Last summer, the Duval County Courthouse moved from Bay St. It moved to another location in downtown Jacksonville on Adams St. The courthouse opened June of 2012. It was scheduled to open earlier, but did not due to failed inspections. Read Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers article “Jacksonville Lawyer with Duval County Courthouse Information” for the story. As a Jacksonville criminal attorney, one of the biggest impacts on my practice was the relocation of traffic court and injunction court. Traffic court was formerly located on Beach Blvd. Florida speeding tickets were handled here along with other Jacksonville traffic tickets. If you were given a notice to appear instead of being arrested, you would go to traffic court for your first court date. This has changed and everything is held in the new courthouse. Another change is for Jacksonville restraining orders. If you were petitioning for a restraining order or you were fighting a Florida injunction, you would go to the courtroom at the jail in the past. Now, Duval County attorneys will litigate injunction cases at the new court house.
The public defenders and state attorneys go to court almost every day, because they are often assigned to a courtroom or division. The public defender’s office is on Laura St. It is located 0.4 miles from the courthouse. The state attorney’s office is on Bay St. in the Courthouse Annex building. It is next to the old Bay Street courthouse. It is located 0.7 miles from the courthouse according to Google Maps. This is going to change after the next 16 months. The old federal courthouse will become the new Duval County State Attorney’s Office. The renovation “project is expected to cost about $26 million.” Channel 4 News Jax stated:
“The rehabilitation of the five-story building on West Monroe Street was originally proposed to occur a couple of years ago so the state attorney’s office would move near the new Duval County Courthouse when it opened last year. The building was gutted, but a lack of funding put the project on hold. ‘The building is fine, structurally sound,’ said Tom Goldsbury, of the city’s Planning and Development Department. ‘We have to cut some holes in it for the new stairwells to meet code. There are beams that have to be beefed up and things like that. There are no structural problems.’ Before the new courthouse even opened, Channel 4 documented the problems inside the building, even counted more than 50 broken windows, which allowed rain to get inside. ‘I go in it all the time to keep up on it,’ Goldsbury said. ‘Yes, there are windows broken out and water going in, but there is nothing in there but concrete.’”
This federal building is large. In order to keep costs down, only part of the building is going to be renovated and used. However, “the city did fund a third-floor secure walkover connecting the office with the courthouse after State Attorney Angela Corey insisted it was needed for security.” It should be noted that there has never been a walk walkover connecting the old courthouse to the state attorneys office in Jacksonville.