Hawaii in the United States

Hawaii Legal Materials

Links to Hawaii government agencies, statutes, regulations, cases, etc. are posted byWashlaw and FindLaw. Primary legal materials are also available from Lexis andWestlaw. Fastcase has the Hawaii Revised Statutes (current edition and historical editions back to 2008) and cases (1950-Present). Google Scholar and Versuslaw have cases back to 1950. Supreme and appellate court cases are published in the Pacific Reporter.

You can check bill status and get pending bills and related reports through the Hawaii Legislature’s Bill Status & Documents page.

For legislative history information, see Roberta Woods’ Researching the History of a Hawai’i Statute and/or Richard Kahle’s How to Research Constitutional, Legislative and Statutory History in Hawaii.

Docket sheets are available through “eCourt Kokua” for the Hawaii Supreme Court, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the Traffic Division of the District Court of the State of Hawaii. Docket sheets are available through the “Ho`ohiki” system for “criminal and civil case information filed in the Circuit and Family courts and certain civil cases of the District Courts.” You can link to both systems through the Hawai’i State Judiciary’s Search Court Records page. For more sources, see the Docket Sheetsentry.

For information about Hawaii’s current and historical constitution, see the Constitutionspage posted by the William S. Richardson School of Law Library.

For questions about Hawaii legal materials, copies and/or inter-library loan, call theHawaii State Law Library System (808-539-4964) and/or the William S. Richardson School of Law Library at the University of Hawaii School of Law Library (808-956-7583).

Business Entities: You can search, and purchase filings and Good Standing certificates, for Hawaii business entities using the Search for Business Entity & Documents posted by the Business Registration Division (BREG) of the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs. The database starts around 1980. Older records are recorded on index cards, and often the original filings have been destroyed. Call BREG’s Records office at 808-586-2725 to request research for pre-database records.

Note: We linked the resources to archive.org in an effort to decrease the number of broken links cited.

For more primary law resources, see …

Topics Covered by the Hawaii Legal Encyclopedia

Note: More detailed information about this State is provided in the Hawaii jurisdictional legal Encyclopedia, which tie together Hawaii statutory and case law.

Topics include:

  • HI Codes & Regulations
  • HI Cases & Case Law
  • Hawaii Legal Websites
  • HI State Government Info
  • Hawaii Counties
  • Hawaii Cities
  • Hawaii Legislation
  • HI Court Reporters/Depositions
  • Hawaii Legal Forms
  • Hawaii Courts
  • HI Local Court Rules
  • State Bar/Legal Associations
  • HI Law Enforcement
  • Hawaii Media Sources

Finding the law: Hawaii in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to hawaii, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines hawaii topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.


In Legislation

Hawaii in the U.S. Code: Title 48, Chapter 3

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating hawaii are compiled in the United States Code under Title 48, Chapter 3. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Territories (including hawaii) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Hawaii of the US Code, including hawaii) by chapter and subchapter.


See Also

Hawaii: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Hawaii. This part provides references, in relation to Hawaii, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Hawaii by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Hawaii and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Hawaii or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Hawaii and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Hawaii. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Hawaii should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Hawaii when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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