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Judicial Selection Commission, Application for Judicial Office


The Constitution of the State of Hawai`i, Article VI, and Section 3 reads: “Qualifications for Appointment: Justices and judges shall be residents and citizens of the State and of the United States, and licensed to practice law by the supreme court. A justice of the supreme court, a judge of the intermediate appellate court and a judge of the circuit court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than ten years preceding nomination. A judge of the district court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than five years preceding nomination. No justice or judge shall, during the term of office, engage in the practice of law, or run for or hold any other office or position of profit under the United States, the State or its political subdivisions.”


“The term of office of justices and judges of the supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts shall be ten years. Judges of district courts shall hold office for the periods as provided by law.” (six years)

District Judge and District Family Judge vacancy(s):

Please be advised that the Chief Justice has the authority to re-designate district judges as district family judges in the first, second, third and fifth judicial circuits, and vice versa. Hawai`i Revised Statutes §571-8(b) reads: “When in the discretion of the chief justice of the supreme court the urgency or volume of cases so requires, the chief justice may appoint one or more district family judges for each judicial circuit. In addition, within any circuit, the chief justice may designate any district judge of the district court to act as a district family judge within that circuit; the judge when so designated shall exercise the powers of a district family judge appointed pursuant to this section. The chief justice may also designate, within any circuit, a district family judge appointed pursuant to this section to act as a district judge, and the judge when so appointed shall have all the powers of a district judge appointed pursuant to section 604-2. The chief justice may assign any district judge or district family judge of any circuit to serve temporarily in either the district court or district family court of any other circuit.”

Your readiness to apply:

We encourage and welcome your application, and thank you for your decision to apply. Applying for Judicial appointment is an important step in your career. In order to make the most of this opportunity, please remember the following important information:

1. General preparation for the interview:

  • Many applicants apply and this makes the process very competitive. As you complete the application and prepare for the interview, think about your qualifications in comparison with others who have also achieved and progressed in their careers. Your goal is to differentiate clearly why you should be chosen over other, also highly qualified applicants.
  • Think about what questions you expect to get, and what messages you want the interviewing panel to receive from you. Also think about what might be important in terms of professional behavior and interpersonal ability. Though the panel recommends several applicants, the more prepared you are, the better your chances will be to be nominated.
  • You will have 10 to 15 minutes maximum to meet with the panel of Commissioners. If you plan to discuss your personal history, please keep that to 3 minutes or so. In that way other topics can also be thoroughly covered.

2. Topics to expect:

  • We want to know your strengths for the position and why you are seeking it now. Relevant experience, performance feedback, community service, interests, and ongoing learning are sample strengths you can raise.
  • We also want to know what you think about the weaker areas in your application and what you are doing to strengthen them. Being forthcoming makes you a stronger candidate and also prevents potential negative reactions later for yourself during the Senate confirmation process. Sample topics could include your view of the extent of your trial experience, breadth of experience base, participation in community service, any complaints or disciplinary actions, finances or other areas.

Press Release Announcement of Commission Nominees:

When the commission delivers the list of nominees to the appointing authority (Governor or Chief Justice) the Commission’s Office will email all applicants the Press Release Announcement of Commission Nominees.

General Instructions:

Please call the Commission’s office at 538-5200 if you have any questions.

