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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Jury duty isn’t timely
for Ewa bus rider

Question: When we're called for jury duty, we are told to call the day before to find out when to go in. The recording may say something like, "Group A is scheduled for 1 p.m. but please call tomorrow at 11 a.m. to confirm." So what do people in the country do if their sole transportation is the bus? From where I live in Ewa Beach, it takes about 1-1/2 hours to go to town. Also, to catch the Ewa Beach bus, I have to walk about 10-15 minutes. I don't have a cellular phone. I know one possibility would be to catch the bus to town and call from town and go home IF it's canceled. But that's ridiculous! And even for those with cars, the two-hour window is cutting it close because you have to find parking. Keep in mind, the courts do not provide great parking; it's limited. It's very sad that we who live in the country are penalized.

Answer: Unfortunately for you, no changes are planned in the jury selection procedures.

The two-hour lead time given jurors to report "seems to be ample time for jurors," said Freida Baker, the state Judiciary's jury clerk supervisor.

Any change would have to be approved by the courts and administration, she said.

However, for emergencies "or other unusual circumstances," she said you can ask for help by calling the Jury Pool Office, 539-4360.

Baker explained the procedure for jury duty: People scheduled to report for duty are required to call a certain number the night before. The code-a-phone will give the time to report, plus any changes or postponements.

However, with court hearings, motions and other matters held during the morning, it sometimes is necessary to start trials in the afternoons.

"The court time spent in the morning is very important to the trials scheduled," Baker said. "The court needs as much time as possible to work out issues brought before them."

A 30-minute orientation is given to each jury panel. After that, jurors are taken to the courtroom. If a juror reports before proceedings start, he or she will be sent to the court. If a juror reports after court proceedings start, "they could be reassigned to another courtroom or be rescheduled," Baker said.


Bank of Hawaii has just lost a loyal customer of 40 years. Their recent announcement that the minimum amount to be maintained in checking accounts was being raised from $500 to $1,500 a month to evade a monthly service fee. They also raised the fee from $7 to $9 a month. My monthly income is $960 between my retirement and Social Security. As soon as I pay my rent of $470, I am under the $500 base. I phoned three departments at the bank and was told there is no program to help senior citizens manage. I have switched to American Savings Bank! -- No Name

("We regret and apologize that our customer was transferred to several different departments seeking an answer to his question," said bank spokesman Stafford Kiguchi.

Customers with questions relating to service fees can call 693-0922, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, and someone will explain various banking options, he said.

(Kiguchi noted Bankoh has a "Self-Service" checking account that has no minimum balance requirement. A flat $2 monthly fee can be lowered to $1 a month if direct deposit is involved, he said.

(Kiguchi said the bank also is introducing "BranchConcierges" statewide to assist customers.)

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to

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