Hawaii: Prohibit online posting of judges’ home addresses; restrict access to information about children of judges

Hawaii’s legislature is currently debating several proposals to limit access to and ban the posting online of personal information about judges, their spouses, and their children.

HB 288 and SB 432 would prohibit a state or county agency from posting the home address, or personal telephone or cellular phone number of a sitting, full-time judge. The same provision would make it a misdemeanor to post online the address and phone numbers of the judge or their spouse and children with intent to cause bodily injury. Moreover, any private person, business, or association that posted the information would be required to take it down within 48 hours of a written demand by the judge or judge’s designee.

HB 292 and SB 431 differs from the above in that they lack any criminal penalty and are focused solely on prohibiting any government agency from releasing a government record that contains the information. It is also broader and covers not only the home address, personal and cellular phone numbers but also birthdays. It also prohibits the release of the same information for the spouses and children of judges, including the names and locations of schools and child care facilities attended by the children of the justices and judges.

HB 288 was set for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday (February 3) but that hearing was postponed. The other bills are currently pending before their respective Judiciary Committees.