Milwaukee County Courthouse will partially reopen Monday

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by Jesse Tovar
by Lane Kimble

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse will partially reopen Monday, July 15.  County Executive Chris Abele announced the progress late Thursday afternoon.  The building has been shut down since an aging electrical system sparked a fire Saturday.

Workers have been on site around the clock and will work though the weekend. As of right now, the fifth, sixth, and seventh floors of the Courthouse will be open to the public starting Monday. Damage is more extensive on other levels of the building and will take longer to repair, but crews are working hard to get that done as soon as possible.

"We're just all kind of making room for each other," one courthouse employee said.
 

People and more than 1,000 employees haven't had access to the building since Saturday's electrical fire.  Some services came back Wednesday and Thursday, but all off-site.

Maria Hernandez hoped to get a birth certificate, but like so many people still Thursday, she was turned away.  Instead she had to go to the health department on Broadway.

"At least by a phone call," Hernandez said.  "If they won't send me a letter, a phone call would be good."

Not everyone's struggling with finding the temporary offices around town.

"I'm not frustrated, I'm quite happy," Mercedes Parchment said.

Parchment and her fiance neil called ahead.  Turns out they had to go to 28th and Wells for their marriage license.

"I had to call around to find out what to do," Parchment said.  "But when you got through to them, you got good information."

A little adjustment everyone needs to make for now, Including the employees currently in office limbo.

"It's been kind of fly by the seat of our pants," Interim budget director Josh Fudge said.

The county budget office's temporary home is in the Coggs Building on Vliet street along with the Child Support Services.  They're still able to take care of most of their work remotely.

"We have access to our network files, you know on our computers, our budget software we're able to do all that," Fudge said.  "There really hasn't been anything we haven't been able to do."
 

For the rest of this week the following services will remain available, please note the new locations:

Courts
 

Individuals who want to file or get information on courtroom reassignment and any other information on their cases should go to room 117 of the Safety Building.  Criminal cases, restraining orders and injunctions, civil and criminal filings, criminal court records and intake court and preliminary hearing court are in session in the Criminal Justice Facility.

Electronic filing remains available through the wicourts.gov website.

County Clerk
 

Wedding licenses are available in room 105 at the City Campus building (2711 W. Wells St.)

Register of Deeds

The Register of Deeds department is recording the majority of real estate documents that are submitted. These electronically submitted documents (eDocs) are being processed remotely.

Register of Deeds is unable to sell vital records copies but records of birth and death events that occurred within the Cities of Milwaukee and West Allis can be obtained from the health departments of those cities. All other county birth, death and marriage records can be obtained from the state vital records office in Madison.

Department of Family Care

The Department of Family Care has moved their entire operations off-site and continues serving all of their 8,000 clients of older adults, and people with intellectual and physical disabilities. 

Child Support Services

Milwaukee County Child Support Services will run a satellite office from 9am – 3:30 p.m. at the Marcia P. Coggs Building (1220 W. Vliet Street).

Limited services will be available, but Child Support staff will be on site to meet with participants with child support concerns, and accept payments.
 

Income withholding notices will still be processed by Milwaukee County staff temporarily working from the Waukesha County Courthouse.

The Wisconsin State Child Support trust fund remains operational, and is processing and crediting payments at this time.

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