Looks like the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Self-Help Centers have helped their 10,000th person. These are centers, located statewide, that are set up to provide legal consultation to people representing themselves in court. According to the judiciary, these centers are free to litigants and cost the state “virtually” nothing.
“This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of volunteer attorneys who have donated their time and professionalism to helping those who otherwise might not be able to afford a lawyer,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald in a Sept. 10 Hawaii State Judiciary news release. “I’d also like to extend a special thanks to the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, the Hawaii State Bar Association, all county bar associations, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and its AmeriCorps program, and our partners in the community who have helped us make significant strides in providing greater access to justice.”
There are currently six of these centers located in courthouses across Hawaii. Maui’s can be found at Hoapili Hale in Wailuku.
“Legal Aid receives nearly 20,000 calls a year and we are grateful to the Hawaii State Judiciary for its commitment to the court self-help centers and expanding the resources available for those navigating the legal system on their own,” added Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Executive Director, M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina. “I especially want to recognize our AmeriCorps members in Project Kaulike and other partners for being a part of this important initiative to ensure the values of justice, fairness, and service are upheld in our community. Each month, the Self-Help Centers and Access to Justice Rooms [the name for the centers on Oahu] statewide serve hundreds of people.”
The Hawaii State Judiciary is also teaming up with Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and the state public library system to make court forms software available to anyone who might need it at the Self-Help Centers and public libraries. “The self-help interactive software guides self-represented persons through the process of creating court forms that may be completed and printed for filing at courthouses statewide,” states the Sept. 10 news release. “The creation and continuing development of self-help interactive court forms software has been funded by grants from the Legal Services Corporation and the State Justice Institute.”
All this assistance does come at a price: Maui’s Self-Help Center is only open on Thursdays from 9am to noon. Residents of Hana, Lanai and Molokai can call the center for assistance during its normal operating hours (808-463-1360) but Maui residents must visit the center in person to get legal help. Hoapili Hale is located at 2145 Main St. in Wailuku.
Click here for more information on the state’s Self-Help Centers.