If you are being evicted in the state of Hawaii, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Hawaii can help you protect yourself by understanding your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Hawaii and how long each step will take.
The eviction process in Hawaii begins when your landlord serves you with an eviction notice. Landlords may evict for several reasons. If you are doing something dangerous or have destroyed part of the property, your landlord is not required to give notice and may proceed directly with court filings (see the next section).
If you are being evicted due to more normal reasons, like non-payment of rent, your landlord is required to give you notice to correct the problem before continuing the eviction process in Hawaii courts. If you are late paying rent, your landlord must give you five days to pay all missing rent and late fees before filing court paperwork. If you have breached your lease—for instance, by having a pet in a property that does not allow them—you will be given ten days to correct the problem in order to keep living in your home.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you fail to correct the issues specified in the notice you receive from your landlord in the specified amount of time, your landlord is allowed to begin court proceedings as the next step in the eviction process in Hawaii.
To continue the eviction process, your landlord will file a complaint and summons in the local courthouse. A copy of the summons and complaint will be served to you by a process server or your landlord. The summons will detail when the hearing about your eviction will be held, and the complaint will tell you why you are being evicted.
The hearing is the next step of the eviction process in Hawaii. On the hearing date, if you do not arrive in court, your landlord will win judgment by default. However, if your landlord has breached your lease, you may be able to defend yourself at the hearing. Talking to a landlord/tenant lawyer experienced in the eviction process in Hawaii may help you.
Writ of Possession
If your landlord wins (either after arguments at the hearing or by default), a judgment will be issued against you and a “writ of possession” will be issued by the court. This writ authorizes the sheriff to remove you forcibly from your property if you do not vacate within the time specified. Forcible removal is the final step of the eviction process in Hawaii, and it can only be done by a sheriff. Your landlord cannot forcibly remove you, change your locks, or shut off your utilities.
If you are forcibly removed and you leave possessions behind, you will have 15 days to pay storage fees or forfeit your personal belongings to the landlord, who may keep or sell them.