(WMC) - Environmental court is getting a new courtroom to help handle more than just environmental cases.
There have been many successful battles in Memphis' war on blight. Most of the cases end up in Division 14, the Shelby County Environmental Court. A new courtroom at 201 Poplar should reduce case loads, shorten wait times and make the county cash.
The area on the tenth floor of 201 Poplar is currently being converted from sheriff's office space to the new courtroom. It will join the current 2nd floor courtroom in clearing not only environmental cases, but county and highway patrol traffic cases also handled by Judge Larry Potter and a number of referees.
According to Judge Larry Potter, the problem is massive. He says they will have an additional courtroom to clear cases.
"The numbers are getting so large that we had to take a look at what we were doing," said Potter. "We wanted to be effective citizens, we don't want the citizens to have to come in and wait long periods of time and wait for their cases to be heard."
Potter says more cases means more fines and/or court costs. While this isn't the motive for more courtroom space, it's an added benefit for the county. Construction is being handled in-house and is expected to cost about $250 million.
"It is being done cheaply, as cheaply as it can be done," said Potter.
Potter hopes the new courtroom is ready for cases in the next couple of months.
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