The ACLU of Hawai‘i is a private, non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving and extending constitutional rights through litigation, legislation, organizing, and education. We usually become involved in cases (either by representing a party or submitting a "friend of the court" brief) only when we believe that we can advance civil liberties through a change in law or policy. And, since the Constitution is designed to protect people from abuse of power by the government, the ACLU primarily challenges the government, rather than private organizations or individuals. We encourage you to visit our state and national websites, www.acluhi.org and www.aclu.org, for more information about the scope of the ACLU's work.
If you wish to request legal assistance from the ACLU of Hawai‘i, we strongly urge you to submit your complaint to us using our webform linked below. You may also write to us at Intake Department, ACLU of Hawaii P.O. Box 3410 Honolulu, HI 96801 or send us a fax at (808) 522-5909.
BEFORE YOU CONTACT THE ACLU OF HAWAI‘I
Please view the following information before submitting a legal intake request.
The ACLU of Hawai‘i is able to provide legal assistance in only a small number of cases. Violations of constitutional rights and civil liberties are widespread, but the ACLU of Hawai‘i is a small organization. We receive over 100 requests for assistance each month. Because of our limited resources, however, we are able to investigate only a small percentage of the potentially meritorious requests for assistance we receive. As a result, we have to turn down the overwhelming majority of those requests for assistance.
Because of the large volume of requests we receive, it may take us up to several weeks to respond to your request. We appreciate your patience. If your matter is time-sensitive, you may wish to consider contacting a private attorney. The Hawai‘i Legal Aid Society provides information on common legal problems and the Hawai‘i State Bar Attorney Referral Service can help you find a lawyer.
The ACLU of Hawai‘i only handles cases that involve violations of civil liberties and civil rights. Civil liberties include the right to due process and equal protection of the law, as well as freedom of expression; freedom of the press; religious freedom; the right of association; the right of privacy; the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizures, and the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. Many of these civil liberties are protected by provisions in the United States Constitution such as the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, and also by similar provisions in the Hawai‘i Constitution. In most cases, these constitutional provisions apply only to the government. Accordingly, in most cases, a legal matter raises a civil liberties issue only when a governmental official or a governmental agency is responsible for violating your rights.
Civil rights statutes strengthen the right to equal protection by prohibiting private businesses as well as governmental agencies from discriminating. If you are the victim of discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic background, gender, religion, disability, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, you may have a legal remedy.
- If the ACLU does not accept your case, we cannot provide legal advice. If the ACLU of Hawai‘i is not able to provide legal assistance, we also cannot provide legal advice about your case. We will not be able to answer questions about the legal significance of the facts, conduct legal research, or provide information about the legal deadlines that might apply to your situation. This policy allows us to direct our limited researches to the cases that we do accept.
- ACLU attorneys do not charge for their time. If the ACLU of Hawai‘i accepts your case, there is no charge for the time spent by the attorneys.
- Please do not send documents, pictures and/or videos unless requested to do so. Your request for legal assistance will be processed after we receive a letter that requests our help and describes the facts of your situation.
- Be sure to provide all necessary information for contacting you by mail and by telephone. It is also helpful to include your email address if you have one. (If you write from a county jail or other temporary facility, please include the name and contact information of a close relative or friend who will always know where you are.) In your letter, please describe in detail the incident or the issue that prompted you to request legal assistance:
If you have trouble with submitting intake, or need other accommodation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.