Sorry you have had to wait. Most likely, your expert has not been back online since he initially asked you about your state of residency; however, as it appears that you have been waiting and need an answer, I will go ahead and assist.
The elements of a cause of action for libel and defamation under Hawaii law are:
(1) a false and defamatory statement concerning another;
(2) an unprivileged publication to a third party;
(3) fault amounting at least to negligence
on the part of the publisher [actual malice where the plaintiff is a public figure]; and
(4) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm or the existence of special harm caused by the publication.
Gold v. Harrison, 88 Hawaii 94, 100, 962 P.2d 353, 359 (1998);
Beamer v. Nishiki, 66, Hawaii 572, 578-579, 670 P.2d 1264 (1983)
A defamation claim requires publication to a third party. The interest which is protected is of that reputation, and for tort liability to lie for either slander or libel the defamation must be communicated to some third party other than the person defamed. Runnels v. Okamoto, 56 Hawaii 1, 3, 525 P.2d 1125, 1127 (1974).
I am not sure what your neighbors put in their claim for a TRO or what transpired for them to even be awarded one in the first place; however, if they made false statements to your neighbors about you and it has damaged your reputation, then you would have grounds for a defamation lawsuit. This would be a civil lawsuit that you would need to bring at your local courthouse. I would consider working with the attorney who helped you with the TRO if he does those types of lawsuits.
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