Column

Building the Courts of the Future: Technology, Access to Justice, and COVID-19 in the Judiciary By: Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald

“The past year has brought unprecedented challenges for the administration of justice. At the same time that COVID-19 has posed significant health and socioeconomic challenges to our community, it has also forced the courts to rethink the way we do business from the ground up. And while we, like everyone in our community, are looking forward with anticipation to a post-COVID world, some of the ways in which the courts have adapted to the pandemic will undoubtedly be enduring. The changes precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have created courts that are more efficient and responsive to a community more accustomed to doing business online.”

Insights into Wrongful Evictions and Housing Discrimination During COVID-19 with Representative Linda Ichiyama

“The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted Hawaiʻi’s economy. Over 50,000 people filed for unemployment insurance in Hawai‘i this time last year—the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown. Although the State unemployment rate appears to be improving, the effects of the economic shutdown are still being felt today. The State of Hawaiʻi initially responded to the economic hardship that renters were facing by implementing an eviction moratorium. In its current form, the moratorium blocks evictions by landlords for non-payment of rent by tenants. However, issues have arisen regarding the dissemination of information and enforcement of the moratorium.”

 

Preventative Lawyering Assists Communities with Pandemic Challenges By: The MLPC Staff - Catherine Chen, Fernando Cosio, Deja Ostrowski, & Dina Shek

“The case we examine in this article may seem like a straightforward report of a legal violation that only requires providing a client with tailored legal information and program information. However, a deeper inspection reveals the far-reaching consequences of the pandemic for our clients and demonstrates the importance of messaging and collaborating alongside communities who are not often prioritized. Additionally, we clearly see how, specific to Pacific Islander communities in Hawaiʻi, advocacy that goes beyond simple legal service provision and works to uplift community partnerships is most needed.”