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Hawaii courts to postpone jury trials until October

Responding to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today ordered jury trials postponed across Hawaii through Oct. 4.

“We very much appreciate the commitment of the public to support the administration of justice throughout the pandemic, especially those who have responded to a summons for jury duty and served as a juror,” Recktenwald said in a news release. “However, with the record numbers of positive cases and rapidly increasing hospitalizations being reported in our community, we believe it’s prudent to take additional precautions to reduce the number of people congregating in Judiciary facilities to protect court users and our staff.”

The order applies to civil, criminal, and family court proceedings but affects only jury trials. All other court proceedings – many of which are conducted remotely by Zoom – will be held as scheduled.

The Judiciary has implemented plans that aim to safeguard jurors, court staff, attorneys, litigants and anyone involved since the resumption of jury trials last November. These plans, reviewed by the state Department of Health, include health screening, temperature checks, reconfigured courtrooms to ensure social distancing, plexiglass barriers and providing hand sanitizer, masks and face shields.

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