Brooklyn Courts wrestle with Sandy aftermath

As New Yorkers try to regain footing after the devastating storm that blew through the Northeast, Brooklyn’s legal community slowly returns to the business of justice and attending to client needs.  

The Brooklyn Supreme Court-Civil Term was open Wednesday after being closed the earlier part of the week. Attorneys who have trial and hearing dates but are unable to travel to the courthouse are advised that reasonable delays will be honored and adjournments can be sought.   

For jurors that have been summoned, the Kings County Clerk’s office asks that they call (866) 622-5879 after 5 p.m. for instructions. Jurors that are sitting on an active trial should have received a phone number to call for further information.

The Brooklyn Supreme Court-Criminal Term has opened limited parts.  At present, only the arraignment parts and parts with jailed defendants that have to make special applications are open. “We are trying to conduct business as usual, understanding that there will be a few setbacks,” noted a Supreme Court employee.

Judge Barry Kamins, administrator of the Criminal Court, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,  “We are hoping to expand [court services] Thursday and Friday. It takes a little time, but the important thing is that we are getting defendants arraigned. “

Jerry Schmetterer, director of public information for the Kings County District Attorney's Office, said, "Right now there is very little going on in the courts. At this point, we are covered for the little activity that is present. We will make sure to stay covered. Right now there are no trials on the calendar and there have not been any trials for the past three days." 
 
"We hope to have a bit more expansion beginning Thursday." 
 
With regard to trial adjournments, he said, "We will deal with those situations on a case by case basis as they happen."

For attorneys, the Brooklyn Bar Association is open and encouraging its members to come to its Remsen Street office to “charge cell phones or electrical devices such as a laptop or access email/internet.” In addition,  “rooms are available” for meeting clients.

As the courts and legal offices in Brooklyn start to return back to business as usual, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle will provide updates.