State has yet to approve Middletown’s plans to move into former federal courthouse

Former Middletown federal court building

MIDDLETOWN – The wheels of government can turn slowly, but in the case of the City of Middletown’s effort to convert the former federal courthouse it purchased well over four years ago, Mayor Joseph DeStefano acknowledges it usually does not take this long.

Negotiations with the State Office of Court Administration have involved the number of the courtrooms – there is one in the building and the city would have to construct an addition for a second one.

The size of the facilities remains in question, the mayor said.

“COVID has changed everything. We are hoping that they need smaller courtrooms now because they are doing arraignments virtually and I think a lot of that is going to continue, even some courts are being taken care of virtually,” he said. The issue is flexible, “and hopefully we will have some changes,” the mayor said.

The current court facilities, adjacent to Middletown City Hall, has only one courtroom. The common council chambers double as a second courtroom as needed.

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