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Leaders share lessons learned following Hurricane Michael

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 08:51:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Leaders in Florida's legal system shared lessons learned following Hurricane Michael.

The powerful Category 5 storm caused billions in damage, but also brought the justice system to a halt in some parts of the state.

Courthouses were closed in some area for weeks due to damage. Staff had to work out of trailers for a time.

On Monday, court officials from the Panhandle told the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice what they went through during that time.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga said going forward, keeping the courts open, even in the aftermath of natural disasters, was extremely important.

"It is imperative that the people know, regardless of the situation they're in, that the rule of law is still in place," said Labarga.

Court officials said legal issues stemming from Michael will likely take years to resolve.

Five months into the year, Bay County courts alone have already eclipsed their total number of civil cases for all of 2018.