By Marshanna Hester
Public Information Officer
Jackson County Executive’s Office

After an around-the-clock, 72-hour operation, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has announced that the downtown Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E. 12th Street, will re-open on Monday, February 4.

“The courthouse is an essential asset to our community,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “While work will need to continue in the coming weeks and months, I am proud to say that our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the building will be open for business as quickly as possible. I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time and will continue to ask for it as we move forward.”

“On behalf of myself and the members of the County Legislature, I’d like to thank all of the County associates and others who have worked tirelessly to get the courthouse open so quickly,” said Jackson County Legislative Chair Theresa Galvin, who represents the 6th District. “Our community should be proud of the County’s response to this very serious incident.”

During the overnight hours of Thursday, January 31, 2019, a large, underground water line outside of the downtown courthouse burst. The water from this line quickly filled the courthouse basement with approximately 10+ feet of water and thousands of pounds of mud and debris. The flooding caused damage to components of almost all major operating systems and in many cases, destroyed those components. 

Jackson County staff immediately mobilized, assessed the situation and implemented a plan to get the courthouse fully operational as soon as possible. Thanks in large part to the assistance and expertise of Kansas City Power and Light, the Kansas City Water Department and numerous county contractors, power and water service have now been restored to the courthouse. Crews remain on site and work will continue for days, weeks and months ahead.

“We are committed to not only returning the courthouse to where it was prior to the flooding, but also using this as an opportunity to kick-off significant improvements to the entire facility,” White said. “This courthouse has been entrusted to us by our community and we have a responsibility to be good caregivers.”

White is deeply grateful for the team work, innovative thinking and cooperation that has led to this point and would like to thank the following:

·       Jackson County Public Works Director Brian Gaddie, Facilities Administrator Rick Gerla and their entire team

·       Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

·       16th Judicial Circuit

·       Kansas City Power & Light

·       City of Kansas City

·       Kansas City Fire Department

·       R.F. Fisher Electric

·       ServPro

·       PAR Electric

·       Rand Construction Company

·       Tyco SimplexGrinnell

·       Schindler Elevator Corporation

·       Veolia Energy Kansas City

Though the downtown courthouse will be open Monday, the community is reminded that the County’s Collection, Assessment and Recorder of Deeds departments also offer services at the Historic Truman Courthouse, 112 W. Lexington Avenue in Independence, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., exclusive of observed holidays.

16th Judicial Circuit

Additionally, adult abuse hearings scheduled downtown for Monday, February 4 in Division 25 will be heard at the Criminal Justice Building, 1315 Locust Street. The hearings will take place at the time currently scheduled. Only the location has changed. The Criminal Justice Building is located a half block south of the downtown courthouse.

Litigants whose hearings were cancelled last Thursday and Friday due to the court closure downtown will receive a Notice of Hearing from the Court rescheduling their hearing. Litigants may also look on Missouri to see when a new hearing has been scheduled.