Courts: No jury trials until Sept. 1

All jury trials on Hawaii Island, whether criminal or civil, are now postponed until at least Sept. 1 under a new set of orders filed Wednesday by 3rd Circuit Chief Judge Robert Kim.

Jury trials were scheduled to resume Aug. 1, but the further delay is because of recent developments in the coronavirus pandemic.

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The new date is conditional, “barring further public health or other extraordinary developments that would make doing so imprudent.”

All other criminal and civil proceedings in Big Island courthouses “will be heard remotely by telephonic or video conference to the extent feasible and as permitted by law.”

Social distancing and wearing of masks by all parties are required.

Grand juries were allowed to resume July 1, but the size of each grand jury panel was reduced from 16 to 12 individuals to allow for social distancing of jurors.

The moratorium on residential evictions based on a tenant’s failure to pay rent, maintenance fees, utility charges, taxes or other fees remains in place, per Gov. David Ige’s 10th Supplemental Emergency Proclamation issued July 17.

The following family court functions will continue to be conducted:

• Temporary restraining orders.

• Gun violence protective orders.

• Shelter hearings.

• Detention hearings.

• Civil commitment hearings.

• Emergency guardianships.

• Uncontested guardianships of minors and incapacitated adults with stipulation of the parties to video or telephone hearings.

• Uncontested adoptions with stipulation of the parties to video or telephone hearings.

• Child Welfare Services cases.

The following family court functions will be continued, until after July 31, by video or telephone where feasible and permitted by law, and in person as determined and approved by the case judge:

• Divorce.

• Paternity.

• Contested guardianships of minors and incapacitated adults.

• Contested adoptions.

• Assisted community treatment.

• Non-custody juvenile matters.

• Child Welfare service trials.

• All specialty court hearings, including juvenile drug court, family drug court and truancy court.

No person will be allowed to enter the courthouse if they have a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or at least two of the following:

• Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste and smell.

• Travel in the past 14 days outside the state of Hawaii.

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• Had prolonged contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.

Exceptions may be made to those restrictions in “extraordinary circumstances.”

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