Harvey-damaged main criminal courthouse in Houston reopens

June 4, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — Part of the Hurricane Harvey-damaged main criminal courthouse in downtown Houston has reopened amid $70 million in continuing repairs since last summer’s storm.

A spokesman for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says four floors of the Criminal Justice Center resumed limited operations Monday. Joe Stinebaker says the 14 courtrooms will handle jail dockets, such as initial appearances by defendants, but no trials yet.

Stinebaker had no timetable on when other repaired parts of the courthouse would reopen, saying that depends on what federal funds are available and when.

The newly opened courtrooms are on the 17th through 20th floors of the structure, which suffered significant basement and other flood-related damage from heavy rainstorms after Harvey made landfall in late August. The entire Criminal Justice Center had to close.