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Hawaii Legal Resources

Overview of the Hawaii Court System

Like many states, Hawaii's judicial system contains several different courts. They can be subdivided into two types: lower courts and higher courts.

The lower courts consist of the district courts, family courts and circuit courts. The district courts hold exclusive jurisdiction over all petty offenses, traffic infractions, municipal ordinance code violations and landlord/tenant disputes. They also handle over minor civil and criminal trials. The family courts handle matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, adoption, domestic violence, guardianship, custody and other relevant family matters. The circuit courts handle jury trials for major civil and criminal cases as well as probate trials.

The higher courts consist of the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The Intermediate Court of Appeals exclusively handles appeals of decisions made by the lower courts while the Supreme Court handles administrative matters for the entire court system of Hawaii and hears appeals of decisions made by the Intermediate Court.

Hawaii Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Hawaii attorney by location and by practice area. We have Hawaii attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Hawaii Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Hawaii legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

If you own property on Hawaii, it can be a good idea to rent it to vacationers or people looking for a place to live. In order to protect your assets, you may want to use one of LawInfo's free Residential Lease Agreement to ensure that you are free from legal risk and liability through the landlord/tenant agreement.

A legally binding Last Will and Testament is another common legal form that most people encounter close to the end of their lives. It details to whom your possessions will pass if you die; if you don't file a will with the state, you will die intestate and forfeit your choice. LawInfo offers Last Will and Testament documents for you to fill out and achieve peace of mind.

You may also seek peace of mind through filing a Power of Attorney document. If you are ever incapacitated and unable to make medical, legal or financial decisions for yourself, you can choose to give someone else the power of attorney. With LawInfo's document, this is is easy to fill out and easy to file at your convenience.

Starting a Hawaii Business

Beginning a business venture in Hawaii takes time, discipline and a good deal of courage. There are some important steps to follow if you want to cover all your bases and make sure everything is done properly.

The first step is the planning phase. You will want to research your market and develop a business plan before you begin getting off the ground. Once you are confident in your ability to make a profit, you should choose a legal structure and business name. Legal structures include limited liability partnerships, corporations, general partnerships and sole proprietorships. This choice will depend on how large you want your business to be, how regulated you want to be and how many tax breaks you want to get. Look at the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website to make sure that you aren't using someone else's registered business name. Finally, you will want to apply for all necessary licenses, permits and taxes. These will depend on your company's legal structure, but they generally include state and county business licenses, tax registrations and other paperwork.

Hawaii Business Statistics

Small businesses employ about 54.1 percent of the private sector labor force in Hawaii, and 96.4 percent of all businesses in the state are classified as small employers. 78.4 percent of all small businesses in Hawaii are sole proprietorships, with veteran self-employment among the fastest-growing common small-business owner demographics. There are 915 employers with more than 500 people on the payroll, but there are currently no Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Hawaii.