571-1 Construction and purpose of chapter. This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that children and families whose rights and well-being are jeopardized shall be assisted and protected, and secured in those rights through action by the court; that the court may formulate a plan adapted to the requirements of the child and the child's family and the necessary protection of the community, and may utilize all state and community resources to the extent possible in its implementation.

This chapter creates within this State a system of family courts and it shall be a policy and purpose of said courts to promote the reconciliation of distressed juveniles with their families, foster the rehabilitation of juveniles in difficulty, render appropriate punishment to offenders, and reduce juvenile delinquency. The court shall conduct all proceedings to the end that no adjudication by the court of the status of any child under this chapter shall be deemed a conviction; no such adjudication shall impose any civil disability ordinarily resulting from conviction; no child shall be found guilty or be deemed a criminal by reason of such adjudication; no child shall be charged with crime or be convicted in any court except as otherwise provided in this chapter; and all children found responsible for offenses shall receive dispositions that provide incentive for reform or deterrence from further misconduct, or both. The disposition made of a child or any evidence given in the court, shall not operate to disqualify the child in any civil service or military application or appointment. Any evidence given in any case under section 571-11 shall not in any civil, criminal, or other cause in any court be lawful or proper evidence against the child for any purpose whatever except in subsequent cases involving the same child under section 571-11. [L 1965, c 232, pt of 1; Supp, 333-1; HRS 571-1; am L 1976, c 85, 2; am L 1980, c 303, 1; gen ch 1985]


Case Notes


Inherent powers give family court jurisdiction to determine rights of natural father of illegitimate child. 56 H. 462, 541 P.2d 13 (1975).

As this section mandates against treating juvenile adjudications as convictions, appellate court erred in holding that defendant's prior juvenile adjudication of driving without no-fault insurance constituted a conviction for purposes of applying the repeat offender sentencing provisions of 431:10C-117 (1993) to defendant's subsequent offense of driving without no-fault insurance. 92 H. 521, 993 P.2d 555 (2000).



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