Judge Peter Weinstein Seeks Changes To New Fort Lauderdale Courthouse

, Daily Business Review


Peter Weinstein
Peter Weinstein

Jurors do not have to pay for parking. But the daily fee is imposed on staff, attorneys and anyone else with business in the courthouse.

Weinstein suggested the bar association should take a more active role and get its membership to contact commissioners directly.

Looking ahead to 2015, the judge said the big move into the new courthouse will begin at the end of summer.

"We'll have a 90-day window to move in. We have a contractor. It's called Two Guys and a Truck," Weinstein joked. All of the divisions are expected to be moved in by the end of 2015.

One major glitch with the move that has not been resolved is furniture, Weinstein added. The commission decided much of the existing furniture is not environmentally acceptable. The county objects to materials with synthetic materials that can "outgas" volatile organic compounds.

Weinstein asked the state for $500,000 for new furniture and was turned down. He then discussed it with the state Trial Court Budget Commission but got nowhere.

Weinstein said he then went back to the county and warned, "I'm telling you right now, we're going to move this furniture, and you're going to have to deal with it."

The south wing of the existing courthouse—which has often been criticized by its occupants as a "sick" building—faces demolition after the move.

Last October, the county reached a $166,500 settlement in a lawsuit filed by former prosecutor Stefanie Krathen Ginnis, who claimed she suffered severe sinus damage because of courthouse mold.

Another 18 lawsuits filed by current or former courthouse employees are pending.

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