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
In re: Individuals in Custody of the State of Hawaii
Date: October 12, 2021
Docket Number: SCPW-21-0000483
Lake v. Chang
Date: October 12, 2021
Docket Number: SCPW-21-0000510
State v. Campbell
Date: October 12, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000787
State v. Ballesteros
Date: October 7, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-20-0000472
State v. Becker
Date: October 6, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000741
State v. Shaw  
Date: October 1, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-18-0000599

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacating the circuit court's judgment of conviction and sentence and remanding the case to the circuit court...

State v. Rosa
Date: October 1, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-20-0000399
In re: Judiciaryâ€s Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: SCMF-20-0000152
Elder v. The Bluffs at Mauna Kea Community Association
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-16-0000266
State v. Sporik
Date: September 29, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-20-0000101
State v. Jardine
Date: September 28, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-20-0000153
In re: Wasson
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: SCPR-21-0000471
In re: Meyer
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: SCPR-21-0000485
Ted’s Wiring Service, Ltd. v. Department of Transportation
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-16-0000473
State v. Bauer
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: SCWC-19-0000749
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.