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Renovations underway at the Clark County Judicial Center

Exterior of the Clark County Judicial center in Jeffersonville.
Aprile Rickert
Renovations are underway at the Clark County Judicial Center in Jeffersonville, which now has more space for court operations since the county government offices moved to a new building at River Ridge earlier this year.

For years, the Clark County courts and government offices were housed in the same building on Court Avenue in Jeffersonville.

Space was tight and got tighter in 2021, when two new courts were added to help with the growing caseloads.

Earlier this year, the county government offices moved to a new building in River Ridge, giving the courts and related offices more space in the Clark County Judicial Center.

Now, renovations are underway at the center, which court officials say will help with efficiency and public experience.

Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael, who’s also the presiding judge in the county, said there’s already been some crowding relief with the county offices separated from the courts.

“Those who need to come to court or to probation can come to this building, and now that's all that's going to be done here,” Carmichael said. “And I think that’s just better for everybody.”

Nick Karaffa, who was recently sworn in as judge for Circuit 1, served for the past two years as the Clark County court administrator.

He said the first phase of the renovations will include two new courtrooms on the first floor, for the new Clark County Superior Court Nos. 5 and 6.

Judges Abe Navarro and Kyle Williams will hear cases there, moving from the makeshift spaces they’ve been using in other parts of the building since being sworn in mid-2021.

Karaffa said during that crunch, the county offices and judges pulled together and “tried to make the situation work for the time being.”

Carmichael said the new courtrooms will be a “wonderful addition and something that’s desperately needed.”

“But you know, even with the renovations that are going on now, there's always going to be a need for more space,” she said. “We're continuing to grow.”

There will also be two magistrate courtrooms on the first floor, along with the public defender and community corrections offices.

The second phase includes renovating the fourth floor to hold probation offices.

Renovations also include modernizing the decades-old facility, such as making Wi-Fi more accessible.

“I think based on where we are with construction in the plans that everything's going to be as modern as possible, and it’s going to be pretty top notch,” Karaffa said.

The first phase of renovations is expected to be done by mid-2023.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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