11:54, October 19 279 0 abajournal.com

2018-10-19 11:54:08
Several Florida courts remain closed after Hurricane Michael

Courts in seven Florida counties remained closed on Friday along with the federal courthouse in Panama City.

According to a list compiled by the Florida Supreme Court, courts were closed in the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington. The courts in Liberty and Gulf counties were scheduled to reopen on Monday, however.

The federal courthouse in Panama City will remain closed until further notice, according to the website of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. All trials, hearings and other matters requiring a personal appearance before the court will be handled in the division where the assigned district judge resides. Phone calls and mail delivery are being forwarded to the federal court in Pensacola.

Six of the counties with court closures are located in Florida’s 14th Judicial Circuit. In a press release, the circuit said courts were closed because of “damaged buildings, limited communications, restricted transportation and compromised technology.” All judges and staff were safe; although many experienced property damage.

“We are working hard, under difficult circumstances, to get our operations up and provide access to our courts as soon as is safe and possible,” Chief Judge Elijah Smiley said in the press release. “There are many challenges. Our faith is enduring, and our spirits are too large to be crushed by any storm.”

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