In rare move, Milw. Co. Courthouse will shut down Tuesday

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse is shutting down on Tuesday, January 28th due to the extreme cold. The decision includes postponing all scheduled court dates, and will affect hundreds of cases and thousands of employees. The Courthouse hasn't shut down since this past summer, when an electrical fire forced a closure that lasted over two weeks.

"This is about the coldest I remember it being out here," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said.

We're told it is a rare occasion in Milwaukee to close the Courthouse -- but that is what is happening on Tuesday. There will be no paying of fines, and no court cases.

"That schedule stacks up quickly. People put those dates, they build a calander around being in court for a day and that's hard to do. We take that seriously and we try not to inconvenience folks," Abele said.

The majority of the County's 4,000 employees will be staying home -- with only essential staff coming in.

"It's not taken lightly because people have waited particularly long periods of time to get their cases to court," Clerk of Court John Barrett said.

"That's why we are always very hesitant and why in fact, last time we had a cold day, courts didn't close, but (Tuesday) they are going to close. We've reluctantly accepted that," Abele said.

The shutdown will affect lawyers like Joe Redding, who was scheduled to be in traffic court on Tuesday. He says he doesn't imagine it is easy for the Courthouse to reschedule its entire day.

"It will be daunting but since this happened back in July with the fire, I'm assuming the court has some experience with that, and so is the way of the world of law," Redding said.

Redding and a lot of other lawyers will be calling clients and reworking their week.

Anyone with a court matter scheduled for Tuesday should report at the same time on Wednesday, January 29th.