COVID-19 Pandemic Forces 3rd Circuit to Reschedule Matters till After April

March 19, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated March 18, 2020, 10:16 PM)
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Keahuolu Courthouse. PC: Hawai‘i State Judiciary.

Jury and non-jury proceedings in the 3rd Circuit Court have been rescheduled until after April 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according an executive order issued by Interim Chief Judge Melvin Fujino.

On Wedensday, Fujino ordered five executive orders following Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s order to limit in-court proceedings. According to Recktenwald’s order, all circuit courts in the state may issue orders and adjust court operations as warranted to address the urgent and rapidly evolving public health conditions.

Fujino’s orders address the 3rd Circuit’s criminal, civil and family courts. He also issued direction on handling District Court and the probate calendar.

Any court matters suspended due to the coronavirus will be continued until after April 30. Parties are required to contact the court for scheduling or rescheduling of hearings. To read the orders in their entirety, click here.

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3rd Circuit Criminal Court has suspended the following matters:

  • plea/sentencing hearings.
  • Grand jury panels won’t convene.
  • Drug Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court. Any essential hearings will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Matters that will continue as scheduled:

  • Arraignment, plea, extraditions hearings as well as initial appearances in felony cases, preliminary hearings for in-custody defendants, bail hearings and other essential hearings.
  • Mental health hearings.

District Court has suspended the following matters:

  • All criminal and traffic cases for defendants not in custody.
  • All trials.
  • All answers, returnables, hearings, motions, pre-trial conferences, status conferences and settlement conferences.
  • All traffic infraction cases.

Matters that will continue as scheduled:

  • All criminal and traffic cases where the defendant is in custody.
  • Initial appearances in felony cases, preliminary hearings in felony cases, arraignment and plea hearings, bail hearings, mental health hearings and any other proceedings the judge seems urgent.

Family Court has suspended the following matters:

  • Divorce.
  • Paternity.
  • Guardianships, except for emergency guardianships.
  • Adoptions.
  • Trials.
  • Assisted Community Treatment (ACT).
  • Non-custody juvenile matters, such as disposition hearings, further disposition and hearings, arraignment matters, trials and school non-attendance hearings.
  • Child Welfare Services trials.
  • All specialty court proceedings, including Juvenile Drug Court, Family Drug Court, Imua Kakou and
  • Truancy Court.
  • Miscellaneous proceedings as well as UCCJEA and UIFS proceedings.
  • Kids First and Children in Transition Program.

Matters that will continue as scheduled:

  • Temporary restraining orders.
  • Gun violence orders.
    Shelter hearings.
  • Detention hearing.
  • Involuntary hospitalization (civil commitment) hearings.
  • Child Welfare Cases, including temporary foster custody and motions when a child is removed from family supervision to foster custody, excluding termination of parental rights trials.
  • Arraignment and plea.
  • Bail hearings.
  • Orders for temporary hospitalization.
  • Motion to revoke conditional release.
  • Initial appearance and preliminary hearings in felony matters.

Civil Court matters that will be continued are jury and non-trials. Other hearings or in-person conferences will be rescheduled. However, they continue as scheduled through telephonic or video conferencing should they be deemed urgent by the presiding judge.

Generally, all probate court hearings will be continued until further notice.

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