Three Big Island courthouses to close

HONOLULU (AP) - Three part-time satellite courthouses on the Big Island are closing due to a shortage of deputy sheriffs.

The North Kohala, Hamakua and Kau district courts will close Oct. 1 until further notice. Their cases will be handled in South Kohala District Court and Kona District Court.

The closures resulted from a new state Department of Public Safety rule requiring at least two sheriffs in a courthouse.

The rule was created after a lone deputy sheriff at the Kailua-Kona courthouse was injured last month trying to stop a brawl in Family Court.

Bid Island deputy chief court administration Dawn West says the change will be a hardship on people who will have to drive long distances to get to court.

Kau residents will face a 90-minute trek to attend court hearings.

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