Jasper County courthouse drying out after roof damage - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County courthouse drying out after roof damage


Jasper County court in Joplin is partially back in session after a storm earlier this week blew off part of the courthouse roof.

Missing ceiling tiles, fans and trash cans full of water still fill two courtrooms damaged from the storm on Wednesday morning.

Randy Bell of Jasper County courthouse maintenance says the roof itself is patched and water tight.

"Courtrooms, once they get cleaned out will be back in session," says Bell.  "The roof is secure.  It should not leak."

Over 200 cases that were canceled the day the incident occurred will have to be rescheduled.

Despite damages and set backs, since then Jasper County judges continue to keep their dockets rolling.  They are sharing two of the undamaged courtrooms for now and one judge is even holding video arraignments in his water damaged courtroom.

"The big docket we missed completely, we'll probably have to divide that up and put it on the next two weeks, like that, put it in with the other cases," says Linda Williams, the Jasper County Circuit Clerk.

As Williams puts it, the courthouse is juggling to make things work.  A large four day trail set for next week will probably be held in Carthage where a spare courtroom is available due to a vacationing judge.

"I believe they are going to hold some court in Carthage next week and then hopefully the cleaning people will be done in the middle of next week and we can get back into those courtrooms," says Bell.

For now the courthouse is working on drying up the water logged courtrooms to get court back on track and back in session.

Jasper County says all the courtrooms might be open as soon as Monday.

As for the roughly 200 cases that had to be rescheduled, the circuit county clerk says most were happy to get extra days before trial.

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