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Judiciary Facility Entry Restrictions Modified for Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai Counties; First Circuit Reduces In-person Proceedings at District and Family Courts 

Posted on Aug 11, 2020 in News & Reports, Press Releases

 

HONOLULU – Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has issued an order that effective Aug. 11 through Aug. 31, “No one shall enter Judiciary facilities in the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits if they have traveled in the past 14 days, or have traveled inter-island to the Second, Third, or Fifth Circuits on or after August 11, 2020, and 14 days has not passed since such travel.” This restriction was added in response to Gov. David Ige’s 11th Proclamation related to inter-island travel and to ensure the safety of court users and Judiciary personnel.

The denial of access to anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or other symptoms of respiratory illness and/or close prolonged contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 remains in place.

Also, First Circuit Chief Judge R. Mark Browning issued two emergency orders, reducing in-person proceedings at the District Courts and Family Court and increasing the number of hearings conducted remotely.

“We have been expanding our court operations in phases, but now find it necessary to scale back in-person appearances in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases on Oahu,” said Chief Judge Browning. “Fortunately, we have greatly increased our remote hearing capabilities and will use Zoom and Webex technology to conduct as many proceedings when possible.”

Non-custody criminal and traffic hearings
Non-custody arraignment and plea, status and pretrial conferences, demand/waive jury trials, change of plea, and other such matters, as well as traffic infraction hearings will be conducted remotely by Zoom. If a defendant is unable to appear via Zoom, the case will be continued. Instructions on appearing by Zoom are available on the Judiciary’s website. Search “remote court hearings”.

Defendants who are in custody for misdemeanor and/or petty misdemeanor cases
These cases will proceed in-person or through videoconferencing with Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC), the Hawaii State Hospital (HSH), the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), and/or the State Office Tower.

Felony cases
These cases will proceed in-person or through videoconferencing with Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC), the Hawaii State Hospital (HSH), the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) for custody and non-custody defendants.

Quarantine violator cases
These cases will proceed in-person or through videoconferencing with the State Office Tower for custody and non-custody defendants.

Civil cases
Temporary restraining orders and injunctions, and cases involving TROs and injunctions based on illegal lockouts and utility shutoffs will proceed in-person as scheduled. All other District Court civil cases are postponed. Notices will be provided to parties informing them of their new court dates.

Trials postponed
All trials are postponed until after September 14. Notices will be provided to parties informing them of their new court dates.

Court services
All District Court facilities will remain open for general court services, though hours of operation may be modified as necessary.

For questions about District Court cases, please call:
Honolulu District Court: 808-538-5629
First Circuit Civil District Court: 808-538-5147
Kaneohe District Court (criminal): 808-534-6300
Ewa-Pearl City District Court: 808-534-6900
Wahiawa District Court: 808-534-6200
Waianae District Court: 808-954-8575

Family Court proceedings, which are conducted at the Kapolei Judiciary Complex, as well as at the Honolulu District Courthouse, will be held either in-person, remotely by Cisco Webex, or by telephone. The method will depend on the kind of proceeding and parties are encouraged to read the order for details.

Examples of hearings to continue being conducted in-person are temporary restraining order/gun violence protective order hearings or trials, motions requesting the return of firearms, and temporary foster custody and motions to transition from family supervision to foster custody.

For questions about Family Court cases, please call 808-954-8290.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at pao@courts.hawaii.gov.

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