Courthouses on Oahu:
Kapolei Family Court:
Most Family Court hearings are held at the new Courthouse in Kapolei, 4675 Kapolei Parkway (see map), including all divorces, paternities, restraining orders, juvenile matters (CPS and juvenile crime hearings), adoptions, and guardianships (guardianships of the person only; guardianships of property are held at the Circuit Court on Punchbowl Street). NOTE: a small number of Family Court hearings are held at the District Court at 1111 Alakea Street, in downtown Honolulu — specifically Family Court adult criminal matters, encompassing domestic abuse cases and TRO violations (noting again that hearings on people applying to get TROs are held in Kapolei).
Information on the Kapolei Courthouse:
Getting there: on H-1 freeway from town/Honolulu, Kapolei exit 1E, for Campbell Industrial Park/Kalaeloa, takes you much closer to the Courthouse than the Kapolei “town” exit. Upon getting off the ramp, you will be on Kalaeloa Boulevard, where you take a left at the first light, which is Kapolei Parkway. You will pass Costco on your right, where you will turn at the next intersection, a large 3-way stop between Kapolei Parkway and Kamokila Boulevard, where you will take a right, then the Courthouse and its parking entrance will be on your left.
Parking: thankfully, the Courthouse finally replaced their old-fashioned coin meters (which only took quarters), after a dozen years, and replaced them with a more modern parking system, which takes cash or credit (in the process, they also doubled the parking rate, from 50 cents/hour to $1.00/hour).
Floors: the 1st floor shares space with the Waianae District Court, which is to the left of the entrance; in the middle of the first floor is the Family Court filing clerks and service center. The 2nd floor is occupied by courtrooms hearing all juvenile matters — as referenced above, CPS hearings and juvenile crime proceedings. The 3rd floor, which is usually the busiest, houses courtrooms for divorces, paternities, restraining orders, and guardianships. Administrative offices take up the 4th floor.
Honolulu District Court:
Honolulu District Court is located at 1111 Alakea Street (see map), which is located on the corner of Alakea and Hotel Streets, just one block Ewa of the State Capitol. Some Family Court matters are heard at the District Court: FC-CR, or Family Court criminal matters (TRO violations and abuse of household members) are on the 8th floor. District Court or “civil” TROs are heard on the 10th floor.
Parking: most people recommend parking in Ali’i Place, located across the street in the makai/south direction (entrance to the parking is from Alakea, going mauka/north). The parking rates are based on municipal rates for the first two hours, and thus much lower than the private parking lots in the area. Currently, the rate is $1.50/hour, over the first two hours. Being in downtown, metered street parking is very limited, and not recommended.
First Circuit Court:
The First Circuit Court (a Hawaii State Court) is located at in Kaahumanu Hale, at 777 Punchbowl Street (see map), across from both Restaurant Row and the U.S. Federal Building. Circuit Court has courtrooms for both civil (4th floor) and criminal (3rd floor) matters. The first floor of the Court also houses the Circuit and Family Court filing clerks, the Estate and Probate Office, the Small Estates Office, the Land and Tax Court, and the Circuit Court Records Room (for those people looking for Circuit files). Although the Family Court itself moved from this building to its Kapolei location, individuals can still file documents here just as they do in Kapolei.
Parking: parking for Circuit Court is connected to the Courthouse (entitled the South Street Garage), on the corner of South and Pohukaina Streets. Parking can also be found mauka/north of the Courthouse in the Makai Garage, on Halekauwila Street. Both lots charge at the fairly low municipal rates.
What to wear:
A frequent question from clients is “what should I wear to Court?” Although no strict dress code is written out for Hawaii State Courts, the following are some good minimum guidelines for people attending hearings:
no tank tops
no hats (or take them off before entering the courtrooms)
no sunglasses on face or top of head (as above, should take them off before entering the courtrooms)
Bottom line, Court proceedings are a serious business, and people attending those proceedings should treat it as such.
Besides the attire tips above, the following would be recommended:
no gum chewing
no eating or drinking
cell phones off (or at least on silent/vibrate)
Judges should be addressed as “Your Honor” or “the Court”
If you have an attorney, it would be recommended that you speak to them about any other tips before your court date.