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Tips on Going to Court


To help you prepare for court, please do the following:

Bring the proper documentation

During your court trial, you or your attorney will have the opportunity to explain the facts of your case to the judge. Make sure your paperwork is organized and that it supports your claim. Examples include receipts, contracts, letters, bills and photos. If you are going to Family Court, you are expected to bring several important documents.

Don’t miss your court date

Do not miss a court date without being excused by the judge, prosecutor, public defender or your lawyer in advance of your court date. For criminal cases, not appearing for court may result in the court issuing a penal summons or bench warrant for your arrest. You may also be held in contempt of court. If you are the respondent in a civil or traffic infraction, a default judgment may be ordered if you fail to appear. If you are the complainant and do not appear for court on your court date, your case may be dismissed.

Allow plenty of time to travel to court

If you are driving to court in Honolulu, be sure to allow ample time for parking. Here are some suggestions on where to park:

  • Supreme Court – Metered parking lot adjacent to the building.
  • Circuit Court – Pohukaina and Halekauwila Streets near the Circuit Court building.
  • District Court – Ali`i Place on Alakea Street on the right side of the street between King and Hotel streets.

Since the parking lots tend to fill quickly, allow ample time to find an alternative lot if necessary. Other parking spaces are available.

Go to the correct courtroom

Make sure you know which court you must appear in. Hawai`i State Courts are located on each island. Find out the correct court location ahead of time. Once you arrive at the court building, consult the directory or information booth to find the correct courtroom. Get helpful information about courtrooms in Honolulu.

Dress appropriately

While there is no written dress code for the courtrooms, certain attire is not considered suitable. This includes shorts, swimsuits, tank tops, and slippers. Non-prescription dark glasses and hats must be removed once you enter the courtrooms. You may also want to bring a light jacket or sweater as many of the courtrooms are air conditioned.

Proper conduct is also important

Smoking is not allowed in any public area of the court buildings. When court is in session, you should refrain from reading, talking, chewing gum, listening to personal radios, making distracting noises or any other inappropriate conduct. Please turn off your cellular phones and other electronic devices.

Several of the court buildings have metal detectors at their entrances

The purpose of the metal detectors is to provide protection for the public and court personnel. Any object which could be classified as a weapon, including pocketknives, cannot be brought into the building and will be confiscated by the Sheriff’s Office until you leave the building. Illegal weapons will be confiscated.

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