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Solving the Old, Broken Down Courthouse Problem?


Oregon isn’t the only state with its courthouses on the verge of collapse (see page 32 of the report) (re “collapse”: only a mild exaggeration if the judges and lawyers are to be believed, and they may very well be right – personally, I’m a little nervous inside some of the state’s courthouses). Other states have the same problem, e.g. here and here and here (but not here 🙂
California recently came up with one solution to the same problem within their borders. (You can track some of their progress here and here. I’m sure there are other views, such as here in Milt Polizcer’s June 5th column:

It never fails to astonish me that whenever there’s a difficult problem facing the judicial system in California, the people in charge fail to do the obvious thing: ask me for help.

I almost always have the answer.

And the answer I’d like to offer the powers that be in the state judiciary is SELL!

The question, in case you’re wondering, is how to upgrade the court buildings around the state. This was supposed to be accomplished by legislation calling for 451 courthouses to be transferred from local to state control so that the state could fund their upkeep.

So far it hasn’t worked, partly because the state isn’t supposed to take the buildings unless they have acceptable seismic safety ratings and more than half of them don’t. And partly because, well, there’s an awful lot of work to be done on those buildings….”

Read the whole column here (from Courthouse News), but I’m waiting for Judge Bedsworth to add his 2 cents before I come to any conclusion of my own.

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