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Connecticut Judicial Branch announces plans to reopen courthouses

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The state Judicial Branch on Friday announced plans to reopen multiple state courthouses, including New London’s G.A. 10 on Broad Street, as restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic are being lifted.

The Judicial Branch hopes to reopen the New London courthouse by May 17, along with courthouses in Derby, Manchester, Rockville and Putnam that also closed their doors for at least part of the pandemic.

“As more and more COVID restrictions are being lifted or modified and as more and more Connecticut residents are being vaccinated against the (coronavirus), the Judicial Branch is now in a position to cautiously and incrementally move forward with plans to further increase the scope and volume of judicial business being conducted by its judges and employees,” Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III said in a statement Friday.

The five courthouses are undergoing comprehensive inspections “with the goal of making any modifications to those facilities as may be required to allow for the safe, socially distanced return of courthouse staff and to further allow for the safe resumption of judicial business in those locations,” Carroll said.

In addition, the branch will be expanding the scope and volume of criminal dockets in all open G.A. courthouses by summoning a larger number of court cases every day, Carroll said. This method is meant to help judges, defense attorneys and state’s attorneys to more quickly reduce the pandemic backlog of pending criminal cases.

Carroll said the Judicial Branch will continue to monitor court operations and make necessary safety adjustments with the goal of returning to “near normal operations” over the course of the next few months.

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