Following months of wrangling over courtroom recording equipment, office furniture and other items, the East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court is finally moving from its old City Hall quarters into the new 19th Judicial District Courthouse across the street.
Family Court, which held court on the ninth floor of City Hall at 222 St. Louis St. for the last time Thursday, will open for business Monday on the fourth floor of the adjacent 19th JDC high-rise at 300 North Blvd.
The 19th JDC building opened in November, but the fourth floor reserved for Family Court has sat vacant.
“It’s very exciting,’’ Family Court Judge Pam Baker said of the long-awaited move. “I think it will be good for the public.’’
The 19th JDC fronts North Boulevard between St. Louis and St. Ferdinand streets.
Baker said recording equipment for the new Family Court courtrooms and furniture for Family Court offices were the main holdups in the court moving into the new 19th JDC building. The recording equipment issue was resolved several months ago when the 19th Judicial District Building Commission purchased the equipment, she said.
In July, the commission told Family Court it could borrow furniture from several furnished 19th JDC courtrooms that have no judges assigned to them, Baker added.
Finally, the commission last month gave Family Court permission to build a reception desk area on the fourth floor near the elevators, she said.
“We still have issues,’’ the judge said. “We have been working hard to resolve our issues.’’
One of those issues is the $21,000 cost of the Family Court move, Baker said.
The commission is paying $6,000 of the moving expenses, she said.
“We still intend to address that issue with the commission,’’ Baker said. “We can’t bankrupt ourselves as a court to pay for this.’’
Civil filing fees — but none from Family or Juvenile Court — are servicing the debt on the $100 million in state bonds sold for the 19th JDC project.
Baker’s fellow Family Court judges are Annette Lassalle, Lisa Woodruff-White and Charlene Charlet Day.