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Jury Duty Resumes In Harris County

Jury duty had been cancelled since floodwaters damaged the Criminal Justice Center and jury assembly building

Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune
Hurricane Harvey severely damaged Houston’s 20-story Criminal Justice Center, taking out dozens of courtrooms, countless offices and enough holding cells to accommodate 900 inmates.


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Jury trials resume in Harris County after weeks of postponement due to Hurricane Harvey. Hundreds of jurors returned to the downtown court complex Monday morning.

County Court at Law Judge Darrell Jordan said now the courts can sort through a backlog of cases.

“Well, what we’re doing in the criminal courts is we’re taking the jail cases first. For everyone who has remained in custody who’s waiting for their day in court, they will have precedence over the people who are waiting at home. And so we want to get them in and out as soon as possible, and then from there we’ll move on to the bond docket,” Jordan said.

Portable bathrooms have been set up behind the building on Preston so that potential jurors don’t have to go up and down the stairs or elevators searching for restrooms. Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel mailed new notices to thousands of potential jurors with the new locations for court and jury meetings.

As usual, Judge Jordan said jurors can reschedule. “And this is just always, if you have jury duty and you can’t make it, you can always go online and move the date back or reschedule it.”

Criminal Court judges are sharing courtrooms with fellow judges in the civil and family law buildings.

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