History of the Walworth County Courts and Clerk of Circuit Court Office
After many years of discussion and effort on behalf of many, the decision to build the
Judicial Center on Hwy NN adjacent to the Law Enforcement Center, now known as the
Walworth County Sheriff’s Department, was made. This new facility would be more
efficient and more secure for all users.
The Walworth County Clerk of Circuit Court Office and the Circuit Courts began moving
into the new Judicial Center on April 1
through April 4
2005. It was the excellent
coordination between the Courts, CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs),
Information Technology, Facilities, and the moving company, that produced a fairly
seamless move of the Courts, Clerk of Circuit Courts Office, Security, Child Support and
the District Attorney’s office.
The Courts and Clerk of Circuit Court Offices were previously in what is known as the
Government Center in downtown Elkhorn. We occupied the entire second floor and the
east and west wings of that building. Clerk of Court’s records were stored on the 2
floor, the old jail cells in the west wing, the basement, and rooms in the old Annex
building. Staff was divided on the two floors; files were being shuffled around the
building for all court hearings; there were no secure areas for staff, public funds, victims,
witnesses and all parties to the court cases. Prisoners were shackled and transported by
deputies to court hearings on both floors, using the same hallways as witnesses, victims
and their families, staff and the public.
The new facility allows for three separate circulation paths for the courts. There are now
separate secure areas for staff, the public, and for the prisoners. Court files are located
either on the second floor or in the basement. Having files in two secure areas is a
significant benefit to the office. Staff does not have to shuffle files around the building.
That allows for better record keeping, fewer opportunities for files and documents to be
lost or misplaced.
The current facility includes:
2 Calendar Kiosks that allow the parties to find the times and locations of their hearings.
A kiosk is located on the first floor and the third floor.
The video conferencing system was upgraded to all circuit courtrooms
that allows for
video conferencing from the jail; from the prisons and from mental health facilities. The
system allows for video in lieu of phone testimony if appropriate.
The Clerk of Circuit Court collections staff is now located in a convenient location for
quick access for payments, establishing payment plans and handling all other collection
The building allows for secure access for employees, the public and prisoners.
Wi-fi wiring has been installed for high-profile court cases, the media and the public.
The large courtroom, (ceremonial courtroom) was designed for two jury panels for
multiple defendants. This could be a substantial cost savings to the taxpayers when
multiple defendants are facing different charges resulting from the same incident. The