BY GIUSEPPE LEONE – For the umpteenth year, our lawmakers are considering a bill to increase the maximum amount allowed in Hawaii Small Claims court – from $3,500 to $5,000.

If passed, such bill will allow more consumers and small business owners to settle a dispute quickly and inexpensively in small claims court, without having to hire an attorney.

See HB1333:

And for the umpteenth year, such bill now runs the risk of being killed, despite the following facts:

The current $3,500 limit, which was set in 1992, has never been adjusted for inflation.

Introduced by 32 House Representatives, Bill HB1333 is supported both by the Hawaii Judiciary and Hawaii State Bar Association.

Bill HB1333 will bring Hawaii more in line with the rest of the country. Currently, 37 out of 50 states have small claims court limits higher — or much higher — than $3,500. For example, the limit in California is $7,500, in Alaska $10,000, in Georgia $15,000, and in Tennessee $25,000.

If any Hawaii Reporter reader is interested to support Bill HB1333, they can send me an email at or call me at 254-4115. And I will be glad to tell them what they can do to urge our lawmakers to enact that bill, and not let it die — again.



Previous articlePonzi Defendant Pleads Guilty
Next articleHawaii, Other States, Form Caucus to Oppose TSA Intrusions
Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards. Hawaii Reporter has a weekly television news show, News Behind the News, which airs on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.