Courthouse users worried by its delayed opening | News

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Courthouse users worried by its delayed opening
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Weeks before moving from Bay Street, the clerk of courts advised anyone doing business on May 29 at the new courthouse to arrive at least an hour early.

But the grand opening will not happen on Tuesday, May 29 and those who use the courthouse daily are concerned. 

Derrick Spencer, president of Off the Chain Bail Bonds, has been sending his clients e-mails about a possible delayed opening and its impact on their cases.

"Our clients need from us to know their court dates and give them a court date if the courthouse is closed," said Spencer, "The scary part is if they miss their court date, then they will get warrants."

Spencer is using social media and any means available to keep his clients informed and out of trouble.

"We're sending out email blasts and putting messages on Facebook, so we're planning for the worst," said Spencer.

Attorney Paul Healy handles civil cases. Healy has put his cases on hold.

"It slows me down a little bit, we got things we need to file," said Healy.

The Mayor's office introduced alternative options on Friday afternoon, including:

-Use the old Duval County courthouse at 330 E. Bay Street.

-Shift some of the burden to the traffic courthouse branch on Beach Blvd.

-Borrow unused space from Clay and Nassau Counties.

-Move some cases into the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Jacksonville.

-Utilize unused office space in city-owned buildings

"The Beach Boulevard courthouse is out of space. Going back to the old courthouse, they have ripped everything out. What are they going to do set up folding card tables?" said Healy.

Chief Judge Donald Moran will have the final say if the city's option is acceptable. He was unavailable for comment.

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