The courthouse infrastructure is suffering and this will impact criminal case processing for the immediate future.
Here’s the situation.
- The South Elevator is down for complete replacement. (target date November 2020)
- The North Elevator is working only intermittently at best.
- The center elevator then is left to service the entire courthouse and with a two person limit it is working double or triple time.
- Beginning Monday, August 17, the inmate elevator will be out of commission for repair and replacement.
- If all goes according to plan, the work on the inmate elevator will be completed by September 30, 2020.
This means that until October it will be difficult to move defendants in custody from the lower level to holding or to courtrooms on the third and fourth floors. We will be investigating alternatives such as using the basement courtrooms, the commission chambers, B-22 and even the “snack bar” to hold hearings. Using the lone elevator to get a defendant in custody to the upper floors may be an option in some cases as having defendants in restraints and correction officers taking the stairs is unworkable.
Please immediately evaluate cases where your client is in custody and contact the court to see what can be done to address cases set at least through September 30. Where possible remote ZOOM hearings remain an option in many cases and you’re invited to consider that with your in custody clients as the alternative may be to continue the matter until October some time.
Cases where the defendant is not in custody may be held in person or via ZOOM and you can address those cases with the assigned criminal judge. ZOOM hearings are encouraged to reduce the traffic in the courthouse and our courtrooms.
As always your cooperation is appreciated. Feel free to make any constructive suggestions to the assigned judge or to Judge Parrish as the head of the criminal division of the district court.