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Finding Court Records in Hawai‘i: Historical Judiciary Court Records

What is a historical judiciary record?

A historical judiciary court record includes civil, criminal, marriages, divorce, equity, law, probate and wills from 1839-1970.

The majority of these records are housed in paper formats at the Hawai'i State Archives, but some have been digitized by the Hawai'i State Archives, Ulukau and Punawaiola.

Ulukau Geneaological Records

Ulukau's digital Genealogical Records include Probate court decisions from 1845-1915.

Punawaiola

In collaboration with the Hawai‘i State Archives, Punawaiola is a digital collection of approximately three hundred thousand images of historic documents ranging from the Kingdom of Hawai‘i's original Constitution to the journals of the proceedings of the House of Nobles.

Hawai'i State Archives Judiciary Court Records Finding Aid Introduction

Hawai'i State Archives

What type of records does the Hawai'i State Archives have?

The Hawai'i State Archives provides access to Hawai'i Judiciary Branch records ranging from 1839-1970. These Judiciary court records include: civil, criminal, marriages, divorce, equity, law, probate and wills. Please see the Description of Collections for other related materials housed in the collection.

 

 

 

In what format are these court records?

The popular probate court records have been microfilmed. The rest of the collection is in paper form. Heavily used First Circuit Court Probate Case Files from the Hawaiian Kingdom have been digitized and added  to their Digital Collection. The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) has also microfilmed selected court records. See the Introduction to the Finding Aid Volume 19 Judiciary page 6 for a list of those court records.

How do I search for court records at the Hawai'i State Archives?

Please see the Hawai'i State Archives website for Location, Hours and introductory videos. 

To request to see materials from the Archives, it is necessary to fill out a Records Request Form. This Records Request Form requires a call number for the archivists to find the information needed.

The Hawai'i State Archives has provided a Finding Aid for Judiciary Records, Volume 19 Judiciary, Call Number CD 3189.14.H39 v.19. This finding aid is arranged first by Circuit Court, then by the type of records or case file.  Please see the Introduction to the Judiciary Finding Aid's Table of Contents for a complete listing of the records available (listed in the box below to the left.) This Finding Aid introduction also lists different types of records available for each Circuit Court. The Introduction also includes a history of the Judiciary Agency. The Container list at the end of the Finding Aid  (not included in the Introduction) will provide the call number needed to fill out the Records Request Form.

I am looking for court records about a specific person. Where do I begin?

Please begin your search with the Indices provided by the Hawai'i State Archives. These Indicies include Marriages, Criminal, Divorces, Equity, Law, Probates and Wills. Search for the person's last name. There will be a number next to their name which you can then use to look in the Judiciary Finding Aid.

Some of the Indexes have been digitized and can be found on the Ulukau website.

The person's name I am searching for is not in the Indices.

The Hawai'i State Archives does not have complete Judiciary Records after certain time frames. The records may be in the Hawai'i State Judiciary Ho'ohiki or eCourt Kokua databases. Click here to view information about these resources.

Hawai'i State Archives Digital Collection

The Hawai'i State Archives is currently working on a digital archive. Heavily used Judiciary Records (Royalty Probates) from Hawaiian Kingdom probate case files as well as the Mahele Book are available digitally.

List of Indices related to Court Records at the Hawai'i State Archives

The following are some of the Indices related to court records at the Hawai'i State Archives.

These Indicies are searchable by name. Find the case number in the Judiciary Finding Aid's container list to fill out the request form.

  • First Circuit Court Probate Index 1845-1900, 1901-1908
  • Wills of the First Circuit Court 1852-1916 (please note this does not include all wills from this time period and location)
  • Marriages:
  •  Moloka'i 1850-1929
  •  Kaua'i 1826-1910, 1911-1929
  •  Maui 1842-1910,1911-1929
  •  Hawai'i 1832-1910 1911-1929
  •  O'ahu 1832-1929
  • Second Circuit Court Marriages 1905-1949
  • Fifth Circuit Court Marriages 1922-1949
  • First Circuit Court Divorces 1901-1908
  • Law Index 1848-1900, 1899-1905
  • Equity Index 1848-1900
  • Criminal Index 1847-1900