603-21.5 General. (a) The several circuit courts shall have jurisdiction, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, of:

(1) Criminal offenses cognizable under the laws of the State, committed within their respective circuits or transferred to them for trial by change of venue from some other circuit court;

(2) Actions for penalties and forfeitures incurred under the laws of the State;

(3) Civil actions and proceedings, in addition to those listed in sections 603-21.6, 603-21.7, and 603-21.8; and

(4) Actions for impeachment of county officers who are subject to impeachment.

(b) The several circuit courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the family court over:

(1) Any felony under section 571-14, violation of an order issued pursuant to chapter 586, or a violation of section 709-906 when multiple offenses are charged through complaint or indictment and at least one other offense is a criminal offense under subsection (a)(1);

(2) Any felony under section 571-14 when multiple offenses are charged through complaint or indictment and at least one other offense is a violation of an order issued pursuant to chapter 586, a violation of section 709-903.5, 709-904, 709-905, or 709-906, or a misdemeanor under the jurisdiction of section 604-8;

(3) Any violation of section 711-1106.4; and

(4) Guardianships and related proceedings concerning incapacitated adults pursuant to article V of chapter 560. [L 1972, c 88, 3(i); am L 1998, c 64, 2; am L 2004, c 18, 2 and c 161, 33; am L 2008, c 107, 2; am L 2017, c 188, 1]


Revision Note


Subsection (b)(4) redesignated pursuant to 23G-15.


Cross References


Family court a division of circuit court, see 571-3.

Jurisdiction of family court, see chapter 571.


Rules of Court


Classification of proceedings, see RCC rule 1.


Law Journals and Reviews

Report on the Success of the Maui/Molokai Adult Drug Court: Proven Successful, the New Paradigm for our Criminal Justice System? 34 UH L. Rev. 423 (2012).


Case Notes


Where Congress has not expressly set out exclusive jurisdiction, state courts are competent to decide federal claims. 437 F. Supp. 368 (1977).

Where plea of not guilty and demand for jury trial by defendant charged with a misdemeanor conferred jurisdiction on circuit court, withdrawal of such plea and of demand for jury trial does not divest circuit court of jurisdiction. 55 H. 394, 520 P.2d 427 (1974).

Although misdemeanors are normally tried in district court, such offenses are within jurisdiction of circuit court. 59 H. 92, 576 P.2d 1044 (1978).

Court has jurisdiction over all civil causes of action unless precluded by state constitution or statute. 63 H. 55, 621 P.2d 346 (1980).

Regardless of whether a jury trial is demanded, circuit court may properly exercise jurisdiction over DUI cases; both the circuit and district courts have concurrent jurisdiction over DUI cases. 78 H. 367, 893 P.2d 795 (1995).

Circuit court had jurisdiction under this section to consider attorney general's request for declaratory judgment and related injunctions regarding proposed constitutional amendments where not precluded by Hawaii constitution or other statute. 84 H. 179, 932 P.2d 316 (1997).

Circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case where county's first amended complaint asserted jurisdiction pursuant to this section, which provided the independent jurisdictional basis for the action brought pursuant to 603-23. 115 H. 15, 165 P.3d 916 (2007).

As the doctrine of abatement did not apply, the trial court did not lack subject matter jurisdiction over the second condemnation proceeding because the first condemnation proceeding had not been resolved at the time the second condemnation proceeding was adjudicated by the court. 119 H. 352, 198 P.3d 615 (2008).

Circuit court was statutorily authorized, in aid of its original jurisdiction over mortgage foreclosure actions, to enter appropriate orders against successful bidder at a judicial foreclosure sale after successful bidder defaulted on agreement to purchase the mortgaged property at the foreclosure sale. 96 H. 348 (App.), 31 P.3d 205 (2001).

Relevant statutes, rules, and precedent did not permit wife to directly attack in circuit court the validity of the property and distribution part of the divorce decree; circuit court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to do what wife must have had done to obtain the relief wife sought; pursuant to 580-1 and 580-47, only the family court could have granted that relief. 101 H. 370 (App.), 68 P.3d 644 (2003).



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