What is the definition of harassment for the purposes of getting an injunction against harassment?
For the purposes of getting an injunction against harassment from the district court, “harassment” is defined as:
- physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the threat of immediate/likely physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
- a pattern of behavior that seriously and continuously alarms you, serves no legitimate purpose, and causes you to reasonably suffer emotional distress.1
1 HRS § 604-10.5(a)
What is an injunction against harassment?
A district court can issue an injunction against harassment (and initially, a temporary restraining order) if there has been harassment against you by anyone who you do not have a family or household member relationship with.1 Therefore, if you were not granted an order of protection because the person harassing/abusing you is not a “family or household member,” you may be able to seek protection through an injunction against harassment. A typical example of a person who falls under an injunction against harassment is a neighbor, co-worker or schoolmate.
What kinds of injunctions against harassment are there? How long do they last?
There are two types of injunctions against harassment you may be granted: a temporary restraining order (TRO) or an injunction from further harassment.1
A temporary restraining order (TRO) can last for up to 90 days from the date it is granted. A hearing will take place within 15 days after the TRO is granted. If the harasser has not been properly notified before the date of the hearing, the court may set a new date for the hearing, so long as it does not exceed 90 days from the date the TRO was granted.2 The TRO may temporarily prevent the harasser from harassing you.3
An injunction from further harassment can be granted if the judge finds that there is substantial evidence that harassment has occurred. This injunction can last for up to three years.2
However, a TRO or an injunction that prohibits the respondent from harassing a minor can last until the a date soon after the minor turns 18.2
1 HRS § 604-10.5(c)
2 HRS § 604-10.5(g)
3 HRS § 604-10.5(f)
What protections can I get in an injunction against harassment?
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;1
- 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.2
1 HRS § 604-10.5
2 Hawai’i State Judiciary website PDF of Petition
Where can I file for an injunction against harassment?
You can file for an injunction against harassment in the district court in any of the following districts:
- where you live or are temporarily located;
- where the respondent lives; or
- where the harassment occurred.1
1 HRS § 604-10.5(c)