LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Self Help Center opened its doors Friday at the Pu‘uhonua Kaulike judiciary building in Lihu‘e.
“The program assists self-represented litigants,” Judge Trudy Senda said. “They are able to come in here, speak with the volunteers on questions of legal information. The volunteers can help steer them to the right forms, or give them an idea of what to expect in court.”
Located immediately fronting the security checkpoint, the KSHC is a joint effort between the Hawai‘i State Judiciary, Hawai‘i State Bar Association, the Kaua‘i Bar Association, Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i and Volunteer Legal Services of Hawai‘i, Senda said.
Justin Kollar, deputy county attorney, said he is hopeful the program will be beneficial to the community.
“Court can be an overwhelming experience,” he said. “By having the KSHC available, we’re hopeful people would not be wasting time in court. The volunteers are very helpful.”
Initially, Kollar said the KSHC will be open from 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays and Fridays, with the possibility of expanding the days and hours based on the community’s response to the program.
“If people can speak with the volunteers and get a better understanding of the courts, it’s a win-win situation,” he said. “This program can benefit the community by saving taxpayer’s money.”
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.