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Know the Laws: Hawaii

UPDATED October 5, 2016

Injunctions Against Harassment (District Court)

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This is a civil order issued to protect someone from harassment committed by a non-family member or a non-household member.

Who can get an injunction against harassment

back to topWho is eligible for an injunction against harassment?

You can file for an injunction against harassment against someone who has committed harassment against you or if you experience threats of harassment, which make it very likely that acts of harassment may happen at any moment.*  However, the harasser must not be a family or household member, which means that the harasser cannot be:

  • your current or former spouse;
  • your parent;
  • your child;
  • your relative by blood or marriage;
  • someone with whom you live/lived (Note: This definition does not include adults who lived together as roommates or who were cohabitants only for economic reasons or due to a contract (e.g., a lease); therefore, you may be able to file for an injunction against harassment against a roommate or cohabitant);
  • someone with whom you have a child in common;
  • your current or former dating partner;** or
  • your current or former reciprocal beneficiary (a person with whom you have significant personal, emotional, and economic relationships, but are prohibited from legally marrying).***

If the harasser falls into one of these categories above, you may have to apply to the family court for an order for protection instead.  Please see our Orders for Protection due to Domestic Abuse (Family Court) page for more information.

* HRS § 604-10.5(d)
** HRS § 586-1
*** HRS §§ 586-1; 572C-2

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back to topCan I get an injunction against harassment against a same-sex partner?

No.  Injunctions against harassment cannot be filed against current or former dating partners, a spouse or ex-spouse, someone with whom you live/lived romantically, or someone who is considered to be a "reciprocal beneficiary."*  For information on filing for an order for protection against a same-sex partner in family court, please see our Orders for Protection due to Domestic Abuse (Family Court) page.

* HRS § 586-1

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back to topCan I get an injunction against harassment if I’m a minor?

If you are 17 or younger and unmarried, one of your parents or a legal guardian needs to come with you to file.  If you are under age 18 and married, then you can file for it in your own name, on your own.  Note: If you are unmarried but you cannot have a parent or legal guardian come with you, you can explain why in your petition.*

If the harasser is a minor, the harasser’s parent or guardian should be named as the “respondent” on the harasser’s behalf.*  

* Hawai’i State Judiciary website

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back to topHow can an injunction against harassment help me?

An injunction against harassment can prevent the harasser from:

  • assaulting you or causing you physical harm/bodily injury;
  • threatening to cause physical harm, bodily injury, or assault which you believe is likely to occur;
  • intentionally directing behavior at you that alarms or continuously bothers you while having no legitimate purpose, leading you to suffer emotional distress;*
  • contacting or threatening you or anyone who resides in your home;
  • calling you;
  • entering or visiting your home, including the yard or garage; or
  • entering or visiting your place of employment.**
* HRS § 604-10.5
** Hawai’i State Judiciary website PDF of Petition

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back to topHow much does an injunction against harassment cost? Do I need a lawyer?

There are no fees to file for an injunction against harassment.*  The judge may also order the losing party to pay for the winning party’s court costs and attorney’s fees.

Although you do not need a lawyer to file for an injunction against harassment, it may be helpful to have a lawyer.  This is especially important if the harasser has a lawyer or if the case is going to trial.  Even if the harasser does not have a lawyer, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find information on legal assistance on our HI Finding a Lawyer page.

* HRS § 607-2.5

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