Criminal courts, which include Bradley County General Sessions Criminal Court and Bradley County Criminal Court, will continue to convene at the Bradley County Judicial Complex. Courts displaced by the courthouse fire will convene as noted below. A few courts have changed locations since last reported by the Times Free Press.
Bradley County Judicial Complex
2290 Blythe Avenue, Cleveland, TN, 37311
› Circuit Court (Judge Lawrence Puckett) — North Training Room
Bradley County Misdemeanor Probation Office*
2252 Blythe Ave., S.E., Cleveland, TN, 37311
› Circuit Court (Judge Mike Sharp) — Conference Room
*This court may sometimes be held at Cleveland City Court at 190 Church St. NE, according to the court clerk’s office.
Andrew Johnson Bank
555 N. Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311
› Chancery Court
Bradley County Juvenile Center
1620 Johnson Blvd., S.E., Cleveland, TN 37311
› Bradley County Juvenile Court
› Bradley County General Sessions Civil Court
› Bradley County Order of Protection Court
Cleveland Municipal Building
190 Church St., N.E., Cleveland, TN 37311
› Child Support Court — City Council Room
For more information on Bradley County courtroom locations and times of operation, the Bradley County Circuit Clerk’s Office has set up three phone lines: 423-728-7056, 423-728-7050 and 423-728-7049.
Source: Bradley County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County is back in business if you need to pay property taxes or renew license tags.
The county's clerk, trustee and register of deeds have temporarily set up shop at offices around town after a mechanical room fire forced the closure of the Bradley County Courthouse two weeks ago.
"It's been going really well and it's a good space," Bradley County Clerk Donna Simpson said of the old FSG Bank building at the Village Green on Keith Street, which will serve as home for her office for at least the next four months.
The office, which opened its new doors Oct. 10, offers drive-through service for tag renewals.
"As for my staff, they've gone above and beyond what's usually required of them," Simpson said. "This is definitely a team effort. The main thing is we are back up and running and serving the public."
She said a lot of people went out of their way to help her staff of 24 employees reset operations.
Jones Properties owns the building and did a lot of work to prepare it, while state Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, helped them borrow furnishings held in storage by Lee University, Simpson said. Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, and former county commissioner Connie Wilson helped with the internet connection.
Bradley County Trustee Mike Smith said he expects his office, now located in a former bank building at the corner of Keith and 17th streets, will be able to take collections today after installing a new server.
Bradley County Clerk
301 Keith Street, S.W., Cleveland, TN 37311
Bradley County Trustee
1701 Keith St., N.W., Cleveland, TN 37311
Bradley County Register of Deeds
217 Broad St., N.W., Cleveland, TN 37311
The one salvaged from the courthouse would not be up to the expected workload of collections for the imminent tax season, he said.
The damaged server ran, but "not optimally and not up to efficiency for this office environment," according to the software provider's emailed assessment.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis has estimated the courthouse could reopen as early as February, but Smith said his office won't be able to move back that soon because of tax season. The 2017 property tax bills will start going out in the next 10 days, he said.
"We need to stay through tax season, at least through the first or second week of March," Smith said.
The Bradley County Register of Deeds operation has moved to an office at the corner of Broad and Second streets, not far from its old courthouse home, and the Circuit Court Clerk's Office is operating in various locations including the sheriff's office and the juvenile justice center.
The Bradley County Commission will hold its meetings at the Bradley County Board of Education assembly room, located at the school system's central office at 800 S. Lee Highway, near Bradley Central High School.
Commission Chairman Louie Alford said the commission has been fortunate since it only had to move its office to the courthouse annex and the school board was generous enough to share the room.
Davis could not be reached to comment on courthouse damage assessments or whether the estimated reopening date has changed.
"We probably won't know anything about a time frame for another two or three weeks," Alford said, citing plans to coordinate fire-related repairs and renovations already approved before the fire happened.
Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @pleach_tfp.