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Hilo Attorneys Recognized for Assisting 1,000 People in 2017

Attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 for providing free legal information to more than 1,000 people on Hawai‘i Island who sought assistance at the Hilo Courthouse Self-Help Center in 2017. This is the most the Hilo Self-Help Center has ever served in a single year.

Forty-seven attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards. Courtesy photo.

The Hilo Self-Help Center was established in July 2012 as part of the Hawai‘i State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, more than 4,900 people have been assisted by volunteer attorneys providing legal information on civil matters, such as temporary restraining orders and divorce. These services have been provided at almost no cost to the state.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “The dedication and commitment of these attorneys has been essential to advancing our goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts.”

Volunteers were recognized for their service by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Greg Nakamura, Chief Court Administrator Lester Oshiro, and Deputy Chief Court Administrators Cheryl Salmo and Dawn West.

The individual attorneys who were honored are: Francis Alcain, Lincoln Ashida, Chris Bridges, Michael Garbarino, Kenneth Goodenow, Jo Anne Goya, Belinda Hall, Doug Halsted, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Ray Hasegawa, Charles Heaukulani, William Heflin, Mahilani Hiatt, Ted Hong, Austin Hsu, Michael Kagami, Haaheo Kahoohalahala, Edith Kawai, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Al Konishi, Peter Kubota, Breann Larios, Bruce Larson, Justin Lee, Dwayne Lerma, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jeff Ng, Jennifer Ng, Michelle Oishi, Danny Patel, Melody Parker, Christopher Rothfus, Jill Razov, Joy San Buenaventura, Chris Schlueter, Steven Strauss, Andrew Son, Albert Thompson, Sylvia Wan, Molly Ward, Jennifer Wharton, Zachary Wingert, Jay Yoshimoto and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

Also acknowledged was AmeriCorps Advocate Katie Kamelamela, who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, organizes the Self-Help Center at the Hilo Courthouse each week.

“I am pleased by the support the Hawai‘i County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort,” said Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Hilo Office Laura Knudsen. “Every week, Hawai‘i Island residents use the Hilo Self-Help Center to gain information and receive procedural support in navigating the court system so that they may represent themselves in their legal affairs. With the donation of their time and expertise, today’s honorees are helping to make access to justice a reality for our Hawai‘i Island community.”

The Chief Justice and Knudsen also thanked the Hawai‘i County Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Judiciary’s efforts to bring self-help services to Hawai‘i residents statewide.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Hilo or Kona Self-Help Centers are invited to contact the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i about the next volunteer attorney training. Information is available online.

For more information on the Self-Help Centers, visit the Hawai‘i State Judiciary website and click on the “Self-Help” tab near the top of the page.

Big Island Police Looking for Man that Ran Over His Girlfriend With Car in Domestic Dispute

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a domestic violence incident that was reported Monday night (December 9).

Justin Lee

Justin Lee

A 41-year-old Hilo woman reported that between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday, she was involved in an argument with her boyfriend, 35-year-old Justin Lee, at their Hilo home. As the argument escalated, he reportedly ran over her with a car and then fled on foot.

The victim was taken by private vehicle to Hilo Medical Center with serious injuries and then transferred to a Honolulu hospital for further treatment. Her condition remains unchanged.

Lee is described as a bald local male, 5-foot-8 with a heavy build, brown eyes and a tan complexion. He has a mole on the left side of his chin and numerous tattoos on the back of his head, neck and arms as well as large words tattooed where his eyebrows should be.

In addition, Lee has three outstanding warrants for his arrest, including a no-bail warrant.
Police ask anyone with information about this incident or the suspect’s whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jefferson Grantz at 961-8810 or jgrantz@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

UPDATE:

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested 35-year-old Justin Lee, who was wanted in connection with a domestic violence incident Monday night (December 9) in Hilo.

Lee turned himself in at the Hilo police station at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday (December 10).

He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangering and is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continue the investigation.

He was also arrested and charged with bail jumping, contempt of court and violating terms of release.