The restart of jury trials in Hawai´i has been been pushed down the road yet again due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, issued a first extension of an order postponing jury trials across the state through Nov. 16, 2021. This order was issued in response to the current status of COVID-19 cases in the community, according to the State Judiciary.
“We continue to be concerned about the number of positive cases and hospitalizations being reported in our community,” the Chief Justice said. “We need to take these precautions to reduce the number of people congregating in Judiciary facilities to protect court users and our staff.”
The Judiciary has implemented plans to safeguard the health and safety of jurors, court staff, attorneys, litigants and all involved since the resumption of jury trials last November. These plans were reviewed by the Hawai´i Department of Health and included health screening, temperature checks, reconfigured courtrooms to ensure social distancing, plexiglass barriers, and providing hand sanitizer, masks and face shields.
The order includes 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.