COVID-19 Resources: Legal/Courts, Employment, Housing, and more

by VLSH

Dear Volunteer Legal Services Hawaiʻi Family and Friends:

We hope everyone is staying safe and taking shelter during this time. We know that there are many questions during this time. We have put together a short list of community resources that you may need in the next few weeks. This list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change at any time. Please take care!

LEGAL RESOURCES

Is Volunteer Legal Services Hawaiʻi (VLSH) still open?

VLSH’s main office is temporarily closed. However, VLSH is still able to assist clients with an intake application via telephone during normal business hours, Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. Neighborhood Advice & Counsel clinics are also still being held via telephone. You are responsible for all legal deadlines associated with your case. VLSH operates on 100% volunteer attorney power and cannot guarantee representation.

For more information, please check out www.vlsh.org or call us at 808-528-7046 if you need assistance.

Is the Hawaiʻi Online Probono (HOP) program still active?

Yes, for those wishing to ask a simple legal question online the Hawaiʻi Online Probono (HOP) website is still active. Sign up for a HOP account, post your specific question about your civil legal issue, and receive an email when your question has been answered. Please visit the following website for more information: https://hawaii.freelegalanswers.org/

Are the Access to Justice Room/Self-Centers at the courthouses open?

Yes, but currently by phone only. For more information on specific circuit's open times, please check: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/general_information/access_to_justice_rooms_self_help_centers

Can I call Lawyer Referral Service for an attorney referral?

Yes, please call Hawaiʻi State Bar Association – Lawyer Referral Service at 808-537-9140 Monday – Friday 8:30am-4:30pm.

What other legal resources are available during the COVID-19 crisis?

For additional online legal resources, please visit the following websites: www.lawhelp.org/hi/portal

HAWAIʻI COURT HOUSES

What is the status of Oʻahu’s District Courts during the COVID-19 crisis?

As of June 12, 2020, Oʻahu's District Courts have re-opened with limited hours and are now open to individuals with official court business, such as court proceedings, and business with the Traffic Violations Bureau and Legal Documents Branch. However due to intermittent COVID-19 spikes in Hawaii's population:

  1. Your hearing and/or trial may have a modified date;
  2. Your hearing may have changed to a 'remote court hearing';

Please check the website below for the most current court schedules as some facilities may temporarily close due to COVID-19 exposure and/or cleaning.

How can I check on the status of my case?

Anyone with questions about any District Court case on Oʻahu may call 808-538-5629 or 808-538-5767. For the most current information please visit the following website: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/covid-19-information-page

For access to traffic cases; District Court, Circuit Court, and Family Court criminal; District Court and Circuit Court civil; Land Court and Tax Appeal Court; and appellate case information: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/legal_references/records/jims_system_availability

For access to Family Court civil case information: http://hoohiki.courts.hawaii.gov/#/search

What is a remote court hearing?

A remote court hearing means that you and the other participants may be participating from somewhere other than the courtroom using videoconferencing. The judge and court staff will be in the courtroom. You will be able to see and hear the judge and other participants. The Hawaiʻi State Judiciary is offering this service to minimize in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic and give you the opportunity to participate more safely and conveniently.

For more information including FAQ and step-by-step instructions: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/remote-court-hearings-via-zoom-or-webex

What personal protective equipment (PPE) do I need to wear if I attend court in person?

Face coverings as described and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are required (both inside and outside the courtroom), unless exempt, and shall maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six feet while visiting Judiciary facilities. Additionally your temperature may be checked by Court personnel.

No person shall enter any Judiciary facility in the First Circuit of the State of Hawaii if that person has a fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms; traveled in the past 14 days; or had prolonged contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19; you will not be allowed to enter the courthouse.

Please visit the Judiciary website about the latest information regarding PPE usage and whether a "negative test result" may allow you to enter the State of Hawaii Courts despite traveling in the past 14 days: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/covid-19-information-page

First Circuit (Oʻahu):

https://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/1DSD-20-5-Order-regarding-cases-scheduled-for-Monday-August-10-2020.pdf

All other Circuits (Neighbor Islands):

https://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Order-Regarding-Entering-Judiciary-Facilities-filed-8-10-20.pdf

What about the neighbor island District Courts?

The State of Hawaiʻi Judiciary has posted all of the orders affecting all Hawaiʻi courts at the following website including e-mail submissions for family court documents: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/covid-19-information-page

How can I pay for my traffic citation online?

Pay for traffic citations at: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/self-help/traffic/the_etraffic_hawaii_website

What about the Appellate Courts?

The State of Hawaiʻi Judiciary has posted all of the orders affecting all Hawaiʻi courts at the following website: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/covid-19-information-page

STATE AND CITY ORDERS

Where can I find more information about the ‘shelter-in-place’ orders affecting my community?

State of Hawaiʻi: https://health.hawaii.gov/news/covid-19-updates/

Oʻahu: http://www.honolulu.gov/mayor/proclamations-orders-and-rules.html

Kauaʻi: http://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19

Maui: https://www.mauicounty.gov/2370/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

Hawaiʻi: https://coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com

EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS INFORMATION

The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Labor and Industrial Relations have put together a list of frequently asked questions in regard to benefits:

https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/

LANDLORD / TENANT INFORMATION:

The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs has put together a list of frequently asked questions which can be found at the following web address: https://cca.hawaii.gov/blog/release-state-provides-guidance-for-homeowners-and-renters/

RENT AND MORTGAGE INFORMATION:

Senator Brian Schatz has listed a number or resources those who may need assistance in paying rent and mortgages: https://www.schatz.senate.gov/coronavirus/assistance-for-homeowners-and-renters

City & County of Honolulu COVID-19 Household Hardship Relief Program (HHRF): http://www.honolulu.gov/cms-dcs-menu/site-dcs-sitearticles/38479-household-hardship-relief-fund-program.html

State of Hawaii’s Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program (RRHAP): https://www.hihousinghelp.com/

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the Partner Agency you would like to process your application.

- ALEA Bridge: (808) 445-5527 or nwinter@aleabridge.org

- Gregory House Programs: (808) 592-9022 or cares@gregoryhouse.org

- Hina Mauka: (808)236-2600 or moreinfo@hinamauka.org

- Institute for Human Services: (808) 447-2806 or (808) 447-2862 or

HawaiiCARES@ihshawaii.org

- Parents and Children Together: (808) 841-6177 or fc@pacthawaii.org

- The Salvation Army: (808) 469-7239 or hirent@usw.salvationarmy.org

- Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center: (808) 697-3736 or crua2020@wcchc.com

- Waikiki Community Center: (808) 923-1802 or rentalassistance@waikikicommunitycenter.org

- Aloha United Way: (808) 543-2225 or HousingHelp@auw.org

Section 8 Rental Assistance Waitlist:

https://www.hphaishereforyou.org/section-8-lease-in-place-waitlist

HAWAIʻI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Information and Resources in regard to managing COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi: https://hawaiicovid19.com/

Updated 11/30/2020