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First Circuit Court (Oahu) Jury Safety Video Transcript

Chief Justice Recktenwald:

Aloha!

My name is Mark Recktenwald and I am honored to serve as Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

These are challenging times for all of us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone has had to adopt to these new circumstances in order to stay safe. Likewise, the Hawaii state courts have had to make many adjustments to how we administer justice on behalf of the public.

For example … we are doing more hearings remotely … either by telephone or video … to minimize the number of people in our courthouses. Technology has certainly been a great asset in our efforts to respond to the pandemic.

While much has changed … one aspect of our American justice system hasn’t … the right to be judged by a jury of one’s peers. For many of you … jury service will be the most hands-on involvement in government that you’ll ever experience … and it will be one of the unique and important ways you can serve your community.

I want to assure you that we have carefully examined all aspects of juror selection and jury trials with your safety in mind. We have worked with the Hawaii Department of Health to develop a variety of precautions designed to protect your health and safety from the moment you arrive at the courthouse … until the time you leave.  Face masks … temperature checks … health screenings … social distancing measures … and thorough cleaning are just a few of the measures we have put in place to protect the health of everyone in our courthouse.

Our health and safety procedures have been reviewed by the Hawaii Department of Health and are following all applicable CDC guidelines and recommendations to keep you safe.

Mahalo for doing your part to ensure justice in our community.

Narrator:

Your jury service experience in the First Circuit Court on Oahu will include:

  • Touchless temperature checks at the courthouse entrance
  • Face masks … if you don’t have one … we will provide you with one
  • Staff will ask CDC-recommended health and travel screening questions
  • Social distancing will be required whether you’re standing … sitting … or using the elevators … Signs and markings will guide you.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the courthouse
  • Cleaning schedules have been increased … focusing especially on high traffic areas, including the restrooms
  • Disinfecting wipes will be available in the courtrooms to clean surfaces as needed
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Juror selection will be held on the fourth floor at our Honolulu District Court on Alakea Street.

When you get to the courthouse, a bailiff will meet you outside and help you with where to go and what to do.

Juror selection will be held in our largest courtroom … to allow for greater distancing. There will be hand sanitizer dispensers and the courtroom will be thoroughly cleaned between uses.

If you are selected to be on a jury … your case will be held at either the District Court or at the Circuit Court building on Punchbowl near Restaurant Row.

You will be given a plastic face shield … your own bottle of hand sanitizer … your own ID badge … notebook … and pen. You will also have a designated seat. These will be yours … No one else will touch them for the duration of the trial.

When you are in the courthouse we ask that you please do your part to protect yourself and everyone around you.

Jury service is at the core of our American justice system.

Without you … democracy would be greatly diminished.

Mahalo for doing your part to ensure justice … and your community … is served.

We will do our part to make you feel welcome, valued, and above all, safe during your jury experience.

To learn more about jury service … please watch our Jury Orientation video.