As of February 12, 2021, most of Hawaii’s Family Courts COVID safety protocols are still in place.
Hearings: the vast majority of hearings are not being held in person. Specifically, parties and attorneys are instructed to not appear in person at the courthouses. Rather, most hearings and conferences are held primarily by Webex, a videoconference program (Oahu and Maui), or Zoom (Kauai and Hawaii Island). Both Webex and Zoom have versions as phone apps and desktop/laptop programs. Parties and attorneys will typically receive the Webex/Zoom videoconference link from the Court a short time prior to their hearing (typically between a few hours and a couple of days prior). The hearings that are taking place in-person are primarily TROs, initial Child Welfare Service hearings, emergency guardianships, and most full trials. For persons having upcoming hearings, it is important to confirm with the Court ahead of time whether the hearing is being held in-person or by videoconference.
Filings: although the Courts are physically open, there are some restrictions on access, and some courts are permitting electronic filing of documents, including Family Courts on Maui and Hawaii Island. Oahu and Kauai however, still requires non-electronic filing of documents, just as before the pandemic. Persons seeking to file documents should check with the Family Court on their island prior to going to the courthouse.