§603-21.9  Powers.  The several circuit courts shall have power:

     (1)  To make and issue all orders and writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their original or appellate jurisdiction;

     (2)  To administer oaths;

     (3)  To compel the attendance of parties and witnesses from any part of the State, and compel the production of books, papers, documents or tangible things;

     (4)  To admit to bail persons rightfully confined in all bailable cases, or to dispense with bail as provided by the state constitution;

     (5)  To issue warrants for the apprehension, in any part of the State, of any person accused under oath of a crime or misdemeanor committed in any part of the State and to examine and commit the person to prison according to law, for trial before the circuit court of the circuit in which the offense was committed, to fix bail and generally to perform the duties of a committing magistrate;

     (6)  To make and award such judgments, decrees, orders, and mandates, issue such executions and other processes, and do such other acts and take such other steps as may be necessary to carry into full effect the powers which are or shall be given to them by law or for the promotion of justice in matters pending before them. [L 1972, c 88, §3(m)]


Rules of Court


  Writ of mandamus abolished, exceptions, relief how obtained, see HRCP rule 81.1.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Contemporary Contempt:  The State of the Law in Hawaii.  I HBJ, no. 13, at 59 (1997).

  The Inherent Power of the Hawaii Judiciary to Sanction Litigants and Their Lawyers.  V HBJ 45 (2001).


Case Notes


  Court, under power as supervisor over grand jury proceedings, issued an overbroad order when it disqualified all assistant prosecutors because prosecuting attorney was disqualified.  57 H. 289, 554 P.2d 1131 (1976).

  Court had authority to enter judgment against defendant for violating court order.  68 H. 608, 726 P.2d 254 (1986).

  Though court has inherent power to issue sanctions under this section, court abused discretion in sanctioning attorney absent evidence of bad faith conduct.  79 H. 452, 903 P.2d 1273 (1995).

  Trial court's order that attorneys disgorge proceeds of sale of stock received from defendant as payment of attorneys' fees promoted justice in matter pending by preserving trial court's authority and ability to grant plaintiff effective relief by maintaining the relative status quo regarding defendant's alleged assets; hence, no abuse of discretion.  91 H. 372, 984 P.2d 1198 (1999).

  Under paragraph (6), an attorney whose pro hac vice status has been revoked can be compelled to notify Hawaii courts in future applications of such a revocation.  91 H. 372, 984 P.2d 1198 (1999).

  Section restates inherent powers doctrine; finding of bad faith necessary precedent to sanction of attorney's fees under court's inherent powers.  6 H. App. 431, 726 P.2d 268 (1986).

  Court had authority pursuant to this section to sanction attorney for failure to keep court apprised of whereabouts as instructed; appellant must be accorded proper due process rights under this section.  9 H. App. 249, 833 P.2d 85 (1992).

  Trial court erred in suppressing relevant evidence under its "inherent supervisory powers" under paragraph (6) where videotaping of drug-dealing defendant on public street was not unconstitutional nor did it violate any statute or administrative rule.  92 H. 454 (App.), 992 P.2d 723 (1999).

  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).

  A represented party is entitled to at least the same protections as his or her counsel prior to the levy of sanctions directly against the party; a court may not invoke its inherent powers to sanction a represented party without a specific finding of bad faith and the court's order must inform the party of the authority pursuant to which he or she is being sanctioned; where there were no such findings, and based on review of the entire record, plaintiff's conduct in conjunction with the renewed motion for consolidation did not constitute and was not tantamount to bad faith, trial court abused its discretion when it sanctioned plaintiff.  119 H. 324 (App.), 197 P.3d 776 (2008).

  Mentioned:  795 F. Supp. 1009 (1990).