East Fork court remodel done
The remodel of East Fork Justice Court was completed just as the coronavirus outbreak made it unpopular to show up in court in person.
Making the best use of the space, designers turned the courtroom a quarter-turn, increasing capacity in the gallery from 36 to 55 seats.
East Fork Justice of the Peace Cassandra Jones said the courtroom reused not only the original wood, but the original woodworker.
While it has been painted, the courtroom had been in its original state since 1981, when the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center was first constructed.
The jury box is smaller than the original, because justice court trials only have seven jurors and an alternate.
Jones pointed out there has only been one jury trial since she took the bench at the beginning of 2019.
Like the district courts on either side, Jones has artwork ready to hang on the walls of the courtroom.
A wild horse photo is compliments of photographer Troy Wright, a snowy landscape photo was compliments of photographer Vivian Powers, and Jobs Peak scene photo is compliments of photographer Gina Reiboldt.
East Fork is one of the busiest single-justice courts in the state.
Court Administrator Bobbie Williams said the remodel of the 40-year-old courtroom focused on accessibility.
“Funded entirely from designated funds and grants, with nothing coming from the general fund, this remodel will increase seating in the busiest courtroom in the county by about 25 percent,” she said. “Additionally, it will ensure that the general seating and jury box are ADA compliant.”
With a $21,145 grant from the Nevada Supreme Court, the remodeled courtroom incorporates advances in technology including upgrading the evidence presentation system to be on par with the district courts.
While the remodel increased seating in the Justice Court, it didn’t do much to alleviate overall concerns about overcrowding in the judicial center.
Minor changes have been ongoing in the center, including giving attorneys small offices where they can meet with clients.
Last week, county commissioners approved a measure to move the law library out of the center and into the Douglas County Public Library.