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Two new courtrooms opened Monday on the first floor of the Greene County Courthouse. They will be the new permanent home for a specially-created court division in the Greene County Judicial System.KSMU’s Erika Brame went to view the new courtrooms and files this report.
After studying Missouri’s courtrooms, the Missouri Supreme Court found that Greene County needed seven additional judges in order to meet its annual caseload. In response to the Missouri Supreme Court’s study, Greene County Presiding Judge Dan Conklin created an additional division for the extra cases to be heard.Division 25 is assigned associate civil court cases and small claims, which consist of small lawsuits and landlord disputes.The court began hearings in April at a temporary location in the Historic Courthouse just down the road.Jerry Moyer is the Greene County Courts Administrator.He says the judges presiding over the cases in Division 25 will alternate in from outside judicial districts.
“We have a partnership with some other courts around the state where they have agreed to send judges to help us out here. And those visiting judges are here manning Division 25. They’re holding court Monday through Thursdays,” he said.
He says the judges rotating in are paid by the state, and they serve at no cost to the county.Moyer says the courtroom is built with the economy in mind.“A lot of the work, a lot of the wood work and a lot of the benches and so forth was all done by county employees. And they’ve really done a great job,” he said.
He says the benches in the two new courtrooms are made from used church pews.The second court room is for the new Family Court Commissioner, a position which was approved in the state’s budget.For KSMU News, I’m Erika Brame.