The ACLU of Hawaii does NOT review requests for legal assistance in person or over the telephone. Before you write to request legal assistance, please review all of the information below.:
The ACLU of Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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.
Types of cases the ACLU of Hawaii generally does not accept. The ACLU of Hawaii generally does not accept the following types of cases:
Important information about deadlines. All legal claims have time deadlines. These deadlines may be different depending on the nature of the legal claim, the persons who violate your rights, and which particular rights were violated. For some kinds of violations, you may need to file a notice or pursue other administrative remedies with a government agency before you can file suit in court. These administrative procedures also have their own time deadlines. If you do not comply with the applicable time deadlines, you could be legally barred from pursuing your claim in court. Contacting the ACLU of Hawaii to describe your problem does not mean that ACLU attorneys represent you, and contacting the ACLU of Hawaii does not stop these time deadlines from running. The ACLU of Hawaii cannot provide you with advice about which time deadlines might apply to your particular situation. To ensure that your rights are protected, you may need to consult an attorney promptly to find out what time deadlines may apply in your case.
ACLU attorneys do not charge for their time. If the ACLU of Hawaii accepts your case, there is not charge for the time spent by the attorneys. You may be asked to help pay for the expenses of the litigation, such as filing fees and depositions.
What to include in your written request for legal assistance. Your request for legal assistance will be processed after we receive a letter that requests our help and describes the facts of your situation. We will respond to you in writing within 4 to 6 weeks. Please allow sufficient time for us to evaluate your letter. Send to:
ACLU of Hawaii
P.O. Box 3410
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801
Alternately, you could send your letter via fax to (808) 522-5909 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEFORE YOU EMAIL:
If you email the ACLU of Hawaii (hereafter the ACLU), it will be transmitted over the Internet as unencrypted e-mail. This message is a warning that unencrypted email may not be a secure form of communication. Including any highly sensitive information such as Social Security numbers in email may expose this information.
The main point at which unencrypted e-mail communication may not be secure is on the sender's (your) end. Specifically, if you are using a public or shared computer to send an e-mail to the ACLU, your messages may be available to anyone else who has access to that computer. You may wish to take precautions to prevent other people from accessing your private or confidential e-mails on your end. There is also a small but real risk that your e-mail message could be intercepted or stored as it passes through e-mail servers on its Internet delivery route to the
ACLU. Generally, consider unencrypted email to be about as private as a postcard.
Once any email you send for the legal team arrives at the ACLU, only authorized members of the ACLU staff will have access to your complaint. In accordance with applicable lawyer ethics rules, any information you share with us will be protected as confidential and will not be shared with people outside the ACLU's Legal Department without your authorization. If you are concerned about the security of your e-mail, you could alternately send your inquiry via U.S. Mail or fax..
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:
Ph.: (808)522-5900 Fax: (808)522-5909 Email: email@example.com
This is the web site of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the ACLU of Hawaii Foundation.
Learn more about the distinction between these two components of the ACLU.