Officials: Harvey knocks out Harris County Criminal Justice Center and other buildings for at least ‘eight months’

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HOUSTON - Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, some local court rooms are definitely out of order!

Like a lot of things around town, the wheels of justice in Harris County-- at least in the court room-- came to a screeching halt last week.

And now county officials say the downtown Criminal Justice Center and the Jury Assembly building-- along with some other facilities-- are out of order for quite awhile.

"Most of those will not be open for a significant amount of time," Harris County Engineer John Blount announced. "We're anticipating the facility to be closed a minimum of eight months."

The county court house annex facilities on Cypresswood and also on Clay Road flooded out as well.

That means some court rooms are being moved to temporary locations, and the court docket is going to look very different as trials resume.

"So what does that mean? Well, there will be no civil jury trials in September," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett declared. "Felony trials will be moved over to the civil courts building. Jury summons can be rescheduled up to three times."

County employees were seen saving court documents and records as they hauled them out of the closed court house on Tuesday.

"The building is damaged," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. "And the District Attorney's Office is being asked to relocate-- which we will. We're gonna move from one government building in all likelihood to another government building."

Officials say the Criminal Justice Center suffered some degree of water damage on all 20 floors....not just from flooding but also from backed up sewage.

So, it could be quite awhile before you hear someone down there say, 'See you in court!'

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