Portal FAQs


Some Tips to Help You Get Started 

The portal is a website that suggests certain kinds of legal help for your issue based on information you give. The last page (results page) shows self-help materials and information about organizations that might be able to assist you. We suggest you start at the top of this page and look through all the resources suggested for you (if any) first. Then contact any of the organization referrals (if any) to ask about or apply for services.

PLEASE NOTE: The portal is not an intake form. Answering the questions does not mean you are applying for legal services. 

What legal issues can I search?

The current list of legal issues includes: Family, Abuse & Harassment, Housing, Public Benefits, Discrimination, Money & Debt, Individual Rights, Native Hawaiian Rights, Seniors & Life Planning, Immigration, Government Records & Documents, and Veterans. 

This list was created based on our communities' legal needs and the types of services Hawaii's Access to Justice Organizations provide.

The portal provides resources and referrals for civil legal issues only. Contact a private attorney if you need assistance with any personal injury, criminal, or other issue not listed above. 

What are Access to Justice Organizations? 

Access to Justice Organizations provide a selection of legal services to the public. They help to make legal information and assistance easier to access through their programs and services. Depending on your circumstances, one or more of these organizations may be suggested to you to contact for possible help. 

  1. American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai'i
  2. Hawai'i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice
  3. Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i
  4. Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
  5. Volunteer Legal Services Hawai'i
  6. Domestic Violence Action Center
  7. Hawai'i Disability Rights Center
  8. Mediation Center of the Pacific
  9. University of Hawai'i Elder Law Program
Why do I have to answer questions about myself, my location, my household, and my income? 

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUIf you choose one or more of the statements, there may be special help or information available to you. 

LOCATIONIt’s important to tell us where you’re located so that you can get the most useful and accurate results possible. If you do not choose a location, you will see results for every island in the state of Hawaii.

HOUSEHOLD/INCOMESome organizations only help people who earn certain amounts of money per month based on family size. From the information you give, we suggest referrals that are a good match.  

What do you mean by "gross monthly income"?

Gross monthly income is the amount you make and receive from work, child support, public benefits, etc. before taxes are taken out. There are a couple ways to find out this amount if you work full time.

  1. If you are paid an annual salary, divide this number by 12 (months in a year).

    Example: $19,240.00 (annual salary) ÷12 = $1603.33

  2. If you get paid per hour, multiply your hourly pay by 40 (hours in a week) and then by 52 (weeks in a year). Divide this amount by 12 (months in a year).

    Example: $9.25 (hourly pay) x 40 x 52 ÷12 = $1,603.33

*Add additional monies you might receive from child support, public benefits, or other government source to this amount. 

What is domestic violence? 

Domestic violence is abuse between spouses or intimate partners through physical assaults, put-downs, threats to harm, and/or controlling of money usage. Some common examples are hitting, shoving, kicking, slapping, throwing objects, scaring the other person, name-calling, and/or stalking. 

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. For domestic violence assistance, call the Domestic Violence Action Center legal helpline at 808-531-3771 or 1-800-690-6200 (Toll-free). It is available between 8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri

For 24/7 assistance call:

Oahu: 808-841-0822 or 808-526-2200 or 808-528-0606

Kauai: 808-245-6362

Maui: 808-579-9581 or 808-873-8624

Lanai: 808-565-6700

Molokai: 808-567-6888

Hawaii Island: 808-959-8864 or 808-322-7233

National hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Is the portal available in other languages? 

Currently, this portal is only available in English. Please contact the referral organization(s) (if any are recommended on the results page of this search) to request an interpretor.

I want to speak to someone. Who can I call? 

This tool does not have a live chat feature, nor is there a number to call for immediate assistance. If you have a civil court case or want to start one, you can visit one of our court self-help centers staffed by volunteer attorneys to speak to someone in person. 

If you want an answer to your legal question, you can try the free legal answers program where you can ask volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue through email. See if you qualify for this service here. If you don't qualify for this program, you can try calling the HSBA legal line where volunteer attorneys are available for one hour a week to answer general legal questions by phone. 

If you want to apply for legal services, see the list of Access to Justice Organizations above. Contact the organization that best fits your needs. 

What if I can't find help for my legal issue? 

If you can't find help for your legal issue you can do one or more of the following:

1. Try the free legal answers program where you can ask volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue through email. See if you qualify for this service here.

2. Try contacting private attorney for possible assistance. There may be fees involved.

3. Click here to give us some feedback and be sure to answer the last question in the survey. Your feedback and requests will help us make future improvements to the portal. 

Click here to return to the portal