Local News

Court session delayed after courthouse fire

Posted March 28, 2010 11:00 a.m. EDT

— A fire that ravaged the Chatham County Courthouse Thursday has forced Superior Court to delay criminal proceedings, but prosecutors vow that the loss of some records won't stop cases.

Superior Court has been canceled for Monday and Tuesday. Those cases will be held starting Wednesday morning in the District Court building across the street from the destroyed landmark in Pittsboro. Judge Allen Baddour will preside.

Prosecutors are trying to re-create files lost in the courthouse fire with the help of the state Administrative Office of Courts, local law enforcement agencies and the Chatham County Clerk of the Courts' Office.

That labor-intensive process could take more than 1,000 man-hours, Chatham County District Attorney Jim Woodall estimated.

"It's certainly a big project just to figure out where to operate from, how to operate," Baddour said.

Woodall vowed that all the prosecutions will continue.

"There is still going to be a lot of that material that we are just going to have to start from scratch, and we are going to have to do that in several hundred case files," he said. "No cases will be dropped because of the fire."