Expungement FAQ

After Expungement of Arrest Records by the Hawaiʻi Attorney General – How Do I Seal My Hawaiʻi Court Record?

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I seal my court records?

The State of Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General expunged my arrest record from the state-wide criminal history record information system (CJIS-Hawaiʻi). Doesn’t the expungement remove my arrest record information from the court records too?

An expungement by the Department of the Attorney General does not remove or seal your court records and traffic abstracts. Your arrest record may still appear in court records and may be available for the public to access through the Hawaiʻi Judiciary criminal case and traffic information system, eCourt Kōkua. eCourt Kōkua can be accessed online by anyone in the general public.

To look up your case on eCourt Kōkua go to the Judiciary website. Then click on eCourt Kōkua.

Click on "eCourt Kokua"

You can search for your case under your name by clicking on the “Party Search” tab. You can also search your case by entering your case ID number or your citation number by clicking on the “Case Search” tab.

Click on “Party Search” tab or “Case Search” tab.

If the search result shows your case, click on your case number.

Click on your case number

The information in eCourt Kōkua is available to the general public. If you do not want the general public to see your expunged case, you may want to go through the process of sealing your court records.

 

What should I know before sealing my records?

Sealing your court records means that the information kept by the court will not be available to the general public. If, for any reason, you need to show proof of your court case, you will not be able to access your court records without making a special request to the court after your court record is sealed.

Before sealing your court record, make sure you have certified copies of your court records for your own keeping and use if you need it in the future.

How Do I Get Copies of My Court Record?

You may get copies of your certified court record by going to eCourt Kōkua and purchasing copies online, in person or by mail.

Online:

Follow the same steps for looking up your case. Click on the tab “View/Purchase Documents.” Not all court documents are available for download.

Click on the tab "View/Purchase Documents"

If there is a PDF logo, you may download that document. There is a fee to download documents.

PDF Logo for available documents

In-Person or By Mail:

Visit the Legal Documents Branch at the court where your case was filed. Complete and submit a “Court Request to Access Court Records” form. You can find this form on the Judiciary website (put your arrow on “Self-Help,” then a drop down menu will appear, see below). You may also mail this form to the court where your case was filed. There is a cost for copying your documents. The court clerk will contact you to let you know how much it will cost to copy your documents.

"Request Court Records" on drop-down menu

Is there someone who can help me seal my court records?

If you were represented by an attorney for your criminal case, that attorney may be able to help you seal your court records.

If you were represented by a Public Defender, you can contact the Office of the Public Defender.

  • Oʻahu
    • District Court (808) 586-2100
    • Family Criminal (808) 586-2300
    • Felony Court (808) 586-2200
  • Kauaʻi/Niʻihau (808) 241-7128
  • Maui/Molokaʻi (808) 553-1100
  • Kona (808) 322-1945
  • Hilo (808) 974-4571

You may also go to the Office of the Public Defender’s website for more information.

 

I don’t have an attorney to help me. Can I do this myself?

It is best to get the assistance of an attorney, especially to discuss how an expungement may affect your future employment or immigration status.

If you want to go ahead with sealing your records, the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes §831-3.2(f), allows you to request the court to seal your court records after expungement.

HRS § 831-3.2    Expungement orders.

(f) Any person for whom an expungement order has been entered may request in writing that the court seal or otherwise remove all judiciary files and other information pertaining to the applicable arrest or case from the judiciary’s publicly accessible electronic databases. The court shall make good faith diligent efforts to seal or otherwise remove the applicable files and information within a reasonable time.

 

What does it cost to seal my court records?

The court does not charge a fee to seal your expunged court records.

 

What do I need to get started?

If you decide to seal your court records, you will need:

  1. A copy of your Certificate of Expungement from the Department of the Attorney General.
  2. Information about your case. If you do not have a copy of your court records, look your case up on eCourt Kōkua. Follow the steps at the beginning of this FAQ. You will need the following information:
    1. Your case number
      This can be found on your Certificate of Expungement or you can look it up on Hoʻohiki.
      Case ID
    2. The court where your expunged case was filed. This will tell you which court to send your written request to seal your record.

Court Location

 

What steps do I need to take to seal my court record?

Step 1  Write a letter to the court where your expunged case was filed.  Make sure you include in your letter your full name (first, middle and last name), your current mailing address, and a working phone number.  You will also include a copy of your Expungement Certificate.Sample LetterStep 2  Mail your letter or deliver it in person to the court where your expunged case was filed, addressing it to “Legal Documents.”

  • First Circuit – Oʻahu
    District Court – Legal Documents
    1111 Alakea Street
    Honolulu, HI 96813
    Phone: (808) 538-5629
  • Second Circuit – Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi
    Second Circuit Court – Legal Documents
    Hoapili Hale
    2145 Main Street
    Wailuku, HI 96793
    Phone: (808) 244-2706
  • Third Circuit – Island of Hawaiʻi
    Hale Kaulike – Legal Documents
    777 Kilauea Avenue
    Hilo, HI 96720
    Phone: (808) 961-7440
  • Fifth Circuit – Kauaʻi, Niʻihau
    Fifth Circuit Court – Legal Documents
    3970 Kaʻana Street
    Lihue, HI 96766
    Phone: (808) 482-2300

For the most up-to-date information on the court addresses, visit the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary’s website.

Step 3  If the Judge grants your request, you will receive an Order sealing your expunged record via mail. Be sure to include your most current mailing address in your letter.

You can check back on eCourt Kōkua to make sure that your expunged case information is no longer available to be accessed by the public.

If you have any specific questions about your case, or how an expungement might affect your personal employment or immigration status, please contact the attorney who helped you with your criminal case.  If you need help finding an attorney, you may contact the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service and Information Service at (808) 537-9140 or email LRIS@hsba.org.

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