Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / News / No snow day likely for area courts

No snow day likely for area courts

Snow might delay justice in St. Louis area courtrooms today, but it won’t deny justice.

The National Weather Service forecast 3 to 5 inches of snow mixed with sleet by this morning with the possibility of another 2 inches falling today. But judges, lawyers, litigants and other courtroom personnel won’t have their faces pressed to the TV, waiting to hear of a snow day closing.

The St. Louis County Circuit Court will be open, “no matter what,” said Paul Fox, the court’s director of judicial administration. But that doesn’t mean the snow won’t affect the court’s dockets.

“Each individual judge may make their own arrangements,” he said. “If you have something on the docket, check with the division you’re supposed to appear in to make sure everything is set.”

The U.S. District Court, located in downtown St. Louis, will likely remain open, according to Jim Woodward, the court clerk. Typically, when the area is hit with the type of weather that’s expected, the judges will delay the start of a trial by a few hours, he said.

Two jury trials began yesterday, so the plan is to call jurors if court will be starting late, Woodward said. How late the trials might start depends on the weather conditions and how far jurors have to travel, he said. The central third of the Eastern District of Missouri consists of 15 counties and the city of St. Louis.

“Some of our jurors come from a great distance away,” Woodward said. “Obviously, we don’t want to put any juror in jeopardy. … We’re not going to ask them to travel if it’s not safe.”

Any decision to close the Carnahan Courthouse and the Civil Courts Building or to operate on a later schedule in the city of St. Louis will be made at 5 a.m. today. Presiding Judge David L. Dowd is the one who makes the call – literally – to the court’s facilities manager, who records an announcement on the court’s weather line. Employees, lawyers and litigants should call 314-622-4427 to find out what’s happening in the city’s circuit court.

“We hope it doesn’t snow so we can continue to turn the wheels of justice here in the 22nd Circuit,” Dowd said.