Harris County courts shuffled around town after Harvey’s wrath on local court houses

HOUSTON -- Talk about flooding the courtroom!

In the aftermath of Harvey, the wheels of justice in Harris County are about to turn again now that officials are moving court out of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center and other flood-ravaged buildings around town and into temporary settings.

In all, about 39 criminal courts are being relocated due to flood damages, according to county officials.

"Beginning Monday, September the 11th, the criminal district courts will be doubling up in court rooms in the Civil Court House and also the Juvenile Justice Center," Judge Susan Brown, Harris County Administrative Judge for Criminal District Courts, announced.

That applies to all felony cases.

But officials say misdemeanor cases are also being moved to the Family Law Center downtown.

"We will be occupying two courts per court room," Presiding Judge Paula Goodhart, of the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law 1 - 16, said. "We'll also be having staggered dockets in the afternoon to accommodate the volume of people we expect to come into the Family Law Center."

Jury trials for family and juvenile cases are expected to resume after Oct. 1.

Probate court and civil cases have all been postponed until after Nov. 1.

Officials say court dockets for jailed offenders will also soon move from the county jail on San Jacinto to separate locations for male defendants and female defendants on Baker Street.

And anyone who didn't appear in court during the storm period from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8 will not have their bond forfeited.

For the time being, jury duty is cancelled through Sept. 15.

If you received a jury summons up until then, you don't have to appear in court and don't need to reschedule.

But what happens after that is still up in the air.

At least the justice system is back in business.

So, criminals, beware!

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