Rules of Civil Procedure
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Hawaii Process Server Requirements
Service of all process shall be made:
- Anywhere in the State by the sheriff or the sheriff’s deputy, by some other person specially appointed by the court for that purpose, or by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age; or
- In any county by the chief of police or the chief’s duly authorized subordinate.
Hawaii Service of Process Laws to Note
Summons must contain a prohibition against personal delivery of the summons between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on premises not open to the public, unless a judge of the district or circuit courts permits delivery during those hours.
Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure
Please note that lobbyists are active in Hawaii and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Hawaii Judiciary and Courts website.
Rule 4. Process.
(a) Summons – Issuance. Upon the filing of the complaint the clerk shall forthwith issue a summons and deliver it to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, who shall cause the summons and a copy of the complaint to be served in accordance with this rule. Upon request of the plaintiff separate or additional summonses shall issue against any defendants.
(b) Same: Form.– The summons shall:
- Be signed by the clerk under the seal of the court.
- Contain the name of the court, the names of the parties, and the date when issued,
- Be directed to the defendant.
- State the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff’s address.
- State the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that in case of defendant’s failure to do so judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint.
- Contain a prohibition against personal delivery of the summons between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on premises not open to the public, unless a judge of the district or circuit courts permits, in writing on the summons, personal delivery during those hours, and
- Contain a warning to the person summoned that failure to obey the summons may result in an entry of default and default judgment. When, under Rule 4(e), service is made pursuant to a statute or rule of court, the summons or notice, or order in lieu of summons, shall correspond as nearly as may be to that required by the statute or rule.
(c) Same: By Whom Served. Service of all process shall be made by the anywhere in the State by the sheriff…, by the chief of police…, by some other person specifically appointed by court for that purpose, or by any other person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. A subpoena, however, may be served as provided in Rule 45.
(d) Personal Service. … Service shall be made as follows:
- Upon an individual... (a) by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to that individual personally or in case the individual cannot be found by leaving copies thereof at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein or (b) by delivering a copy… to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process
- Upon an infant…
- Upon a domestic or foreign corporation or partnership…, by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process and, if the agent is one authorized by the state to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the defendant.
(e) Same: Other service. Whenever a statute or an order of court provides for service upon a party not an inhabitant of or found within the State … service shall be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or order.
(f) Territorial limits of effective service. All process may be served anywhere within the State and, when a statute or order so provides, beyond the limits of the State.
(g) Return. The person serving the process shall make proof of service thereof to the court promptly and in any event within the time during which the person served must respond to the process. When service is made by any person specially appointed by the court, or by an authorized process server, that person shall make affidavit of such service.
(h) Amendment. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service to be amended unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.
RULE 77(f) [Applicable only to District Court-where amount in controversy does not exceed $25,000]
(f) Costs awarded by court. In addition to any costs allowed by statute or rule, the court may award to a prevailing plaintiff… the actual cost of service of process, whether service is made by a public or private process server, provided the amount shall not exceed the statutory amount(s) allowed for service of process by sheriffs or police officers.
Hawaii Revised Statutes
Sec. 634-25 Personal service on resident outside of the state. Whenever a defendant, being a resident of the State, cannot be served within the State personal service may be made upon the defendant outside of the State by any person authorized to serve process in the place in which the defendant may be found or specially appointed by the court to make the service which service shall be evidenced by the return of the serving officer or by affidavit and shall be of the same legal force and validity as if made within the State.