Who is eligible for an order of protection?
You can file an order for protection against a family or household member who has committed acts of domestic abuse against you or your minor child. A family or household member includes:
- your current or former spouse;
- your current or former reciprocal beneficiary,* which is someone who you have significant personal, emotional, and economic relationships with, but are prohibited from legally marrying.** (To see the requirements of becoming reciprocal beneficiaries, go to our HI Statutes page);
- someone with whom you have a child in common;
- your parent;
- your child;
- someone related to you by blood or marriage;
- someone with whom you live/lived (Note: This 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)); and/or
- someone who you are dating or used to date.*
* HRS § 586-1
** HRS § 572C-2
Can I get an order for protection against a same-sex partner?
In Hawaii, you may apply for an order of protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who is eligible for an order of protection? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Hawaii?
Can I get an order for protection if I'm a minor?
If you are a minor (under 18),* any family, household member, or state agency may file for an order for protection on your behalf.**
* HRS § 577-1
** HRS § 586-3(b)
How can a TRO and an order for protection help me?
In a temporary restraining order (TRO), which can be issued when you file for an order for protection, a judge can order the abuser to:
- stop threatening, contacting, hurting, and psychologically abusing you or any person living with you;
- not enter or visit your home (or immediately vacate [leave] your residence if you live together);
- not take, hide, get rid of, threaten, or physically abuse any animal belonging to the household; (Note: You can be ordered to follow these restrictions regarding the animal as well);
- not contact, threaten, or physically abuse you at your place of work
- not contact, threaten, or physically abuse your children at school; and/or
- not intentionally damage your property or the property of family or household members.*
Order for protection
In an order for protection a judge can:
- order all of the protections listed in the TRO section, above, as well as the following:
- establish temporary visitation and custody for your minor children (which may include supervised visitation or no visitation);
- take part in domestic violence intervention services; (Note: You may be ordered to participate as well); and/or
- grant other reasonable requests that the judge believes are necessary in order for you to be free from the violence.**
In addition, the judge can also order your wireless phone service provider to:
- transfer a shared cell phone account (that you share with the abuser) into your name alone; or
- remove/release you from a shared wireless plan and assign a substitute telephone number or numbers. Either must be done without charge, penalty, or fee.*** You can read more about this law on our HI Statutes page. (Note: A victim of domestic violence can also request this directly from the wireless service provider even without having an order of protection.**** You can read the requirements in the law on our HI Statutes page.)
* HRS § 586-4(a),(c); see Petition for Order for Protection, available on the HI Courts website
** HRS § 586-5.5(a); see Petition for Order for Protection, available on the HI Courts website
*** HRS § 586-5.8(a)
**** HRS § 269-16.93
How much does an order for protection cost? Do I need a lawyer?
Nothing. There is no fee to file for, get, or serve an order for protection.*
Although you do not need a lawyer to file for an order for protection, it may be helpful to have a lawyer. Having legal representation is especially important if the abuser has a lawyer. Even if the abuser 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 and domestic violence organizations on the Places that Help page. In addition, the domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms.** You will find contact information for courthouses on the HI Courthouse Locations page.
* HRS § 607-2.5
** HRS § 586-3(d)