Puna District Court to Close August 1

District Court cases originally scheduled to be heard at the Puna District Courthouse at the Kea`au Civic Center on or after August 1, 2009, have been transferred to the new state court complex, Hale Kaulike, at 777 Kilauea Street and will be heard in courtroom 2C.

At Hale Kaulike, all District Court civil cases -- which include small claims, regular claims, TROs and landlord tenant cases -- are heard on Mondays. Traffic and misdemeanor cases are heard on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The additional space afforded by the Hawai`i State Judiciary's new court complex that opened on March 30 will save the Judiciary the $20,000 a year it was spending to lease the 900-square-foot space. Plans call for the Police Department to occupy the vacated site.

"Consolidating the cases makes more than just economic sense," said Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra. "The Judiciary can provide a higher level of security and more ADA accommodations for litigants, attorneys, and court employees at the brand new complex than at the space that we leased as an ad hoc courtroom."

In addition, the Department of Public Safety will no longer have to transport defendants to two separate locations and judges and court staff will no longer have to travel to Puna from Hilo three days a week, said Ibarra.

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Contact: Marsha Kitagawa, 539-4909

For more information, contact the public affairs office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.state.hi.us.

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