United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the District of Hawaii is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The court is located at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building in Honolulu. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown San Francisco at the James R. Browing Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Article III judges
|Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway||1950||Honolulu, HI||Clinton||6/23/1998 - Present||2009 - Present||Harold Fong||University of Hawaii, B.A., 1971||Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981|
|Judge John Seabright||1959||Wheeling, WV||W. Bush||4/28/2005 - Present||Alan Cooke Kay||Tulane U., B.A., 1981||George Washington U. Law School, J.D., 1984|
|Judge Leslie Kobayashi||1957||Mount Holly, New Jersey||Obama||12/22/2010 - Present||Helen Gillmor||Wellesley College, B.A., 1979||Boston College School of Law, J.D., 1983|
|Judge Derrick Kahala Watson||1966||Honolulu, HI||Obama||4/18/2013 - Present||David Alan Ezra||Harvard, A.B., 1988||Harvard Law, J.D., 1991|
|Senior Judge Helen Gillmor||Clinton||10/11/1994 - 6/30/2009||2005 - 2009||6/30/2009 - Present||Queens College, City University of New York, 1965||Boston University School of Law, 1968|
|Senior Judge Alan Cooke Kay||Reagan||9/15/1986 - 1/2/2000||1991 - 1999||1/2/2000 - Present||Princeton U., A.B., 1957||University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, LL.B., 1960|
|Senior Judge David Alan Ezra||Reagan||5/20/1988 - 6/27/2012||1999 - 2005||6/27/2012 - Present||St. Mary`s U., B.B.A., 1969||St. Mary`s U. School of Law, J.D., 1972|
|Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi||04/01/2011 - Present||University of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1979|
|Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang||2000-Present||Lewis and Clark College||Lewis and Clark College, 1978|
|Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren||1992-Present||University of Hawaii, 1973||William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, 1977|
The District of Hawaii has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
| • Failed prosecution fees (2010-2011)|
Judge(s):Susan Oki Mollway (United States of America v. Alec Souphone Sou and Mike Mankone Sou, 09-cr-00345-SOM)
|Click for summary→|
|In August 2009, brothers Michael Mankone Sou and Alec Souphone Sou of Aloun Farms were indicted on three counts: forced labor, document servitude and visa fraud, for their role in the recruitment that Thai workers say left them in deep financial trouble. The two brothers pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring with Thai labor recruiters to bring 44 Thai nationals to the country.
UpdateThe original charges alleged that the brothers were involved in a forced labor human trafficking ring for Thai workers, but the chargers were dropped when the lead prosecutor admitted to misstating the law in the grand jury trial. A federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii ruled that the U.S. Government does not owe the defenses' court costs for its failed prosecution of the Aloun Farms human trafficking case. The judge ruled that Mike and Alec Sou had failed to prove that the governments charges were frivolous and refused to grant them the $500,000 in defense fees they requested.
The District of Hawaii was established by Congress on March 18, 1959 with two posts to cover the entire state. The State of Hawaii was established as a territorial government in 1900, and following statute 73 Stat. 4, it was assigned over to the Ninth Circuit. Over time two additional judicial posts were added for a total of four current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of Hawaii:
|March 18, 1959||73 Stat. 4||2|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||3|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||4|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information about the judges of the District of Hawaii, see former federal judges of the District of Hawaii.
Four separate courthouses serve the District of Hawaii.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- News: Federal Judicial Selection Commission seeks applications for Hawaii federal district judge position, March 7, 2012
- Official Website of the United States Court for the District of Hawaii
- Hawaii State Judiciary
- US Attorney's Office for the District of Hawaii
- Federal Judicial Center-U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii Website
- Judges of the District of Hawaii
- Opinions of the District of Hawaii
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Hawaii Reporter, "Aloun Farm Owners, Thai Labor Recruiter, Await Sentencing for Forced Labor Violations; Hawaii’s Influential Government and Banking Officials Back Defendants in Court," July 19, 2010
- Stamford Advocate, "Sentencing delayed in Hawaii forced labor case," July 20, 2010
- Aloun Farms, "About Us" page
- Honolulu Civil Beat, "Hawaii Federal Judge: U.S. Won't Pick Up Tab for Aloun Farms Defense," December 1, 2011
- History of the District of Hawaii from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Richard Puglisi • Kevin Chang • Barry Kurren •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|