If you risk injury, or worse, from a relative or any person close to you, you may need to take legal action to keep yourself safe from harm. While Hawaii law permits you to obtain protective orders (also known as restraining orders) against a potential offender, taking an incorrect step in the process can cause delays long enough to expose you to continued danger.
The first challenge involves knowing which court is authorized to issue a protective order, based on the details of your relationship. According to the Hawaii State Judiciary, you need to file with the Family Courts to seek protection against a household or family member. However, you need to go to a District Court when your complaint involves any relationships that do not meet at least one of the following criteria:
- A past or present marriage
- A blood relative
- Sharing a residence currently or in the past
- Sharing a child
Any time you believe you or your children are in danger - even if you have not yet been victimized by violence - you need to take immediate action. Any delay caused by taking your issues to the wrong court can provide someone with enough time to initiate a violent attack. Additionally, you need to come prepared with sufficient detail and evidence to help ensure you receive protection from the court. A comprehensive understanding of processes and procedures within the Hawaii courts is essential in protecting your safety.
You can help ensure the courts provide the immediate protection you need by contacting an experienced attorney with the sensitivity to guide you through this emotionally charged process and the legal experience to ensure you obtain the protections necessary for you and your children.