Size of new courtroom concerns officials

City manager Frank Bottorff, right, inspects the new city hall.

City manager Frank Bottorff, right, inspects the new city hall.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM.

Court officials have expressed concern that the meeting room in Havelock’s new city hall may not be big enough to handle district court cases.

City and court officials met last week in an attempt to find a solution.

Currently, district court cases are held in the commissioners meeting room at Havelock City Hall every other Thursday. However, in the new city hall that is expected to open in September, the commissioners meeting room is slightly smaller, prompting concerns among court officials.

“The number one issue was capacity,” District Attorney Scott Thomas said. “We routinely have anywhere from 100 to 200 or even 300 cases on any given court date in Havelock.”

Havelock’s current courtroom has a capacity of 94 people, but on court days, that is often not enough space for all of the defendants and witnesses to be seated. Typically there are about 15 court officials present, which include the judge, district attorney, defense attorneys, police officers, deputies, clerks, probation officers and others.

“This has been a concern of ours for years,” Thomas said.

The room in the new building will have a capacity of 84 people.

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