Pandemic helps resolve Middletown City Court stalemate with state

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Middletown federal court building

MIDDLETOWN – The City of Middletown purchased the former federal court building downtown some five years ago, but has yet to open it as a city courthouse because the State Office of Court Administration wanted the city to bring it up to state specifications.

Mayor Joseph DeStefano said they have finally come to terms at a much lower price tag to the city.

“We have been fighting with the Office of Court Administration about building a second court facility in Middletown. They have been using the common council chambers,” he said. “They wanted us to build an $8 million court. We have said for five years, ‘no, we are not going to do that,’ and now with virtual courts becoming more of a reality, they have agreed to a downsized court under $3 million and we have reached an agreement with them in principle to do that.”

Original plans for the former federal building called for the construction of an additional courtroom, but specific details of the newly agreed-upon plan were not immediately known.