As a circuit court judge, I read with interest the Herald recommendation that the bond referendum on the ballot for funding to replace our 90-year-old courthouse isn’t yet ready for a Yes vote.
The suggestion is that somehow it’s feasible for us to relegate our court dockets to satellite courthouses and hearings in cyberspace.
Each of the satellite county court judges handles thousands of cases in their divisions such as in Coral Gables, where each judge handles 7,000 cases. Where would the 41 judges of circuit court go to conduct court?
Miami-Dade has the distinction of holding court in the oldest courthouse in the state. Each county in our state maintains a court system that’s safe, hygienic, structurally sound and adequate — except Miami-Dade County.
It’s not my place to question why, but it’s shameful that every day, the people who need our courts endure mold, structural damage, asbestos, dust, and flooding. Jurors, 800 per week, share three public restrooms.
Our elevators break down, the air conditioning system dates to the 1950’s and 41 judges share 22 courtrooms and this number is dwindling as courtrooms are sealed off to address mold and asbestos complaints.
We are simply desperate.
Lisa S. Walsh, judge, Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Miami