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Barfield: Court 'still alive'

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By Jenny Hartley

Fires at the 6th Circuit Solicitor's Office and Lancaster County Courthouse haven't stopped the court system.

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield said Tuesday morning that the courts are "still alive."

"We have a pulse. We're still breathing," he said.

By the end of this week, Barfield will have a new office set up in the basement of the County Administration Building.

Anyone who needs to drop off documents and other materials for court may do so with County Building receptionist Esther Horton. The solicitor's office may be reached by the same telephone numbers listed in the phonebook – 283-3855 and 416-9367.

County officials have ordered cubicles and other office equipment for the solicitor's makeshift office, Barfield said.

"Everyone in the community has been very helpful to enable us to continue our operations," Barfield said.

He would not comment on what records or other materials were lost in the fire at his office last week. He did say that most records were able to be reproduced.

A second week of general sessions court continues this week at the Municipal Justice Center at 405 E. Arch St.

The murder trial for Michael Funderburk scheduled for this week was postponed by a judge.

Funderburk is charged with murder in the 2006 shooting death of Elandro Stradford, 19. Funderburk was 18 at the time of the incident, which happened behind the Lancaster Creamery convenience store on Memorial Park Road.

Court clerk, public defender move

Clerk of Court Jeff Hammond and Public Defender Mark Grier, who were also displaced by the courthouse fire, have found temporary offices in the County Administration Building basement.

Hammond and a deputy clerk have a "phone on a table and a chair each" in the basement right now.

"But help is on the way,' Hammond said. "We're a work in progress."

Civil court matters will be handled by clerk of court office staff at the Family Court building on Catawba Street. Fines and fees will not be accepted between 1 and 2 p.m. at the Family Court building, but filings will still be accepted during that time, Hammond said.

The clerk of court office phone number remains the same – 285-1581.

Public Defender Mark Grier said he was able to retrieve all of his pending case files from his damaged office at the courthouse.

His clients will come to the basement of the County Administration Building for appointments. The public defender phone number is 285-5585.

Still looking for court site

County officials are still looking for a temporary place to hold court sessions.

A site selection committee of Judge Brooks Goldsmith, Hammond, Barfield, Grier, Chief Deputy Barry Faile and County Administrator Steve Willis may make a recommendation to County Council on a temporary site later this week.

Officials considered the former Springs Global engineering building on 15th Street, but Willis said Monday that there are security and accessibility concerns with the building.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151