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Small Claims

The Small Claims Court is the division of District Court that handles certain disputes between two or more parties. These cases are decided by a judge in an informal manner.

The Small Claims Court hears your case if:

  • The amount disputed doesn’t exceed $5,000. Or, in a counterclaim, no more than $40,000 is requested. Claims up to $40,000 are heard by the Regular Claims Division.
  • You seek a return of a residential security deposit from your landlord.
  • You seek the return of leased or rented personal property, where the property is worth less than $5,000 where the amount claimed owed for that lease or rental is less than $5,000 exclusive of interest and costs.
  • You seek to recover damages or repossess items stolen from your business property. Examples of such items include shopping carts, shopping baskets or other similar devices.

Filing a Small Claim on Oahu? 

Please Read Carefully 

The Hawaii State Judiciary has developed a pilot program for small claims disputes to be resolved online. 

In the First Circuit, Online Dispute Resolution is now required for the following: 

  • Individuals who are not represented by an attorney. (These individuals are sometimes called Self-Represented Litigants or pro se.) 
  • An individual (one person) is involved in dispute with only one other person. For example, Party A (one person) files a complaint against Party B (another person).  
  • This pilot program does not apply to businesses, anyone represented by an attorney, or cases in which there are multiple individuals involved.  

 If you meet the above requirements, please visit our Online Dispute Resolution page to file your claim. 

Small Claims Brochure

The brochure, Your Guide to Small Claims Court (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free), provides answers to common questions.

Your Guide to Small Claims Court Brochures:

Small Claims forms are available at Honolulu District Court or via this website.