Many clients have complained about the lengthy delays between criminal court dates in the Stamford / Norwalk criminal courts. I will try and explain the reason behind many of these delays. After COVID caused the closure of Norwalk G.A. #20, all criminal cases from Norwalk were transferred to Stamford G.A. #1. court. Originally this was a temporary arrangement. However, in late 2022, the Norwalk G.A. #20 court was closed, and the two G.A. courts were merged into one court – G.A. #1 at 123 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905.
As a result, essentially, two courts are now operating in one courthouse. They have decided to operate two courtrooms at G.A. #1 – one court for defendants who have no attorney or who have a private attorney and the other for defendants who are represented by a public defender. As the two separate G.A. courts have now been combined, that means that the caseload at the Stamford court is almost double as it now includes cases from New Cannan, Wilton, Weston, Westport, and Norwalk, all of which were previously held at Norwalk.
Since there is a space limitation on how many individuals can be seated at one time in each courtroom, they have imposed limitations on how many cases can be assigned to a particular date. This means that typically continuance dates are now 6-8 weeks apart. Before the merger of the two courts, a normal continuance could be 3-4 weeks. Since some cases require multiple court appearances to achieve the optimal resolution, it can become frustrating for clients as the case starts to drag on for several months.