Courthouse to partially reopen Monday following electrical fire

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse will partially reopen on Monday, July 15th. It was closed all of last week while the building was cleaned from smoke damage from an electrical fire last weekend.

Crews worked through the weekend to get the building ready to open Monday.

"I'm not gonna open the door and let the public in until we're 100% sure it's safe," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said.

Last week, County officials said barring unforeseen circumstances, the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the Courthouse will be open to the public on Monday.

Opening those floors will allow all Criminal, Family, Small Claims Cases and Jury Trials to resume on Monday.

"We want operations on five through seven to be as normal as possible, but you know that's a big step," Abele said.

The smoke damage is more extensive on the other levels of the Courthouse and will require a longer cleanup, but crews are working hard to get that done as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, large generators continue to run to power the building.

"We're on our third set of generators, so we've got full power and full backup for the whole building," Abele said.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement Sunday:

The entrances to the Courthouse on 10th and 9th Streets are closed, however people, including employees, can use the Courthouse entrance on Wells Street. People can also use the entrances to the Safety Building or Criminal Justice Facility and take the skywalk to get to the Courthouse.

Security has doubled up scanning machines and staff on the Wells Street entrance to help handle any extra traffic. Anyone requiring handicap accessibility should enter through the Criminal Justice Facility and will be directed from there.

Part of the fourth floor as well as the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the Courthouse are cleaned and will be open. Opening these floors allow all Criminal, Family, Small Claims Cases and Jury Trials to resume. Most other services including, Marriage Licenses, are available for the time being off-site.

Some areas of the Courthouse, including the north end of the basement, the offices on the north end of the first floor and the entire second and third floors, remain closed for cleaning and restoration. We request that only people who need be in the building show up.

“This has been an unprecedented time for Milwaukee County and I want to thank all of the employees who have taken this in stride and helped us maintain the many important services we provide,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “I want to especially thank Chief Judge Jeff Kremers and the Court System for their flexibility and an extra special thanks to the County Facilities, Risk Management, IT employees, Security Officers and Sheriff’s Department staff who are working 24 hours a day to make sure this cleanup is done safely and is getting done as quickly as possible.”


    The following services remain available off-site:

    County Clerk

      Register of Deeds

        Child Support Services

          Other Functions