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Power outage relocates court

Torrential rains shorted the power at the Lincoln County courthouse, but that didn’t put court out of session.
District court relocated to the James W. Warren Citizens Center and superior court, which is being held this week, relocated to the county jail at the Harven A. Crouse Law Enforcement and Detention Center.
“Instead of us hauling prisoners somewhere else totally, they decided to hold jail cases here,” said Bill Beam, chief deputy of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Prisoners in orange jumpsuits were taken into the law library one by one to have their pleas heard.
The setting, which was in a secure part of the jail, was quite a departure from the superior courtroom.
The small room with cinder block walls barely had room for lawyers, bailiffs and defendants.
Outside the law library, probation officers waited in a line of chairs for their time to testify.
Even with the crowded conditions and plastic chairs, the proceedings had a formal atmosphere.
Before each case was heard, the judge asked the defendant if they understood why court was being held in the jail and if they had a problem with the circumstances.
The courthouse lost power Wednesday, and it was returned on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m.
“There was so much rain it shorted out the underground line,” said Susan Spake, director of Emergency Management.
Spake’s office as well as the Magistrate’s office never lost power. Both offices are in the basement of the courthouse and depended on a generator. by Sarah Grano

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