Collapsing roof prompts closure of Cypress Park mental health courthouse

CYPRESS PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles County's mental health courthouse in Cypress Park was shut down overnight because officials said the building is falling apart.

On Thursday, workers moved metal detectors and equipment out of the building after it was shut down. Some people who didn't get word about the sudden closure were frustrated, but officials said they had no choice.

"Yesterday, it was determined that there was significant structural damage to the roof, the beams and the rafters and other parts of the courthouse, such that there is a danger of collapse," Judge Carolyn Kuhl said.

Kuhl spoke with Eyewitness News and admitted the decision was rushed, but that the structural problems at the courthouse had become a safety issue.

Mental health court proceedings will now be held at the county's metropolitan branch on South Hill Street until further notice.

"We are temporarily located in the metropolitan courthouse in three courtrooms. We are looking now for a place to relocate these courtrooms more permanently," Kuhl said.

Court users said they understand the reasons, but that it did not make the situation any less frustrating. County officials said they will do their best to get everyone on the same page. They said they are also angry with the aging courthouse, which some are calling the worst in the state.
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