Supreme Court of Hawaii

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Hawaii Supreme Court
Seal of the Hawaii Supreme Court
Established 1841
Country Hawaii Hawaii, United States United States
Location Honolulu
Authorized by Hawaii Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Aliʻiōlani Hale, the building where the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court meets
Hawai'i State Judiciary

Supreme Court
Intermediate Appeals Court
Circuit Courts
District Courts
Family Courts
Tax Appeal Court
Land Court

The Supreme Court of Hawaii is the highest court of the State of Hawaii in the United States. Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the Hawaii State Judiciary. The principal purpose of the Supreme Court is to review the decisions of the trial courts in which appeals have been granted. Appeals are decided by the members of the Supreme Court based on written records and in some cases may grant oral arguments in the main Supreme Court chamber. Like its mainland United States counterparts, the Supreme Court does not take evidence and uses only evidence provided in previous trials.

The court meets in Aliʻiōlani Hale in Honolulu.


The Hawaii State Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to answer questions of law that have been passed to it from trial courts or the federal court, hear civil cases submitted to the Supreme Court on agreed statements of facts, and decide questions coming from proceedings of writs of mandamus, prohibition and habeas corpus.


The court had its roots during the Kingdom of Hawaii. Some early notable justices were:[1]


The Supreme Court consists of five justices who are initially appointed to ten-year terms by the Governor of Hawaii, who makes his or her nomination from a list of between four and six candidates from the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission. The governor's nominee is subject to confirmation by the Hawaii State Senate. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, Hawaii residents, and have been licensed to practice law for at least 10 years prior to nomination. The Judicial Selection Commission can opt to retain incumbent justices for additional ten-year terms. All justices must retire at the age of 70.

As of June 2013, the five Justices are:[5]

Title Name Served on court since
Chief Justice Recktenwald, Mark E.Mark E. Recktenwald 2009
Justice Nakayama, Paula A.Paula A. Nakayama 1993
Justice Acoba, Jr., Simeon R.Simeon R. Acoba, Jr. 2000
Justice McKenna, SabrinaSabrina McKenna 2011
Justice Pollack, Richard W.Richard W. Pollack 2012

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walter F. Frear (1894). "Evolution of the Hawaiian judiciary". Papers of the Hawaiian Historical Society. hdl:10524/966. 
  2. ^ "Lee, William L. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Supreme Court, Chief Justices of office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  4. ^ "Dole, Sanford Ballard office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°18′20″N 157°51′36″W / 21.305478°N 157.859974°W / 21.305478; -157.859974