By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Courthouse East is closed due to a big mess: a burst water pipe.

Mike Hellgren has the very latest on the situation.

It’s another example of the city’s aging infrastructure. The break happened on the fourth floor and there has been very little information from court officials. The building will reopen Tuesday, however.

A pipe burst and shut down Courthouse East. Sheriffs evacuated the building Monday morning but throughout the day, dozens of people–many with important court dates–tried the locked doors and were dismayed there was no notice on the court’s website. There was a handwritten note on the side door, saying the building was closed with no explanation.

“Very inconvenienced. I took off work to be here. Got my summons, everything, and nobody notified me for anything,” said Chenelle Johnson.

“We tried to call one of the assignment offices to find out what was happening, where we were supposed to be in trial, and we were told the courthouse is shut down so we just came to kind of see for ourselves,” said lawyer Brad Goldbloom.

Sewage may have leaked from the half-inch pipe, flooding carpets. There are fears it damaged part of the building’s electrical system.

Courthouse East is on the National Register of Historic Places. It dates to 1932 and was last renovated in 1990. It also houses a post office.

“We pulled up, paid for parking and here we go. It’s a waste of money, waste of gas, kinda inconvenient,” said Broderick Paschall.

Water was also shut off in the building, where at least one major trial was scheduled to start, leaving many lawyers, jurors and even those wanting marriage licenses outside and out of luck.

“I don’t want them to come back with a bench warrant saying he didn’t show up. It’s real inconvenient; he could have been at work today,” said Jackie Stanley.

The break occurred over the weekend and so the water had been flowing for days.


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