  1. Prior to submitting your application, you are requested (but not required) to submit a letter before the application deadline date and provide a contact phone number and an email address specifying the judicial application position for which you intend to apply.
  2. Submit one full Application for Judicial Office, form JS-P-084 for multiple judicial position(s) announced in Notices of Anticipated Judicial Vacancy(s).
  3. Applicants applying for another vacancy in judicial office within one year of having submitted a full application for a prior position need not submit another full application. In lieu of a full application, use form JS-P-084 as a Supplemental Application, follows:
    1. Your Supplemental Application should include only Pages 1, 2, 3, 6, 34, Attachments 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you need to update your responses to other questions, please submit only those pages you are updating. Do not submit another full application.
    2. In your Supplemental Application include Page 29 if the judicial positions you are applying for differ from your prior full application and/or you would like to provide new references.
  4. If yet another vacancy in judicial office occurs within one year of having submitted a full application, and you have already submitted a supplemental application, you do not have to submit a further application. Instead, do the following:
    1. If you have no updates to report: Please fill out the form JS-P-096, Penalty of Perjury.
    2. If you have updates to report: Submit only those pages in the Application for Judicial Office form with the Penalty of Perjury form. Type no updates as your answer to those questions you are not updating.
  5. The Commission requests that you do not ask persons to submit to the Commission letters supporting you as a candidate for the judicial position(s). The Commission recognizes that all applicants have supporters, and the commission prefers to receive the reference information as requested in its application form.
  6. CREDIT REPORT: To obtain a credit report, please review the instructions in form JS-P-097, Required Supplemental: Your Current Credit Report.
  7. HSBA Judicial Evaluation Report: All justices and judges (full time and per diem), please provide a copy of all HSBA evaluations with your application.
  8. Applications are not accepted online. You must print your completed application or supplemental application and do the following:
    1. Please do not omit any pages and submit all pages of the application.
    2. Initial the acknowledgements on Page 1;
    3. Sign Page 34 and Attachment 2 before a Notary Public;
    4. You and your spouse (if applicable) must sign Attachment 4;
    5. Please do not place in a 3 ring binder or staple your application. Punch 2 holes at the top center of each page and secure the pages with a prong fastener size: 2 ¾” center of hole to hole; 2” capacity.
  9. IMPORTANT: It is advisable that you make a copy of your original Application, Supplemental Application and/or Penalty of Perjury, including all attachments that you submit to the Commission for your files. If you are selected as a nominee for judicial office by the Commission, you may be asked by the appointing authority, Hawai`i State Senate and Hawai`i State Bar Association to provide them with a copy of the above applications. All application forms and attachments received are CONFIDENTIAL to the Commission and copies are not provided to any person (including the applicant) outside of the Commission.
  10. APPLICANTS: The original signed forms of either the Application for Judicial Office or Supplemental Application or Penalty of Perjury, including all attachments must be post-marked or delivered before or on the application deadline date. Applications are not accepted online.
    1. Please fill out the most current application form on the Commission’s website.
    2. The Commission will consider this application only if the application form is completed in full. Please check to see that you have answered each question. If a question does not apply to you, type Not Applicable or NA. An incomplete application will not be considered and you will be notified that your application will be available for you to pick up.
  11. Mail or deliver the original signed form to the Commission’s mailing address: Judicial Selection Commission, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i, 96813.
  12. NO EXTENSIONS will be granted.

Instructions to save the Application for Judicial Office, Form JS-P-084 to your computer file:

The Application for Judicial Office form is a fillable Portable Document Form (PDF) format. Before you download the application form, please make sure your computer has the Adobe Reader Version 11 or the latest version. If you don’t have version 11, please download the free program to your computer. Version 11 will allow you to view, enter information, save and print the fillable PDF application form.

Download the PDF application form to your computer file, please do the following:

Click on the Application for Judicial Office, form JS-P-084. The PDF application form displays on your computer screen. Click the File tab in the upper-left corner of the application form. A drop-down list with options display, click Save as. The Save as dialog box appears. Click the arrow at the end of the Save in field. A drop-down with options display your computer folders. Click the computer folder you want to save the PDF application form, such as your Desktop or a named folder, etc. In the File name field you may enter a new name for your file. Click the Save button, the PDF application form is saved in your computer file. The PDF application form is accessible on your computer and you can save the information entered.

To locate the saved PDF application form in your computer file, please do the following:

Click on the Adobe Reader Version 11 program to display on your computer screen. Click the File tab in the upper-left corner and choose Open. The Open dialog box appears, locate and click on the file name for the application form. Click the Open button in the dialog box and the application form displays.

If you enter information without saving the PDF application form to your designated computer file and you exit or close the form or the Commission’s website goes down, all the information you entered will not be saved and will be deleted. Please follow the above instructions if you want to save information you enter on the application form.

OR if you don’t want to save the application form, print each page as you complete the page so you don’t have to reenter lost information.

 If you previously saved the PDF application form to your designated computer file, please compare the dates on the bottom left corner of your saved application form and the application form currently on the Commission’s website to make sure you are filling out the most current application form.

Instructions to fill out the Application for Judicial Office, Form JS-P-084:

  • Click the Highlight Existing Fields button on the upper-right corner of the form to highlight the fields to enter your answer.
  • There are three types of fields on this form: single-line text fields, multi-line text fields and check boxes. The single and multi-line fields limit the number of characters that can be entered.

Warning: A scroll bar or black box with a plus sign display if your entry exceeds the number of spaces allowed. If you continue typing, that additional information will not print on your application. If you need more space, please attach a separate page and copy the question number and the question itself at the top of the page immediately preceding your answer. Place this separate page(s) right after the original question page. *Please do not place these pages at the end of the application as an exhibit.

  • Use the Tab key or your mouse to advance to the next highlighted field or check box. Do not use the enter/return key, as these keys do not advance you to the next highlighted field or check box.
  • Click the Save icon from time to time as you enter information and fill out the PDF application form.

Download: Application for Judicial Office, Form JS-P-084