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Brooklyn’s State Supreme courthouses adapt to a busy reopening

June 10, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The two busiest courthouses in America are most likely Brooklyn’s New York State Supreme Court for Civil Matters at 360 Adams St. and for Criminal Matters at 320 Jay St.

While the pandemic made backlogs even worse, adaptations for remote filings and conferences on non-jury cases continued to function.

Now, with staffing back in place and the use of jurors restored on a limited basis, court officers face a daily daunting task of security and safety, since the general public is still not allowed in the courthouses.

Court officers outside the building will act as liaisons to provide direct phone lines to inside departments. Court clerks and other personnel are tasked with bringing “take out paperwork” to assist getting the court business done.

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Administrative Judge Lawrence Knipel literally patrols 360 Adams St. to assist and monitor the traffic levels and the clerks’ needs in dealing with the public.

People lined up to enter 360 Adams Street.

Jurors called to duty line up six feet apart, awaiting instructions to enter the building for jury selection process. Masks are required at all times inside the building.

Photos, seen here, by retired Court Officer Mario Belluomo captured the spirit of this continuing mission to keep the courthouse functioning.

From judges down to clerks, dress remains much more informal than pre-COVID.

Law Secretary Holly Peck wears gloves and a face mask to enter the building.


Surrogate Judge Margarita Lopez­-Torres enters the building for a busy day of zooms and conferences.


Always one of the earliest arrivals, even pre-­COVID: Justice Ellen Spodek.


Longtime Court Clerk Patty McHenry comes to work daily on her bicycle.


Judge Kathy King is escorted into the building by Court Officer Kenny Sessums.


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