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Family court will stay put for time being

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By Walt Reichert

Family Court Judge John David Myles will have to wait for the new judicial center to be built before he gets to move his office.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) had been in negotiations with New Mount Zion Church to lease the Mulberry Building at 7th and Main streets to renovate that building into office space and a courtroom. But renovating the space would be cost-prohibitive given that the court will be moving into the new judicial center when it is built.

"We looked at it and it just was not cost-effective to renovate the building for a few year's use," said Garlan VanHook, executive director of the department of facilities for the AOC.

But VanHook said the AOC will try to get Myles more room.

"Judge Myles does a great job there," VanHook said. "We hope we can help him out by leasing a few small spaces."

Myles said the AOC will likely lease space adjoining his law office on Main. The new space would allow him to hire a social worker, he said.

Myles currently shares office space in the Shelby County Courthouse with circuit and district judges. He also shares a secretary with District Court Judge Donna Dutton. Myles is family court judge for Shelby, Anderson and Spencer counties.

Myles, along with circuit and district courts, will move into the $18-million judicial center planned for the block of Fourth Street between Main and Washington. The county has moved to acquire the property by eminent domain.

Myles said the AOC will reimburse New Mt. Zion for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in getting an architect to work on renovating the Mulberry Building.