How the Courts are Structured

The appellate courts are comprised of the Hawai`i Supreme Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The trial courts include the Circuit, Family and District courts. They function in four judicial districts, represented by the four major islands:

  • First Circuit - Consists of the island of O`ahu and other islands of the State not in any other circuit.
  • Second Circuit - Consists of the islands of Maui, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Kaho`olawe and Molokini.
  • Third Circuit - Consists of the island of Hawai`i.
  • Fifth Circuit - Consists of the islands of Kaua`i and Ni`ihau.

The Fourth Circuit, which represented a portion of the island of Hawai`i, was eliminated in 1943 when it merged into the Third Circuit.

Court Administration

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is responsible for the administration of all courts and appoints an administrative director who oversees operations statewide.

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