The Mecklenburg County Courthouse will be open during the week of the Democratic National Convention in September, but only a few courtrooms will be operating, court officials announced Tuesday.
There wont be any criminal trials during the week of Sept. 3-7. Police will be busy providing security when an estimated 35,000 people including delegates, protesters and 15,000 journalists are expected to descend on Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and most of the other local law enforcement agencies will begin 12 hours on 12 hours off shifts on Aug. 29, according to court officials. The shifts will have an impact on the trial courts as well as pre-trial readiness conferences in administrative court, officials said in announcing the courthouse schedule during the week of the DNC.
Mecklenburg Chief District Judge Lisa Bell told the Observer that the only trials that will be held that week will be civil domestic violence cases.
We are making every effort to experience as little disruption as possible to operating the courts we are required by law to run, Bell said. Were working with other agencies in the court system to make sure we run the courtrooms we have to run without inconveniencing the public. It will be difficult for people to get to the courthouse because of the DNC.
Among courtroom proceedings that will be operating: first-appearance hearings, bond hearings for criminal domestic violence cases, felony probation, probable cause and bond hearings, juvenile detention hearings and bond hearings for anyone arrested in connection with child support.
The clerks and trial court administrators offices will be open for business as normal the week of Sept. 3, court officials said. The courthouse, will be closed Sept. 3 for the Labor Day holiday but court officials will be holding a special session of court for first appearance hearings.
Access to the courthouse will be limited to the main entrance at McDowell and Fourth streets.
The Fourth Street parking deck will remain open and accessible to court personnel and the public during the entire week.