Reorganization Means District Court Must Move

January 24, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

The Anne Arundel County District Court must find a new home because of a statewide reorganization of courthouse employees.

Voters passed a referendum in November that transferred supervision of the Clerkof the Court's office in the 23 counties and Baltimore from the comptroller to the judicial branch. That doubled the size of the Circuit Court's work force and requires more administrators, District Court Chief Judge Robert Sweeney said.

Sweeney said judicial officials want to build a new district courthouse and convert the existing court building, adjacent to the stateCourt of Appeals, into administrative offices for the state court system.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, in his proposed $815 million capital budget, has asked the General Assembly for $1.3 million to acquire a site and begin designing a new district court building in 1992.

The total price tag for the new district court building will be about $6 million, Assistant State Court Administrator Michael O'Malley said. The cost will rise as the building is expanded to include other state offices, he said.

If the General Assembly approves the money, court officials will look for a site immediately outside Annapolis, O'Malley said. Construction could be complete and the building occupied by June 1994, he said.

O'Malley and Sweeney said the caseload of Anne Arundel's District Court has outgrown the two floors it occupies in the 17-year-old court building, located behind the Department of Natural Resources off Taylor Avenue and Rowe Boulevard.

"TheDistrict Court judges will be happy to move," Sweeney said. "They are a little cramped right now."

The new building will reunite many related services, including parole and probation, which had been scattered throughout Annapolis as space became increasingly tight, O'Malley said.

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