Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ruminations on Courthouse Flooding

“ I hope the entire building goes under water and vanishes from the face of the earth. I went through my divorce here at this "gulag" and I will NEVER forget the terrible things done to my children and I. The Broward County Court House, makes Guantanamo look like a Caribbean resort. This place has nothing to do with justice and many lives are destroyed daily. If it goes under, not many people will miss it.”
- A Miami Herald Blogger

The essence of any blog is commentary and opinion. The significance of the post above is that it reflects a very unfortunate experience of one litigant in our courthouse.

The blogger could care less that the elevators did not work, that the walls are full of toxic mold or that the building floods every Wednesday. People do not come to the courthouse looking for a five star resort. Those places are easy to find in South Florida. People come to a courthouse looking for justice. You do not find that in the walls or on the tiled floors. You find that in the heart and soul of the lawyers, prosecutors, courthouse staff and people that work there.

A courthouse is built by more than mortar and brick. Ours is ugly, archaic, and flooded, but if the trials are just, the lawyers are fair, the judiciary is independent and the administration faithful to due process, we will survive, even if you impaneled a jury on wooden benches from Coney Island with splinters shooting out of them.

A task force? Please!

You think we need a task force to tell us we need a newer building?

Just find us an architect, authorize the plans, fund the project, and build the building. I would not advise holding the meetings there, as even last week there was yet another flood, this time in the State Attorney’s office juvenile division, though a little too late for Lionel Tate.

You do not need a countywide vote or bond referendum. Ask Norman Brayman about that. Just let the county commissioners do as they have done before.
We can worry about the indictments after the building is up.

The latest flood ''is not as bad as ours, but it's all bad,'' Broward Clerk of Courts Howard Foreman said, referring to the December deluge. Great, now we have administrators bragging about who has the biggest, baddest flood.

The saddest part about this sad situation which renders everyone of influence in county planning for the past twenty years as sad sacks is we have seen this coming for years, even decades, and have done so little for so long. We created a patchwork which presently unraveled more quickly than Caroline Kennedy’s candidacy for the Senate in New York State. We are now cooked and we boiled the pot ourselves while we were in it.

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