Hawaii Legal Overview
The Hawaii State Judiciary is a unified court system with the Hawaii State Supreme Court as the highest court in the state. The Supreme Court Chief Justice and the four associate justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Governor and serve 10-year terms, as are Appellate and Circuit Court judges. The Intermediate Court of Appeals has one judge each for the state's four judicial districts. The 27 Circuit Court judges preside over the main trial courts with general jurisdiction. The Hawaii District Courts have limited jurisdiction over small claims, traffic infractions and civil cases less than $25,000.
Top metro Hawaii areas for Legal Issues:
1. Hawaii abolished capital punishment before it became the 50th U.S. state. At that time, 1.8 million acres of "ceded lands" changed hands from the monarchy to the provisional government to the U.S. federal government and the state of Hawaii. This led to a maze of claims that ultimately ended with the U.S. Supreme Court telling Hawaii to settle, pending claims before selling any ceded land. In Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that states could use eminent domain to seize land from private landowners and redistribute it among a wider section of the population.
2. A lawsuit in Hawaii alleges that a federal agency negelected to protect Hawaii's false killer whales.
3. The Kauai County Police Commission will leave it to the court to decide the mayors powers to discipline or suspend the police chief. The question derives from Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. placing Chief Darryl Perry on leave earlier in 2012 while the county looked into a worker complaint.
Trending Hawaii Legal Topics: The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) was founded in 1899 and formally became a unified bar in Nov 1989. All lawyers licensed to practice law in the Hawaiian Islands have to pass the bar exam and become HSBA members. The HSBA currently has just over 4,000 members. Complaints against judges must be sent to the Commission on Judicial Conduct and have to be sent in writing.