Jackson County Courthouse reopens after being closed for weeks for repairs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Courthouse reopened Tuesday morning. It’s been closed for weeks after two separate water line breaks caused damage inside. Court cases and other services have been rescheduled or relocated since January 31. Now, the low humming of fans drying what’s left of the water damage is whispering to those inside that there is still work to be done. Although the building is open, five damaged courtrooms are still unusable, administration offices are closed and two elevators still out of commission. The county said insurance will cover most of the damage, but it hasn’t given out a cost estimate. Folks who waited nearly three weeks to use the downtown courthouse were finally able to walk in and take care of business Tuesday. A woman named Shirley, who asked FOX4 to only use her first name, said she was worried that it might be too crowded but got a pleasant surprise. “I had a good experience at the courthouse. They were open. There were not long lines for the business. We were taken care of. Everybody seemed to know what they were doing,” she said. “It was not bad at all.” But it wasn’t so easy for everyone. Carl Carter received a notice in the mail to reschedule a court date while the courthouse was closed. “I tried to get them on the telephone and couldn’t do anything, so I said I am going up now to see if I can get the judge to put me on another docket,” Carter said. “I am handicapped, and I am circling the block about 12 times before I could find a place to park.” Other county buildings like the Jackson County Courthouse in Independence have been carrying the weight during the shut down and are still overwhelmed. After waiting an hour to pay her personal property taxes in a line that didn’t move, Laura Martinez gave up and headed downtown. “I just decided to come down here today. It is a free day,” she said. “They said it is going by pretty quick though.” Although there were not many complaints on the first day back, county officials suggest allowing extra time for business in the downtown courthouse until everything is up and running as normal.

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