The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Homepage

December 17, 2013

A 'BETTER' PLACE: Temporary courthouse could 'handle at least three times' as many cases

— The 39th Judicial Circuit is expected to move out of the Limestone County Courthouse by late January or early February, said Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee on Monday.

The operations of four circuit judges will move a few blocks south on Jefferson Street to the former Better Living building, which is being revamped to serve as the temporary courthouse.

Menefee said once the court system has left its downtown quarters, the courthouse’s first, second and third floors will be renovated at an estimated $3 million cost.

The interior overhaul could take 18 months to two years to complete, according to the project’s general contractor Martin & Cobey in Athens.

“By the first of January, the plan is to bid the courthouse work,” Menefee said. “It will take three weeks to a month to bid those (packages) out. By February, if we have the courts moved out, we’ll be ready to start getting that work done.

“We want to have the bidding process out of the way before they move. If we do that, as quick as they move out, contractors will be able to start work.”

The circuit court clerk and district attorney’s offices are expected to move at the same time as the judges, according to Menefee.

District Attorney Brian Jones will be at the future home of his office’s pretrial diversion program across from the Clinton Street courthouse annex and next to Inez’s restaurant on Washington Street.

Circuit Court Clerk Brad Curnutt and his staff will be housed in the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority’s customer service building across from the Better Living building.

Menefee said due to the county’s population growth and having only one large courtroom available in the current courthouse, the court system’s caseload has experienced scheduling delays.

“The courts will probably shut down one or two weeks during the move but once they’re in the Better Living building, they will be able to handle at least three times as many (cases),” Menefee said. “Having more courtrooms was part of my reasoning for pushing a temporary courthouse with more space.”

The chairman said scrapping plans to renovate the fourth floor of the downtown courthouse and not removing a marble staircase for an elevator shaft to the top floor saved the county about $4.5 million.

“We have to change the courthouse because our population is growing and with that comes more court cases,” Menefee said.

After the courthouse renovations are complete, the county’s court programs — Community Corrections, Pardons and Paroles — will relocate from their current home in the nearby Crutcher Shopping Center to the Better Living building, which the county purchased in April for $464,000.

1
Text Only
Top Local News
Today's Local Feature

State and Nation
Local Sports
Sports
Lifestyles
Calendar of Events
  • Limestone Ledger 7/25/14

    SATURDAY
    Crape Myrtle pageant

    The 14th annual Miss/Master Crape Myrtle Festival Pageant is Saturday at the Ardmore, Tennessee Annex Building. Competition begins at 1 p.m. for girls, infant through age 19, and boys, infant through age 5. More information: 256-278-5524.

    July 25, 2014

  • Church Bulletin 7/25/14
Obituaries
Weather Radar
Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Business Marquee
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.