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Due to burst pipe, DeKalb County Courthouse closed, jury trials suspended until April

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Due to burst pipe, DeKalb County Courthouse closed, jury trials suspended until April

DeKalb County Courthouse in downtown Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The judicial tower of the DeKalb County Courthouse in downtown Decatur is closed to the public until further notice due to extensive water intrusion and damage from a pipe that burst in December 2022.

All jury trials are suspended until April 3.

“Due to health and safety concerns, and to allow repairs to proceed as expeditiously as possible, authorization to enter the judicial tower will only be granted in limited circumstances,” Chief Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson wrote in her order on Jan. 12. “All person who enter the judicial tower shall be escorted by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office into and out of the judicial tower and shall not be left unattended.”

The only exception made will be for grand jury indictments. The probate court courtroom on the first floor of the courthouse will remain open to the public so grand jury indictments can happen in open court, Jackson said.

DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry announced on Christmas Day that the court would be closed from Dec. 27 through Jan. 3 due to a water pipe bursting and flooding multiple areas in the clerk’s office, which is on the ground floor of the courthouse.

In the order, Jackson said the public is free to see the return of indictments by a grand jury, but will not have access to other portions of the judicial tower.

“They should then be allowed to enter if they wish and directed to the proper courtroom. No permission is needed for members of the public wishing to observe, and none should be turned away,” Jackson said.

All offices in the judicial tower will work remotely for now, and all services will be provided virtually or remotely.

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