Lawmakers Consider 'Mobile Court' For Homeless Defendants

Hawaii lawmakers advanced a bill Tuesday that would establish a “mobile court” aimed at quickly adjudicating some misdemeanor cases in which defendants, many of them homeless, often fail to show up to the court.

Dubbed the “community court outreach project,” the mobile court would be convened at community health centers, schools and other public locations in Honolulu to help prevent minor, nonviolent cases from clogging up the court calendar.

Senate Bill 2569 is in response to an increase in cases involving the type of offenses that often trip up homeless people, such as public intoxication, trespassing, and violation of the city’s ban on sitting and lying on sidewalks.

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