Hawaii Legal System

Hawaii has both state and federal courts. There are no municipal or county courts in Hawaii at the present time. In fact, the judicial picture in Hawaii is relatively straightforward and thus considerably less complicated than that which is found in certain other states like New York or California.
Hawai`i's judicial branch is a unified state court system that functions under one administrative head, the Chief Justice of the Hawai`i Supreme Court.   The Hawai`i State Judiciary consists of the following courts:
The Supreme Court - State's highest court makes binding decisions over appeals from the lower courts upon transfer from the Intermediate Court of Appeals and cases eligible to be heard directly by the Hawai`i Supreme Court. Also responsible for court rules, licensing and disciplining attorneys.
Intermediate Court of Appeals - State's second highest court that reviews appeals from state trial court or agency decisions. Its decisions, under certain circumstances, are subject to the Hawai`i Supreme Court's review.
Land Court - Statewide court of record with exclusive jurisdiction of all applications for the registration of title to land and easements or rights in land held and possessed.
Tax Appeal Court - Statewide court of record with jurisdiction over disputes concerning property, excise, liquor, tobacco, income and insurance taxes, among others.
Circuit Courts - Rule in all jury trial cases. General jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. Exclusive jurisdiction in probate, guardianship and criminal felony cases, as well as civil cases where the contested amount exceeds $20,000. Concurrent jurisdiction with District Courts in civil non-jury cases that specify amounts between $10,000-$20,000.
Family Courts - Rule in all legal matters involving children, such as delinquency, waiver, status offenses, abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, adoption, guardianships and detention. Also hears traditional domestic-relations cases,...