Batesville's Federal Courthouse to Remain Open

HARRISON, AR - The federal courthouse in Batesville will remain open, officials say, after the facility was tabbed last year as in danger of closure.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes says the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' Judicial Council voted at its conference to keep the courthouse open.

Batesville's federal courthouse is nonresident...meaning that the facility doesn't have full-time employees, unlike many of the state's other federal courthouses.  In a national ranking last fall of the country's 62 nonresident courthouses, Batesville was listed as #7 of those considered the biggest drain on federal resources.  Beaufort, South Carolina, topped the list, which was based on the courthouses' usage, location and physical condition.

Judge Holmes and U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren, who serves as chief judge in the state's Western District, urged the committee to keep the courthouse open.  They said closing it would create hardships for residents who would have to travel long distances for court appearances.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)