(see update below including the famous email closing the courthouse)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to court....(cue Jaws music)
THE DADE COUNTY COURT HOUSE HAS BEEN ORDERED CLOSED
AN ENGINEERS REPORT "RECOMMENDED" VACATING ALL FLOORS FROM 16 AND ABOVE
IN AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION NEW CHIEF JUDGE SAYFIE ORDERED THE COURTHOUSE EVACUATED
We broke this story Friday night on Twitter @justicebuilding before ANY media outlet had it.
They're gonna need a bigger courthouse (Jaws reference).
Judge Soto is relaxing and sipping a pina colada. This is all Sayfie's headache/nightmare now.
THE CIVIL COURTHOUSE IS UNSAFE- that bastion of summary judgment motions and debentured bonds lawsuits where answers to interrogatories generate tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and motions for production are hotly debated with string cites going back centuries- all of that fun and frivolity is on pause.
What to do? What to do?
If only the Judges had some way of working remote...but of course that has been abandoned as quick as you can say Pfizer vaccine.
It's a civil ZOOM PARTY and all the civil judges are invited. They will have to work remote until space can be found.
Quite the conundrum.
Stay tuned. The blog was made for this.
HERE IS THE EMAIL that went out last night:
Good evening,As many of you know we have been monitoring the status of the DCC closely. The most recent inspection was in November 2020. In the wake of the Surfside collapse there was a thorough inspection done last Thursday. We expected the report the following day. After demanding and finally receiving the structural report late this afternoon, they are requesting that the 16th floor and above be evacuated pending further inspection.In an abundance of caution we are going to evacuate ALL court personnel from DCC until we are satisfied that the building is safe.Please arrange to conduct all DCC court business remotely beginning Monday, July 12th. We will start making arrangements for jury trials and/or other in person hearings to be conducted in the other courthouses as soon as we can. If you need to go to DCC to get your computer or other supplies please do so as soon as you can.I know that this is surprising and unsettling. I promise that you will get information as soon as we have it. In the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to call me, Judge Soto or Judge Bailey.Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge11th Judicial Circuit of Florida(305) 349-5720
First, kudos to Judge Sayfie for moving quickly and shutting the courthouse down. The engineers report recommended vacating floors 16 and above. So if your fav civil judge happened to be working on 7 or 12 and the top floors collapsed what do you think would have occurred? Judge Sayfie moved swiftly to keep everyone out of danger.
Second, luckily we have experience in working remotely for the last 18 months. The biggest issue will be all of the cases that have been waiting to be tried. Just at the time when criminal court is getting back to trying cases as well.
WE HAVE A SUGGESTION: In the late 1980's 1990's the late Circuit Judge Tom Carney as well as Judge Lenny Glick and a few others ran a back-up trial division in which trials ran half days. 9-12 for one case, 1-5 for the second. Judge Sayfie should consider that for the REGJB, where the civil judges could come in and try their cases for half a day.
ALSO there are some traffic magistrate courts on 1 in the REGJB that should be given to the civil judges to allow them to try cases.
AND FINALLY, because we are who we are, if we keep this story quiet, perhaps we can arrange a trade with Broward, where the Broward judges come down and use the Miami Civil Courthouse and our judges use their new courthouse. Because even if the civil courthouse collapsed full of....nah...even we aren't that mean towards those robe wearing tyrants north of the boarder.