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Orleans County Court to resume jury trials this winter

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Orleans County Courthouse in Newport could soon return to hosting jury trials again.

After more than 20 months without a trial, the Vermont Judiciary and Department of Buildings and General Services have charted a course that could open the courthouse in a month-and-a-half. Officials cited problems with the HVAC system for not allowing trials. That has caused a backlog of hundreds of cases awaiting trial.

“What we need to do is we need to be able to basically heat the air or ventilate the air at the same time, so we are working with the judicial branch to do just that. So, for example, we will be adding a heating coil, and that kind of will be heating that cool air coming in and making sure the space is properly ventilated,” said BGS Commissioner Jennifer Fitch.

Attorneys in Orleans County have been asking the judiciary for months to find a solution. BGS also looked into commercial buildings for trials but they say that would have taken six to nine months to make that

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