Legal Assistance/Hawaii State Agencies, Laws and Courts

Satellite City Hall Locations

Jury Duty

Small Claims Court



The city and county of Honolulu does not require that people go to downtown Honolulu to do business with them. They have set up offices in the outlying areas of Oahu to accommodate people who need to transact minor items with the City and County of Honolulu. Among the transactions a person can complete at these offices is, registration of cars, bicycles and pets, getting tax forms and registering to vote. The following is a listing of all of the satellite city hall locations and phone numbers.

Kailua Phone: 261-8575

Kaneohe Phone: 235-4571

Ala Moana Phone: 973-2600 (Open Saturday)

For more information please visit the City of Honolulu, Department of Customer Service at



Trial by jury is a fundamental element of the American judicial system, guaranteed by the 6th and 7th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Given the current volume of litigation in our courts, it is no surprise that regular calls are issued for jury service and many are directed to U.S. service members. The Secretary of the Navy has promulgated a recent instruction that provides commanders with guidance on handling jury service issues pertaining to their command.


SECNAVINST 5822.2 sets forth the Navy Department's policy and procedures for state and local jury service by members of the Naval Service on active duty. The instruction also designates certain service members as exempt from jury service. The Navy Department's policy is to permit members of the Naval Service to fulfill their civic obligations, including serving on state and local juries, to the maximum extent practicable consistent with their military duties. Naval service members, thus, are generally available to serve on state and local juries. However, service members are exempted from jury duty when it would unreasonably interfere with performance of their military duties or adversely affect the readiness of the command to which they are assigned. The instruction specifically exempts all general officers, flag officers and commanders from jury service. All personnel assigned to the operating forces, in a training status, or stationed outside the U.S. are also exempted from jury service. Operating forces are forces whose primary missions are to participate in combat and the integral supporting elements. Members assigned to the Base are generally eligible for jury service.



Other service members are exempt if an appropriate exemption official determines that jury service would unreasonably interfere with the performance of the service member's military duties or adversely affect
the command to which the member is assigned.

Officers exercising special court-martial jurisdiction are authorized to make a conclusive jury service exemption determination. Such determinations are to be made as soon as possible following receipt of a summons for jury duty. Written notice of the exemption determination is to be provided by the member's command to the responsible state or local official.

If the member's command does not have exemption determination authority, he or she is required to forward a request for exemption determination, together with a recommendation, to the next superior in the chain of command with authority to make the determination.

Service members serving jury duty retain their military pay status and are not charged leave. They are also entitled to receive reimbursements from the state or local authority for actual expenses. All fees paid to military members for jury duty must be paid over to the U.S. Treasury. Any questions regarding the application of the instruction to specific cases involving jury duty should be directed to the installation law officer at the Legal Services Center.





Small Claims Court does not have the authority to resolve every dispute. The following is required for the court to hear a case:

You must have a dispute against a person, company, or government agency, and the amount you claim must be less than $3,500.



Small Claims Court procedures are fairly simple. There are no lawyers, juries, motions, or objections. You should get your hearing within 40 days. Court fees are few and inexpensive and can be added to the court's judgment as costs. File your claim in the county where the dispute took place. The county you sue in will usually be where the person you are suing lives, where the firm you are suing does business, where your contract was signed, or where your accident took place. To file a claim, you must do the following:

Visit the Small Claims Court clerk at the main Small Claims Court for Honolulu at 1111 Alakea Street (corner of Alakea and Hotel Streets), Honolulu, Hawaii or call at (808) 538-5151.

Fill out and sign the "Claim of Plaintiff" form and pay the filing fee;

The form must include the following:

If you are suing an individual, the person's full name and address;

If you are suing a business, the business name and address and the owner's name;

If you are suing a corporation, the corporation's full name and address, and the name of a corporate officer or agent;

If your case involves a car accident, the full name and address of both the registered owner and the driver of the other car;

The amount of money you are claiming ($3,500.00 or less);

The reason why you are claiming the money;

The date the dispute started; and

The place the dispute started.

Arrange to have a copy of the Claim by Plaintiff delivered to each "defendant" (person you are suing) by:

Send the notice by certified mail; or

Have the sheriff serve the notice to each defendant. The cost of service is approximately $35.00 per individual served.

The clerk will set a hearing date either when you file your claim or when the defendant is notified of the claim. If the defendant claims that you owe him more than $10,000.00, the court can no longer hear the case; you must then go to a higher court, and you may need an attorney.



You become a defendant to a small claim proceeding when you receive the Claim of Plaintiff. If you are not timely notified, the judge may delay the hearing. Do not ignore the claim! You should always show up on the hearing date to either present your side or to complain that you did not receive timely notice. If you do not show up, the court can enter a "default judgment" against you. A default means that the case will be decided against you in your absence. If you are absent for a very good reason and a default is entered against you, you may file a motion to "vacate the judgment" within 10 days of the date the clerk mailed the notice of default. The clerk will give you the appropriate forms. If you cannot go to court at the time set, phone the Small Claims clerk as soon as possible and ask if you can get the date changed. If you have a claim against the plaintiff, you may file a "Claim of Defendant." The clerk will provide a form, and you must deliver a copy of it to the plaintiff before the hearing to pursue your claim.



The Small Claims Court judge is experienced in settling disputes and will reach a fair decision. You can aid the court by proper preparation. If it is hard to remember all the facts of your case, write them down in advance. You may consult with a lawyer before your hearing and you may have a lawyer represent you in court, except if the case involves the return of a security deposit. Bring all the papers - originals, not photocopies - that you need to prove your case. This may include any letter, contract, renter's agreement, deed, canceled check, repair bill, written damage estimate, diagram, drawing, or photograph that will help your case. You might want to bring other evidence such as the ruined shirt, pictures of the dented car, or the defective toaster.

Bring any witnesses to court with you. The judge may not accept a witness's signed statement. Check with the court clerk concerning a judge's policy on accepting such signed statements if you cannot get a witness to go to court with you. If a witness refuses to come, the court can order the person to attend by issuing a "subpoena". The clerk will tell you the procedure to subpoena a witness. Your courtroom behavior should help the judge reach a decision, not hinder him. Answer the judge's questions carefully and stick to the facts. Never put down the other party. Don't get mad. Avoid interruptions. The judge may immediately reach a decision after hearing the facts. In some cases, the judge will take the case under "submission" to allow time to carefully study the law. If this happens, you should receive a written decision within two weeks.



The Small Claims Court cannot collect your money for you, but the court clerk can tell you some ways to do this yourself. One way to collect your money is to have the defendant's wages "garnished." This means that the defendant's employer sets aside a portion of the defendant's pay check until the judgment is paid. To do this, you must find out where the person works, the name of the company and the address, including county. The clerk will then help. If you don't have information about a defendant's wages, bank accounts, or property, you can make the defendant attend a hearing to give you this information. The court clerk can help arrange such a hearing.

For more information on the Small Claims Court process, and to obtain the necessary filing forms, please visit the following websites:

Hawaiian Small Claims Court

Consumer Action and Information Center of Hawaii




Marine Corps Base Hawaii