After many years, the La Paz County Superior Court got a modernizing makeover this month, with new flooring, new furniture and audiovisual systems.
Clerk of the Court Megan Spielman told Parker Live that the improvements would be very helpful to juries, members of the public, attorneys, judges and others, bringing the Parker courtroom into line with other modern courtrooms in Arizona.
“We’ve added a system of video screens for everyone, including the judge and jury, and those sitting in the gallery,” Spielman said. “Before, we had to wheel some older equipment out and it couldn’t be seen properly by everyone. We’ve also got new microphones and 13 new ceiling speakers so everybody will be able to hear the proceedings really clearly, including the jury which has speakers of their own.”
Audiovisual systems are used extensively in courtrooms for displaying evidence, presenting diagrams and maps, playing recorded material like video and audio, and live videoconferencing. The display upgrade includes two 80-inch monitors, four 22-inch desk monitors and cabling.
The modernization initiative also provides a new audio conferencing setup, which is frequently used at La Paz Superior Court.
“We have a lot of people participating over the telephone or videoconference, attorneys and witnesses and others. Everybody in the courtroom will now be able to hear both sides of the conversations and it will be a really big improvement,” Spielman added.
The work was carried out last week by three different vendors, each of them working on state contracts: Exhibit One for audio-video installation, Diversified Flooring for new carpeting, and Interior Solutions for furniture. The total cost of the modernization came to $130,330 and was procured by funding from two separate grants, one from the Local Judicial Collection Enhancement Fund (JCEF) and the other from the Fill The Gap fund.
While the court was out of use, Judge Samuel Vederman held some hearings at Parker Justice Court. Others were scheduled in La Paz Superior’s ‘Courtroom B’, or scheduled before and after the work on the facilities.
“La Paz County has been extremely fortunate to have had two great clerks of this court, with Megan and before her with Sheri Newman,” Vederman told Parker Live. “Megan has done an outstanding job on this project from start to finish, from procuring funds right through design and implementation, and coordination of all the vendors and products to make sure it was all done within the timeframe we had.”
The courtroom will be broken in immediately, with a busy court calendar in the coming weeks including a possible jury trial by the first week of December.