Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and First Circuit Chief Judge Derrick Chan will officially open the “Access to Justice Room” on Friday, August 10, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at the District Court courthouse in Honolulu.
“The number of individuals representing themselves in civil proceedings because they cannot afford an attorney has been increasing. Many self-represented parties struggle with the judicial system because they don’t understand the process and what is expected of them,” said Chief Justice Recktenwald. “Our Access to Justice Room is intended to help them navigate the system more effectively, which in turn helps the system run more smoothly.”
The Access to Justice Room is located on the third floor of the courthouse at 1111 Alakea Street and will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The Access to Justice Room will be staffed by a volunteer attorney (from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) and an AmeriCorps representative (from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) who will help self-represented litigants with short-term legal advice on civil matters related to landlord tenant cases, collection cases, and temporary restraining order cases (which involve non-family members or parties who are not now, or have not been, in a dating relationship). Members of the public should first seek help from the District Court Service Center. Anyone seeking legal advice will then be referred to the Access to Justice Room.
The program is a joint effort of the Hawaii State Judiciary, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, the Hawaii State Bar Association, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Support from the AmeriCorps Program is also provided.
“The Judiciary appreciates the assistance of the members of the bar who are volunteering their time, as well as the support of all of our partners on this project,” Chief Justice Recktenwald said.