Morgan County Courthouse damaged, closed

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Morgan County Courthouse is closed today as a result of damage sustained by high winds from Tuesday's storm, and a courthouse disaster plan mandated by a new state rule has been kicked into gear for the first time.

North and west sides of the courthouse's roof were heavily damaged in the storm. One half of the roof has been blown completely off, including the tresses and some of the brick wall it was attached to, said Jeff Neal, director of Morgan County Emergency Management. Officials are awaiting an evaluation by engineers to determine the impact of the damage.

"There is a huge hole in the roof. We have things covered in the upstairs of the courthouse to minimize any damage. We are securing the courthouse, barricading it off, and there is no access at this time," he said.

As a result of the storm, the local court and state have turned to a disaster action plan mandated by a rule that went into effect Jan. 1, according to David Remondini, chief deputy director of the Indiana Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration. The rule gained mention from Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard during his annual address two weeks ago, but Remondini said this is the first time the rule has been used since it is in the pilot-planning stages to help courts operate after disasters, such as tornadoes and floods. Ironically, Morgan Superior Judge Thomas Gray - who is now turning to this disaster plan - was on the committee that drafted the new rule, Remondini said.

"Court's been cancelled, some have to move to new locations, and special sessions will be scheduled for court hearings," he said.

Night court will be in Morgan County's administration building this evening, said Debbie Chatten, administrative assistant in the commissioner's office. Trials and hearings scheduled at the courthouse for Thursday and Friday are being postponed, and letters will be sent to those involved for more information. There is no word when offices and courts will reopen as officials are waiting for engineers to decide if the building is structurally sound, she said.

Chatten recommended those in the area listen to the local radio station, WCBK 102.3 FM, for more information. She said the radio station is working with the county to broadcast updated information about closings and relocations.

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.