Information on Courtroom Sharing
GAO-02-341: Published: Apr 12, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2002.
In recent years, concerns have been raised that new courtrooms continue to be built for district judges, even though existing courtrooms appear to be under used. The judiciary wants to maintain its one-judge, one-courtroom policy because of concerns about the effect of shared courtroom space on judicial administration. The judiciary has not, however, determined whether courtroom sharing may be possible among senior judges--the likeliest candidates for such an arrangement because of their reduced caseloads. Some active and senior judges in areas with a courtroom shortage are currently sharing space. Many of these judges oppose courtroom sharing because they believe that it interferes with the courts business and harms the judicial process. The judiciary plans to have some senior judges share space in future courthouse projects. Significant courtroom sharing appears unlikely in the near future, even among senior judges.