Court services in Loudon County will reopen in a temporary location on Monday after a fire devastated the counties’ historic courthouse on Tuesday evening. The old courthouse is severely damaged and housed civil circuit court, criminal court, and chancery court for the county.
The Loudon County Clerk and Master and Loudon County Circuit Court Clerk will be relocated, and many basic court procedures including motions and hearings will be heard, at the old Loudon City Hall, at 201 Alma Pl., Loudon, starting Monday. Jury trials will be held in the new Loudon City Municipal Building, at 2480 Highway 72 North, Loudon. Child support hearings will be held at the Loudon County Justice Center, at 12680 Highway 11 in Lenoir City, on Fridays until further notice. In addition, criminal court the week of April 29–May 3 will also be held in the Loudon County Justice Center. Starting May 6, criminal court will also be held at the old Loudon City Hall building.
“The loss of our courthouse is devastating for this community,” said Judge Michael S. Pemberton, who serves the 9th judicial district as a circuit court judge. “But, it is amazing how the courts, law enforcement, county, and city officials have come together over the past 12 hours to make a plan to keep the courtroom doors open. This is going to be a long road, but I am confident we can continue to serve the people of Loudon County.”
Both the Loudon County Circuit Court Clerk and Loudon County Clerk and Master offices, which are charged with maintaining court records, were located in the historic courthouse. Firefighters made a valiant effort to remove the court’s computer servers, which had been backed up. An initial review by the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts shows the servers do not appear to have suffered fire, smoke, or water damage. Records that were maintained electronically, including the circuit court case management system, were saved. However, other records, including paper items submitted as evidence in court or paper records filed in chancery court, may have been damaged by fire, smoke, or water. The process to salvage as many paper records as possible is ongoing.
The Loudon County Circuit Court Clerk will continue to receive mail at: P.O. Box 280, Loudon, TN 37774 and the Loudon County Clerk and Master will continue to receive mail at P.O. Box 509, Loudon, TN 37774
General sessions, juvenile, and probate courts are held in a different facility, which was not affected by the fire, in Loudon County.