Santa Clara County courthouse without power for 2nd time since March

Santa Clara County’s Family Justice Court Center in downtown San Jose was without power today for the 2nd time in two months. A court spokesperson says they’re spending $150,000 a day to rent and fuel a generator, and they’re waiting for Pacific Gas & Electric to permanently restore power.  

We did see PG&E working here earlier today, but the power has been temporarily restored because of this generator. The court says they made some repairs after the first outage, and now they want PG&E to get the power back on for good.  

"As of April 21st, it has been ready to receive power from PG&E. We simply need to be reconnected," said Lisa Herrick, Santa Clara County Superior Court Asst. Executive Officer and General Counsel. 

The court says it moved its scheduled cases to the Hall of Justice after losing power early Monday morning. Herrick says the facility first lost power back in March.

"On March 4th, there was a piece of equipment that failed. That failure affected the transformer through which our courthouse receives power through PG&E," said Herrick. 

Herrick says they made repairs to the equipment, and since March, they’ve rented a generator but had to replace it three times because of malfunctions. She says renting and fueling the generator costs $150,000 per day. PG&E released a statement Monday, saying: 

"The Family Justice Center Courthouse in downtown San Jose requested that PG&E de-energize their service, so repairs could be made to equipment owned by the customer that had failed. PG&E has been working with the customer to resolve all outstanding issues and is committed to getting the customer restored safely and as quickly as possible." - PG&E 

Herrick says all operations have been interrupted, including cases involving domestic violence, restraining orders and criminal cases.

"The disruption to the court has been significant. The court is quite nimble in addressing these types of issues and reestablishing operations as quickly as possible, but it takes some Herculean efforts from our court staff to make that all happen," said Herrick. 

PG&E did not specify why the power hadn’t been reconnected. Herrick also says that the court sent a letter to PG&E today asking that this facility’s power be reconnected immediately.