Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Check court for options
in store bankruptcies

Question: I took my furniture to an upholstery business that has since closed up shop and filed for bankruptcy. How can I get my property back? Do I need to hire a lawyer? What recourse do I have?

Answer: You should check with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hawaii, which is located at 1132 Bishop St., Suite 250-L.

When a person or business files for bankruptcy, the court gives notice of the filing to all creditors, including the name and phone number of the trustee assigned to the case.

If you don't know the name of the trustee, you can call 522-8122 -- the court's Voice Case Information System -- in which you can obtain the name and number of the trustee by looking up the case number or debtor name, a court official said.

You also will be able to find out the name of the debtor's attorney, whether the case is open or closed and other information.

You must have a touch-tone phone. The automated system is available 24 hours a day.

You can also obtain information about the bankruptcy court online at

Q: Why are Verizon repair trucks parked on the Diamond Head side of Bishop Street, fronting the Verizon building, and on the Ewa side of the building on Alakea Street? This has been going on since about Christmas and basically cuts off the far left lane on both streets.

A: The trucks, as well as barriers, were stationed around the Verizon Hawaii building on Christmas Eve "as a precautionary measure recommended to us by various agencies in response to the heightened threat condition orange," said Verizon Hawaii spokeswoman Ann Nishida.

They will remain in place "as long as it is recommended we keep them up," she said.

Asked if any permits were required for this, Nishida said the Honolulu Police Department secured the necessary permits for Verizon.

Gov. Linda Lingle set Hawaii's terror alert level to orange on Dec. 21, after the federal government raised its alert status to "high risk" during the Christmas holidays.

It was the first time that Hawaii was placed on such an elevated alert since the color-coded alert system -- green for low risk; blue, general risk; yellow, significant risk; orange, high risk; and red, severe risk -- was instituted nationally in March 2002.

Hawaii, additionally, has a black level, to indicate a direct terrorist attack on the state.

In June 2002, a "Kokua Line" reader noted that the "Parking & Loading Zone" on Bishop Street in front of the Verizon building was eliminated in response to heightened security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He asked why the same action was not taken on Alakea Street, behind the building.

At that time, officials from various state and city offices, including Civil Defense and the Police Department, apparently believed that step was not warranted.

However, Nishida said the parking/loading zone on the Alakea side of the building has since been eliminated, as well.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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