Jasper County Courthouse to temporarily move court services to Joplin

Jasper County Courthouse
Jasper County Courthouse moves court services to Joplin while construction takes place.

CARTHAGE, Mo. – Just across from the courthouse in Carthage is Cherry’s Art Emporium on the square. Cherry Babcock bought the old building about seven years ago, excited to invest in her own piece of history.

“The reason that I wanted to be on the square in the first place is because of the traffic to the area because people come from all over the world to photograph the courthouse. It’s like the most photographed courthouse in America.”

Still, old buildings need care and the courthouse, which dates back to 1894, is no exception.

“We’re doing some cosmetic work and also a courtroom renovation to allow more court hearings to be occurring over there in Carthage,” explained Erik Theis, Jasper County Court Administrator.

While work is being done in Carthage, court services will be taking place in Joplin.

“We have about 17,000 cases that we process each year in Jasper County, so half of those done in Carthage will now be done over here in Joplin. It’s a temporary issue, but we’re gonna move forward and we’re going to provide the best service to our community as we can,” said Theis.

The move takes place January 20 and is expected to last a year. During that time, Theis says people should plan ahead because parking will be limited.
While it may be temporarily inconvenient for some, Babcock is glad the Carthage courthouse will stay a landmark for years to come.

“I like it that they’re investing in the community because us as business owners have invested in these buildings downtown and it’s comforting to know they’re keeping things up to date and restoring what we have here already, our great history.”

Non-court operations like the county collector and commissioners will remain in their current offices in Carthage.

County court operations making the move will include both criminal and civil court, along with traffic cases, family court, protection orders and some municipal cases.

The courthouse project is estimated to cost about $4 million, but officials are still waiting on some estimates to come in from the architect and construction company.

Anyone with questions can contact the Court Administration Office at (417)-625-4310.