Flood 2016

Linn County Courthouse opens Monday

Court staff from Johnson County came to help

Liz Roberts carries a stack of chairs back to a courtroom at the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Liz Roberts carries a stack of chairs back to a courtroom at the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Linn County Courthouse closing for only a week — compared to nearly four months in 2008 — and no flood damage are a huge relief for court officials.

Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady said Friday the courthouse will be open Monday.

All the furniture and equipment removed from first-floor courtrooms and judges’ private offices last Friday as a precaution were being moved back in. The hub of the network system, which was taken upstairs last Friday, was in the process of being reconnected.

“We had so many volunteers last Friday to move the furniture,” Grady said. “Staff members just started helping, as well as court staff from Johnson County who came up to help, maintenance people and students from Xavier High School, who were helping all over downtown.”

“We couldn’t have done it last Friday without them,” Carroll Edmondson, court administrator added.

There is a seal commemorating the 2008 flood on the first floor and someone taped a paper note that added “and 2016 flood.”

“The benches weren’t moved out, but there were hundreds of chairs that had to be brought back down, tables and desks and bookshelves for the judges’ offices,” said Kellee Cortez, assistant court administrator.

“We’re just waiting on the network, and then we can get caught up on filings. Some of the clerks went to Jones County to work, along with at least one judge who handles the necessary court appearances for the week.”


Judge Christopher Bruns, who also helped with the manual labor, noted he’s an “old farm boy” and this was easy compared to dealing with manure.

Cortez on Friday said Bruns, along with other judges and court administration, helped organize the day, and then Bruns headed out to get pizza for courthouse staff.

The Linn County Attorney’s Office also moved back into the third floor on Friday, after temporarily being relocated to the Linn County Community Services Building.

The courthouse was closed from June through the end of September after the 2008 flood and courthouse operations and court proceedings were moved to Kirkwood Community College, the Palmer Building and Westdale Mall.

The first floor, which housed the clerk’s office and all the court files, was completely flooded. Thousands of court documents had to be restored, and the renovation of the courtrooms and offices wasn’t completed until 2012.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com



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