Date: January 30, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-21-0000679
Abordo v. Department of Public Safety
Date: January 26, 2024
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000367
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.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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