State district courts on Oahu will reopen to those with official court business on Monday, the Hawaii Judiciary said today.
Official court business is defined as court proceedings, business with the Traffic Violations Bureau and the Legal Documents Branch. Specifically, Kauikeaouli Hale (Honolulu District Court on Alakea Street), Kaneohe District Court, Ewa District Court, Wahiawa District Court and Waianae District Court are the ones opening.
The limited access is designed to ensure social distancing is maintained as recommended by federal and state guidelines to keep court users and staff safe from COVID-19, Judiciary officials said.
Face coverings will be required of all who enter. Not allowed to enter will be individuals with a fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms; who have traveled in the past 14 days; or who have had prolonged contact with anyone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.
The courthouses have put in place new measures to accommodate social distancing, including staging areas and queues to promote courthouse entry in an orderly fashion. Court users are encouraged to arrive extra early to allow time to park and, possibly, wait in line to get in. Areas to sit or stand are clearly marked.
The Honolulu District Courthouse has staff available in the front plaza area to help direct people to their destinations.
Honolulu District Court has remained open during the year for essential, in-court proceedings including temporary restraining orders, felony cases and criminal cases involving defendants in the custody of the Honolulu Police Department, Oahu Community Correctional Center or Hawaii State Hospital.
The Judiciary also said today:
> Traffic infraction cases are now being held remotely by Zoom videoconferencing or by phone. The court is contacting those individuals with cases for which remote hearings are available.
> Resumption of civil cases is being phased back in. Most civil pretrial pre-trial and settlement conferences resumed this past Monday and the regular claims answer calendar is set to start next Monday.
> Eviction cases not covered by Gov. David Ige’s eviction moratorium will resume June 22.
> Honolulu District Court will continue to hear felony cases as well as criminal misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor cases involving defendants in custody at the Honolulu Police Department, Oahu Community Correctional Center and Hawaii State Hospital. All other criminal cases are set for dates after June 30.
> Free legal help is available to self-represented litigants with civil district court cases on Oahu through the Honolulu Access to Justice Room, staffed by volunteer attorneys Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 808-538-5629.
> Free mediation services are available to litigants with civil district court cases on Oahu. To schedule an in-person or online mediation, contact the Mediation Center of the Pacific, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at 808-521-6767.