The Miami-Dade Internal Services Department has advised Eleventh Judicial Circuit leaders that a comprehensive study of the Dade County Courthouse by engineers is currently underway, with their findings and recommendations expected to be available within 30-45 days.
This comprehensive evaluation of the courthouse follows an engineering report provided to the Court after 4 p.m. on July 9th, which recommended evacuation of floors 16 and above as well as further study and some immediate repairs.
“The courthouse is inspected after every tropical storm, including as recently as Tropical Storm Eta this past November, and we were assured at all times, prior to last Friday, that the building was safe for occupancy. Because this latest report called for a partial evacuation of the building, we decided it would be best to evacuate the entire building until a more comprehensive assessment could be conducted,” said the Honorable Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge of the Miami-Dade Courts.
“At this time, we do not know when we can occupy the building fully again, but we will wait for firm assurance that the building is safe for occupancy,” she said. Based on currently available information, it is expected that the closure will last at least through the summer. Updates will be provided as soon as new information becomes available.
In the immediate short term, judges formerly located at the Dade County Courthouse will return to holding virtual court hearings via Zoom. Jury trials will continue to be held live, but at alternate courthouse facilities, assigned case by case, at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse, and the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building.
The judges of the Circuit & County Civil Division and the Probate Division are grateful for the cooperation of their colleagues and the Herculean efforts of the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Clerk of Courts so that they may continue to deliver fair and efficient justice.
Those with upcoming trials should review the presiding judge’s web page for any update. Please note that alternate locations for trials will not be assigned until after the case has been called up during a “calendar call,” where the parties inform the court on their readiness for trial.
Most other court proceedings will likely return to Zoom, however those with upcoming hearings should contact the presiding judge’s office to confirm the location of their hearings.
The Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office has moved all counter services formerly located at the Dade County Courthouse to alternate facilities. Those new locations are listed on the Clerk’s Office website here.
A new Civil and Probate Courthouse is under construction and anticipated to open in 2024. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit is grateful for the wise decision by County leaders to build the new courthouse, and will continue to collaborate with the County as it quickly addresses the issues at the Dade County Courthouse.
Please continue to visit the Miami-Dade Courts online and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @miamidadecourts.
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